A HEARSE, also called a FUNERAL COACH, is a specialty vehicle used in funerals to transport a corpse in a coffin or casket from a church to a cemetery.
Automobile manufacturers do not build hearses. They are built by coach companies who modify existing luxury vehicle chassis, such as Buick, Cadillac, and Lincoln, to the desired professional application. These modified vehicles include but are not limited to hearses, flower cars, ambulances, and limos. Hearses, in particular, are built when ordered, and each one is unique due to the features/accessories a funeral home may desire. Coach companies who build hearses include, but not limited to:
- Superior Coaches – Superior Coach company dates back to 1915. In 1925 Superior Coaches, then called The Superior Motor Coach Body Company, introduced a line of hearse and ambulance built on the Studebaker chassis. Then in 1936, Superior Coaches expanded its product line to include hearses built on a Pontiac chassis and by1938 the Cadillac chassis. Read the full history of Superior Coaches here
- The S&S Coach Company – S&S was founded in 1876 as the Sayers and Scovill Company by William Sayers and A. R. Scovil. Read their history here
- Miller-Meteor (M&M)– Read more about Miller-Meteor here
- Krystal Enterprises
- and others
There are also several other coach companies that build hearses worldwide. Many of them not only build hearses but other specialty, professional vehicles.