You just entered on the website of the German Funeral Car Archives, which are the biggest collection of hearse related literature known to exist in Germany. In case you´d like to know a little bit more about these dignified vehicles, this might be the website you´re looking for.
The aim of my hearse enthusiasm is the fascination of the highly detailed and mostly custom ordered hearses, that seem to cross the border between passenger cars and light duty trucks in a most emotionally combined way. Hearses are dedicated to our beloved people for a most dignified last ride from here to somewhere else. Anyhow, you can judge the culture of people by the way they say goodbye to their deceased – and that´s why there is a need of documentation for the vehicles being used for this duty. That´s what I understand as my mission.
Let me take you with me on a journey through a unique world of the most dignified automobiles and enjoy their elegance.
Address: Ringstrasse 23, DE-57629 Mueschenbach, Germany
... are the biggest and most complete collection of hearse related literature known in Germany, maybe in Europe. They contain tons of information on hearses, flower cars, follow cars, funeral omnibuses and related motor vehicles the world over.
The archives contain:
... hearse material out of the following countries: Germany, USA, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Australia, China, Japan, France, Greece, Malta, Belgium, Netherlands, Cuba, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Canada, Russia, Brasilia, Cyprus, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, South Africa, Austria, Argentinia, Finland, New Zealand, Singapore, Hungary, Ireland etc. etc.
... historical data on more than 750 hearse manufacturers worldwide
... about 500 hearse-brochures (with most of them being original sales brochures and some reproductions of original brochures)
... at least 10.000 pictures (factory photos, professional pictures, snapshots, other pictures, digital images)
... more than 1000 advertisements (original or reproduction)
... about 50 hearse-/ coachbuilding books including all specialized motor hearse books currently known to be published from pole to pole
... several hundreds of hearse related magazine coverages, clippings, features, book excerpts, funeral directors´ magazines
Please note: For I don´t do all this commercially, I just can estimate some partitions of my collection. I never had time enough to list every item I own – and I suppose I´ll never have. This overview was made in April 2004.
Of course, I do not only collect and just keep all these items - I also use them for documentation, presentation, identification and any other cultural purpose. Here you can find some references of the German Funeral Car Archives and myself:
Television and Movies:
- TV coverage “Brisant”-magazine, ARD (about 1999)
- TV coverage “Aufgemotzt und abgefahren”, RTL, 2003
- TV support and cooperation, doku soap “Die Autohändler”, RTL2, 2004
- Short Movie „The Plotspoiler“ with my hearse as a „main character“ and me playing the driver of the hearse, Flimreakter, Luxemburg, 2002/2003
Books and Magazines:
- magazine coverage: Modell Fahrzeug, “Sarg niemals nie” about my model hearse collection, about 1996
- magazine coverage: Oldtimer Markt, “Schwarzfahrer”, Inspiration, support and cooperation, 2003/2004
- magazine coverage: Motor Klassik, “Schwarzfahrer”, Inspiration, support and cooperation, 2003/2004
- magazine coverage: Auto Bild, “Grave Line Tours”, Support
- support and cooperation:automotive historian Marian Suman-Hreblay for the special coachbuilding publication “Dictionary of world coachbuilders and car stylists”, 2002/2003
- support and cooperation: automotive historian Harald H. Linz for a special coachbuilding publication (dictionary, not yet published), 2002/2003
- support and cooperation: automotive historian Alessandro Sannia for Fiat related coachbuilding publication “Fiat fuoriserie”, 2003
- Import and distribution “The Reikyusha” (japanese hearse book) across Europe, 1999 onwards
Associations, companies and further projects:
- Inspiration, support and cooperation: VF Toys, Modelcar production 1958 Cadillac Eureka hearse, Mercedes Benz W 140 Welsch hearse, 1959 Cadillac S&S Park Row hearse (mid-nineties until 2004)
- exhibition “Kiste, Kutsche, Karavan”, German Museum of funeral customs with about 50 model car hearses of my collection, 1999
- historical support and cooperation: www.leichenwagen.de
- historical support and cooperation: www.himmelstaxi.de - historical support and cooperation: www.albeyer.de.vu
- identification and historical support: www.bangers.de
- support and cooperation: Tony Blair´s list of world´s hearse manufacturers
- Radio interview, currently unknown radio station, about 1999
- President of the German Chapter of the Professional Car Society
- support and cooperation: German hearse association “IG zur Erhaltung historischer Bestattungsfahrzeuge”
- support and cooperation : “British hearse register”, 2003
- professional car-specialist “Classic Cadillac Club Deutschland e.V.”
