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Caleu Caleu Department, Argentina

Argentine Vintage Funeral Cadillacs

The clients of these mysterious hand-crafted funeral cars took their last ride in style. 

Humankind has long speculated about the mystery that follows death.

Regardless of conclusions, we have always devised ways to leave this world in style. Ancient Egyptians traveled to the afterlife in elaborate funerary boats. Major companies now offer the option of space burials. Fernando Aguerre came face-to-face with an elegant form of post-mortem transportation when he discovered a pair of magnificent wood-carved funeral Cadillacs while exploring an antique barn in Argentina.

These hand-crafted funeral cars originated as 1942 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 60 Special four-door sedans, each with a 133-inch wheelbase. They were converted into a flower car and hearse, possibly inspired by two horse-drawn carriages that were found nearby. Each car is adorned with a hand-carved wood body with intricate swirl and wave patterns.  A metal plaque affixed to one of the cars bears the name of an Argentine coachbuilder, “Hermida y Nazzi.” The origins of the cars and their maker remain unknown, however since Aguerre’s discovery another ornate hearse made by this coachbuilder has surfaced on eBay.

Aguerre, a native Argentine who is now a resident of California, is in the process of restoring the cars, and looking for a place to display them. The flower car was completed in Nov. 2010. Its next incarnation is unknown.