The interior of the 1936 Chevrolet Master is in immaculate condition and doesn’t require seat belts.
For those who want their final ride to be in style, Morrison Funeral Directors in Warkworth has the answer.
The company owns a 1936 Chevrolet Master Deluxe hearse as an alternative option to the three Ford Falcons normally used for funerals.
“While we previously went for something understated, we felt we wanted to also offer something unique,” Morrison Funeral Directors owner Jason Morrison says.
The car was built specifically as a hearse by a coach builder in Wanganui.
It was then sold to Martinborough where it was used both as a hearse and a family car, transporting the owners to the races and other outings, before falling into disrepair.
It was restored over a 20 year timeframe, with the addition of wooden running boards, before Jason purchased it.
“We believe it is the only 1936 Chevrolet hearse built in New Zealand that is still in working order.”
The vehicle is powered by a 2.1 litre straight six engine, with a three speed manual gear box. Jason admits it has taken some practise to learn to drive it.
“It’s not so much a case of how fast you can go in it, it’s how fast you can stop, not to mention how heavy the steering is.”
The hearse has been used about 15 times since the Morrisons bought it, but they prefer to use it when there is an appropriate connection.
“The first time we ever used it was for a man who had a Chevrolet as his wedding car.”
It was also used to carry New Zealand music icon Ray Columbus to his funeral in December last year.
Jason and wife Nicola Morrison both say they would like their final rides to be in the 1936 Chevrolet, and are always on the lookout for more vintage vehicles.