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Our flagship hearse is a white 2002 Cadillac hearse from America. It has been modified by Superior Coach Builders in Ohio to meet the demands of the funeral industry. This car is a favourite of many of the CCFS staff for the smooth ride, soft seats and purring V8 that only a Caddy can provide.
One thing about Cadillac's is their size. Our 1992 Caddy originally saw service in Japan and prior to this in America. She is big, black and impressive and probably the image that most people come up with when thinking about hearses.
Only 52 of the low-line DS 420 Daimler hearses were ever made. We own the only two in New Zealand (1974 and 1975) and are proud to present these English ladies in all their quietly restrained elegance: one in white and the second in traditional black.
This model of hearse was famously used at Princess Diana's funeral, and many Kiwis recognize and relish the understated glory of classic British motoring.
At CCFS we tend to prefer Fords for our transfer vehicle due to the longer wheelbase and larger rear doors that Falcons offer - and with 11 of these models available its seems we just can't say no!
We also utilise these vehicles when tight access is an issue for the larger American or British vehicles.
1972 Ford Galaxie Street Rod
The management favourite is currently nearing the end of a long refurbishment. She is Roddy and Eion's baby - a 1971 Ford Galaxie, fully stretched Dalton Coach hearse built in Sydney and has spent a significant time in Queensland, Australia.
In 2008 we were asked to provide a fitting vehicle for the memorial service of a young man who was really into his cars, and arranged for the use of his friend's 1972 XY Falcon station wagon which had been ‘rodded'. It was a real hit.
At that point, we knew we wanted one of our own, and so together with Grant Silvester at Sydenham Park we came up with a plan to build the longest, lowest and loudest street rod hearse in New Zealand.
So far she's been lowered, has a completely rebuilt and worked V8, transmission, Pacer headers and pipes, 20 inch Chip Foose mag wheels and is currently out to paint and panel, which is then to be followed by an upholstery tidy-up aimed at keeping the ‘70s feel.
Nicknamed ‘The Beast', she‘ll be available in the very near future and then will be seen around Canterbury at special events. While it's definitely not for everyone; this is one special car that makes a statement.
Our other main restoration project is a 1929 Dodge Hearse, which is being restored to show of it's high standards and craftmanship (although the final assembly is not quite finished). Due to the fact she is totally original it takes a bit of skill to drive this vehicle!
As you can imagine, the lack of parts has been a real issue and virtually all replacements have to be handmade and custom manufactured. This restoration will be extensive as the other restoration projects have been, but we're quietly confident she is going to be gorgeous and will really appeal to the dedicated vintage enthusiast.
1890 Horse-drawn Funeral Coach
We have a replica 1890 horse-drawn funeral coach in storage that will be the focus of a new static display. Requiring a total restoration, our aim to make it historically complete, and we'll be working on it in house.