An original Volkswagen 'camper van style' funeral hearse

1972 Bay Hearse 'Hearseby'

Affectionately known as 'Hearseby' (named after his racing cousin 'Herbie') the friendly nature and look of this Volkswagen Hearse may help at the very sad event of a funeral. A fleet of formal looking black stately vehicles can be quite daunting especially for children, he is painted white in testament to peace and a simple black or coloured pennant flag identifies him as a funeral vehicle.

Our fleet are very approachable and we hope a little easier for family to bear.

Hearsebys photo shoot for Martin Doreys new book 'The campervan Bible' due out now page 418

This unique funeral vehicle was a factory commissioned 'Leichenwagen' (Hearse) and coach built by a firm called Fritz Freckinger in Augsberg Germany in 1972 and is one of very few still remaining in the world today and the only one known to be in operation in the UK as a funeral vehicle if not the World.   


This vehicle is a Volkswagen Type 26 Hearse conversion which was used by undertakers as a private ambulance but never commissioned for actual funeral use, until we rescued him in 2007. Hearseby had been in a collection of Volkswagens in Europe until we discovered him and gave him a job. 

Contrary to belief Hearseby was never a campervan but a super rare conversion supplied directly from the VW factory as a flatbed pickup and coachbuilt into a hearse, notice there are no sliding doors the air intake is low down and there is a large underside storage area. 

The hearse is able to cater for the largest coffins along with many floral tributes.
Hearseby on duty at Bury St Edmonds crematorium

We are always happy for you to spend time with the cars after the funeral for photographs, we won't rush off and leave at the crem doors. If you would prefer the hearse to leave just let us know. 

Hiring our vehicles often sets the scene for people to personalise the funeral and do it their way. 

Our VW's are a popular choice for eco or green funerals which are catching on these days, and also for people who you might consider hippy, peace loving, free spirited folk who enjoyed the out doors and perhaps music festivals. We often play familiar favorite songs in the hearse as we go. Perhaps you are looking for a vehicle that looks less hearse like, some people simply can not cope with the idea of funerals and want to make it much less like a funeral. There is no reason why you can't do any of these things, its all in the planning! 


Have a look at our personalise the funeral page for ideas from funerals that we have done before. 

Our team will dress in formal funeral attire, but if you would prefer us to wear less funerial clothing or a coloured tie please advise.  

Our photographs are copyright and are the property of Volkswagen Funerals. Please contact us if you would like to use any of our images or if you are a funeral professional and would like information for your arrangement rooms.

Thank you 

Our hearses travel inside our covered and fully licenced vehicle transporter 'Big Bertha'. Where possible these VW's only do working miles to keep them in first class condition. We are very proud of our vehicles and dont think that you would be disappointed however any inspection of condition is welcomed strictly by appointment for anyone wishing to consider hiring us for a funeral. 

We are located at:

The Old Bakery

18 Church Road 




CV10 0NB

(Visiting is strictly by appointment only.)

Get in touch

If you have any queries  or wish to discuss your needs please contact us:

02476 399296

Or use our contact form.

         Woodland Burial poem

                 by Pam Ayres


Don't lay me in some gloomy churchyard shaded by a wall
Where the dust of ancient bones has spread a dryness over all,
Lay me in some leafy loam where, sheltered from the cold
Little seeds investigate and tender leaves unfold.
There kindly and affectionately, plant a native tree
To grow resplendent before God and hold some part of me.
The roots will not disturb me as they wend their peaceful way
To build the fine and bountiful, from closure and decay.
To seek their small requirements so that when their work is done
I’ll be tall and standing strongly in the beauty of the sun.

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© Clare Brookes 2015 - All images and wording are the property of Volkswagen Funerals.