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History of Australian Hearses - Builders

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Unknown Builders

The following hearses were built in Australia, but we are unable to determine the body builders. We are keen to find out more about any of these cars, and welcome any information regarding the builders of these beautiful hearses.  

1968 Dodge

This 1968 Dodge hearse was advertised for sale in 2000. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, it’s been rumoured that this car has been converted to a “bash” vehicle. Any information regarding this car is welcomed.  This car features bodywork by W.D. Hadley, and was originally painted black with a grey roof. It was first owned by Motor Funerals in Sydney.  


55 Ford Customline

A 1955 Ford Customline hearse, photographed at the ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ car show in the early 1990s. Note the very long extension in the wheelbase. Our first thought was that this was a Smith bodied car, but the bevelled glass and lack of brightwork around the side glasses would indicate otherwise. This particular car attracted a lot of publicity in the late 1990s when it was reported as being stolen, with the newspapers being very interested in the story.  


1936 Plymouth

Two tone paint almost disguises the original purpose of this 1936 Plymouth hearse. Can you imagine how good this would look under shiny black paint? Powered by a flathead 6 cylinder engine with a 3 speed manual transmission, this car was photographed at the “Fruitmarket” swap meet in Melbourne in the 1990s. This was the only occasion we have ever seen this car, and we’re very interested in any further details of this attractive funeral vehicle.  



Photographed at the famous ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’, this Humber hearse is owned by a vintage vehicle enthusiast in western Victoria. At first glance it appears to be a 4 door sedan, but a closer look reveals the unusual treatment at the rear of the body. An extremely interesting car, and we would love to know more about it.  

1948 Packard Hearse

This car was recently for sale (early 2003) in Tasmania. The body builder is unknown. The car was restored in the 1980s in Shepparton in Victoria, before being sold to a new owner in Tasmania.  Note the bevelled side glass.

1967 HR Holden Hearse

This 1967 HR Holden hearse was sold new by Southern Motors. These photographs were taken in Melbourne in the late 1980s. Although information from various sources differs, several people have mentioned that just four of these hearse were built. Whether that is true or not, we can’t be sure. This car was only just out of service when these photos were taken, and the hearse is now owned by a Melbourne Holden enthusiast. Does anyone know who built the body?

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