This is Ernie, he's a 1965 Volkswagen split screen deluxe microbus, originally from the USA he started his life as a minibus, I suppose the fore runner to the modern day people mover. He was restored and commissioned as a fully functioning full time hearse in 2012.
Ernie as he is known is a 13 window deluxe microbus, which meant being the deluxe model he had some nice factory fitted bling to set him apart from the working VW commercial van.
Click the photo to go to Pinterest where there are lots of photos of our fleet.
To complement Ernie we have 'Winnie' who is designed for some family members to travel behind the hearse.
Ernies coffin bier (deck) can lift into the windows. There is plenty of space inside the hearse but if you're in doubt about coffin size or floral tributes please let us know.
Yes it rained for this Glastonbury inspired funeral, everyone wore wellies....
.....which was a good job considering the monsoon!
If you would like photos please ask us, these are copyright and owned by VW Funerals. Thank you. Photos are also found on Pinterest
Ernie and Winnie at Stafford Crematorium open day.
Ernie shining in the sunlight at the crematorium.
The original 1960s roof rack allows us to carry flowers on the top.
While we have a rise and fall deck lifting the coffin depends on the size of the coffin and if it has a large floral coffin spray. We don't want to squash it on the roof.
This photo shows you just how different the two vehicles are. Hearseby the white bay has a specially designed rear with large windows while Ernie is exactly how a 60s 13 window Volkswagen should look, no modification has been made to the exterior. All vehicles are standard length.
The deck has LED's and overhead lighting.
The deck is designed to safely lift the coffin and floral tributes up into the windows and then glide down gracefully to allow removal of the coffin. We do not use this hearse for any other purpose, it is purely for funerals. We don't balance coffins on seats or the camper bed or perch a board inside to put the coffin on. That would not be very secure or safe, and obviously unprofessional! If you would like to view the hearse prior to booking then please let us know and we will arrange an appointment for you.
The friendly nature and look of the Volkswagen may help at the very sad event of a funeral. A fleet of formal looking black funeral vehicles can be quite frightening for children, the light coloured paint work makes our fleet very approachable and easier for children to cope with if they are attending the funeral. We are always happy for you to have time with the cars after the funeral for photographs etc.
He doesnt say much but the Stig gave us a big thumbs up having seen our hearse at the Coventry Transport Museum, The hearse deck was a full Christmas dinner table
While our hearse travels on-board our lorry we do not have room to carry two at a time so Winnie is limited to funerals nearer to our base during the good weather months. It may be possible to transport her at additional cost.
Our team dress in formal funeral attire, but if you do not wish for the drivers to dress in black please advise.
© Volkswagen Funerals 2006 -2013
© Volkswagen Funerals 2013