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Heavy Metal Affliction--Cadillac Hearse

John Schommer
Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Who buys a used hearse? For those that do, does it speak to a love of cars or is it just morbid self-expression? In the case of this edition of Heavy Metal Affliction, the answer is both. This project hearse has creepy written all over it, from its rusting hood to the used body bag and gurney that came with it. Certainly any 1973 Cadillac has potential, but this well-used funeral service vehicle is a classic relic as-is.


Happy Halloween and welcome to a special Halloween edition of Heavy Metal Affliction. This week we have David Roy of Jefferson City, Missouri – Gamertag GOUKI187--and his 1973 Cadillac Hearse. Roy grew up spending the summers with his dad, who used to race cars in New Mexico and had also been a mechanic longer than he can remember. Roy’s love of cars came on early with memories of going to the drive in and local races. He started playing Forza with Forza Motorsport 2 when it came with his Xbox 360. He was a Forza 3 VIP and has continued on with Forza Motorsport 4.


Roy is 29, and attends Full Sail College in pursuit of a game design degree. When he was younger he was a “goth” kid who lived a few miles outside a rural Missouri town. Roy would often stay at his buddy’s house in town and walk around the neighborhoods in between videogame sessions. They used to walk by the local funeral home regularly and always saw this big black Cadillac hearse sitting under the carport. In fact they never saw it move. Roy was always intrigued by the hearse, “I used to always ask my friend if he thought they'd let me drive it around the block.Whenever I went up to the door of this house/ funeral parlor combination, I'd get too freaked out and lose my courage.”



This is a funeral parlor we are talking about, at least it was at one point. Strangely, it went out of business a couple years later. Isn’t there always a steady need for funeral parlors? Maybe the next in the family line did not want to follow the family calling. Understandably so, the life of a mortician requires a certain mindset that is not very common. Upon closing, stranger still, the building was converted into an apartment building. Who would want to live in a place where the deceased have been prepared for their final journey and a place where their loved ones have come to mourn? If there was ever a more suitable haunted house, this place was it. Needless to say, the building was always looking for tenants—as it was when it was a funeral home—but could not remain profitable, so it was later torn down. These days, when Roy walks by the old funeral parlor lot, all that remains is a sidewalk leading up to an empty field—in other words, a path leading to the great beyond.


Roy often wondered about the fate of the hearse. He had moved away from his small town to the much larger Jefferson City, MO. A couple of years later on a random trip to visit his mother, he saw the hearse along the side of a highway with a “For Sale” sign in the window. He had to stop and ask about the car--after all, what could happen? It was in front of a regular house, not the old funeral parlor, so getting up the nerve to go knock on the door did not give Roy the heeby- jeebies of yesteryear. A lady answered the door and told Roy the hearse ran but it needed an ignition coil. She also mentioned someone else had expressed interest and offered more than the $500 that Roy was prepared to pay. As it turned out the other interested party was the cousin of one of Roy’s friends who wanted to buy the hearse and use it in a demolition derby. Upon learning the hearse’s intended fate, and learning that Roy intended to fix the car rather than crash it up, the owner decided to sell it to Roy.


So he bought it, and picked it up on Friday the 13th no less. At the time, Roy worked as a server at the Steak ‘n Shake on the graveyard shift. This wasn’t his first car, but it was the first one he had bought with his own hard-earned cash. As a student he has not had the cash flow to fix it up as he had planned. So it has been sitting at his mother’s house for several years now. It has been vandalized, it won’t start due to sitting for so long, but he still had plans for it. Roy has his priorities straight and is focused on finishing school before digging in to the project. Roy recalls, “I've had people stop by out here a few times and make offers on it, but every time I get close to selling it, I change my mind. It's felt like an unfinished project for so long, and I'm hoping that maybe one day soon, I'll be able to get it road ready again. I saved it from death by demolition derby, hopefully I can save it from a death by time.”


When he does finish school he is thinking of painting it an iridescent purple and throwing on some gold spoked rims, maybe even installing a casket-shaped speakerbox and a matching purple interior. Until then, the old Cadillac hearse sits… waiting… watching… and wondering when it will return from the grave.


Check out these photos of the hearse:



If you would like to comment on GOUKI187’s hearse do so in the HMA thread.