- support and cooperation: Pollmann Karosseriefabrik (regarding a promotional model that was never released), about 2001
- support: Binz Karosseriewerk, updating the company archives, 2001
- exhibition, Fraund-Amelung funeral home, 2003
- support: funeral procession as a demonstration for a well known German electricity supporter against the dismissal of several hundreds of employees, intensively attacked and cancelled by the company bosses shortly before the procession, 2003 (succesful action! All employees still have their jobs!)
- support and cooperation: German artist Karsten Wolff, video tape about a hearse meeting with my hearse and me on the cover
If you would like to use my help and my historical support for a similar or completely different project, please feel free to contact me. I´ll try to do my best for you.
My addittional project:
In the early nineties, I started my work on a very special hearse book based on the knowledge I received over the years. Please be patient. I´ll promise to release this book someday, but the research work and the writing takes very much time that I don´t regularly have. That´s why I decided to write a good and late book instead of a bad and early one.
Here you find a frequently growing collection of international funeral vehicles with many different styles on a great variation of chassis. I´m planning to translate all the descriptions in English. Please allow a little more time for that.
Here you can find world´s largest collection of hearse manufacturers from pole to pole. All mentioned companies have built at least one hearse commercially during the motor car era. Most of them are specialized hearse builders, some others just made a one-off to special order, some are/ were specialized in funeral trailers, some changed their production to something else, some are out of business today. If there´s a website known, you´ll find the link by clicking each name.
A particular sort of funeral vehicles are the funeral trailers, that are still common over here in Germany. Page five is dedicated to these neat vehicles.
On page six I show you all the hearses I´ve owned in the past and the ones that I still own.
Some information about me and a contact sheet (see below).
A pun that doesn´t work in English. Here you find some links to friends and other hearse related websites and my legal notice.
Well, that´s what you see here.
I was born in 1975 and have already been into automotive history since my first moments of life. Soon I started to collect every bit of information on automobiles from passenger cars to heavy duty vehicles before I focused my interest on the history of motorized funeral cars in the early nineties. By now, lots of hearse-related books, sales brochures, documents and pictures out of many countries of the world joined my collection.
Furthermore, I still collect lots of information on international coachwork for passenger cars, ambulances, police cars, custom limousines, station wagon conversions, armored vehicles, buses and dozens of specialized vehicles. I never examined my inventory that carefully, but I estimate it containing more than 2.000 coachbuilders worldwide.
While doing lots of international research work in this particular chapter of automotive history, I´ve become acquainted with quite a number different styles of hearses, plenty funeral customs and scores of uniquely coachbuilt vehicles for the last way of the deceased. And there´s still more to come, week by week, year by year.
Hearses are my #1 interest, but there are more hobbies like classic and vintage automobiles in general, music, vintage clothes, cultural history, psychology, languages, writing and... and... and...
I am deeply grateful to have a small group of friends and relatives who keep my life being worth it. Those who are among will know their position in my life without being named here one by one. Thank you for keeping me in your hearts and recharging my energy.
I am self-employed in the automotive consulting field. I worked for more than ten years in an automobile museum as a guide for Cadillac enthusiasts and used to be a chauffeur of classic American vehicles for promotional use and several TV productions in these times. Today I´m still involved in the luxury car sales business. Additionally, I´m a freelance author, being specialized in automotive and coachbuilding history.
Please feel free to contact me. You are cheerfully invited to visit the German Funeral Archives.