FAQ: This Is How I Roll
What do you do with a hearse?
I drive it… because that’s what you do with a motorized vehicle. If you are nice, I will let you ride in it.
Can I smoke in your hearse?
Sorry, that’s pretty much the only thing you can’t do in my hearse.
How many people does it seat?
I can seat about seven adults in the back, more or less depending on how close with your friends you are!
What kind of car is the Dream Hearse?
She’s a 1992 Cadillac Brougham Superior hearse with a 5.0 liter V-8 engine, purchased in excellent condition with approximately 40K miles under her belt. If you’re a car nut and interested specifically in what’s under the hood, check out the Wikipedia article about the history of Broughams.
Where did you buy the Dream Hearse?
I bought the hearse from Doug Scott’s Funeral Cars in Glendale, California. Doug has been repairing, restoring, and reselling hearses for 50 years, and he deals with his customers directly. His assistance with choosing the perfect hearse from his wide selection of cars was invaluable.
How much did it cost?
More than a regular old Cadillac, less than a new one.
Who did the interior?
The majority of the interior work was completed at Frank’s Auto Upholstery in Glendale, California. The owner, Francisco Rodriguez, was my main point of contact and an absolute pleasure to do business with. He and his team worked tirelessly on my car and did so with an incredibly positive, upbeat attitude that was a tremendous asset to this project.
The entertainment and alarm systems were installed by Allen and his team at Megaplex. Georgie from Dr. Vinyl covered my dashboard, steering wheel, and other bits and pieces. James from LA Custom Coach handled the installation of my temperature control systems for the rear cabin. The divider, window-tinting, and other random tweaks were outsourced as well.
How much did that cost?
About as much as you’d expect to pay for a living room on wheels.
Are you being vague on purpose?
How long did it take to finish?
The major restorations and installations took about 10 months. When I returned to Seattle, I applied a few finishing touches. The curtains were made by a crafty seamstress in Redmond. The underbody kit and added lighting were installed at Car Toys in Seattle.
How did you get the Dream Hearse up to Seattle?
I drove! I figured some part of this project should be DIY. After slogging through Northern California, sandwiched between semis at steep inclines, I’ll keep her here for awhile.
What’s the mileage like?
Actually, most people say, “Ugh, I’m sure the mileage is terrible,” but I’m rephrasing that ignorant statement as a question for consistency’s sake. I get at least 20 mpg, which is better than many SUVs being used as daily drivers. In fact, I nearly made it from LA to Seattle on just two tanks of gas. When I’m cruising around town I leave it in third gear, which also helps a bit. Keep in mind this is a custom-built funeral coach we’re talking about here. If I wanted something sensible, I’d get a Prius, and perhaps a starter home with a picket fence, a doting husband, 2.5 kids…
Do you have another car?
Nope! I live in the city so I can walk or bus to pretty much everything.
Are you going to make a fleet of Dream Hearses?
You never know what the future holds, but at the moment I’m quite content with there being only one Dream Hearse. Her uniqueness is part of her charm.
Do you have any dead bodies in there?
I managed to cruise around Seattle for nearly two peaceful months before someone hit me with that trite nonsense. When a scene-kid outside the Comet asked me this, I wasn’t sure if he thought he was being clever or if his irony was so powerfully fierce it sprouted wings and flew away before I knew what was happening.
Are you also a sex worker?
No! (Just an avid hobbyist.)
Is M@ttel mad at you?
I’ve been purposely slacking on writing up my dealings with them, but let’s just say we’re both enjoying an era of détente.
Are you a fan of Six Feet Under?
I haven’t seen the show, but I’m told there is a hearse in it. Neat.
Will you appear at my event in Timbuktu even though it’s far away from Seattle and we aren’t going to pay you? It’s a great promotional opportunity!
I like to promote in places I want to drive, but if I ever move to Timbuktu I’ll let you know!
Will you have a drink with us?
Will you smoke some pot with us?
Will you shoot heroin with us?
Now we’re talking! (Just kidding, still no.)
What other stupid questions have people asked you?
Seattlites are a pretty savvy bunch, and the ones who aren’t make a great effort to pretend, so I haven’t dealt with much of the inane chitchat that seems to accompany hearse ownership. Some of my coffin-carrying comrades haven’t been so lucky, according to this thread on the National Hearse and Ambulance Association website. Sadder still, some of the responses are even dumber than the questions.
I want to buy a hearse. Where should I look?
It really depends what you want and how much you’re willing to spend. I had a unique purpose and specific features in mind. You might just want something to tinker with in your driveway on weekends. Anyway, Craigslist and eBay are good places to start. The hearse clubs on Facebook also post for-sale listings sometimes.
Hey Kat! Do you know what you should have bought instead?