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Michigan Hearse

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Album name:DKuhn / D. Kuhn
Filesize:146 KiB
Date added:Jan 13, 2008
Dimensions:1024 x 768 pixels
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DKuhn   [Jan 13, 2008 at 06:31 PM]
Michigan funeral cars were built on an assembled chassis using a six-cylinder Continental engine with power directed to the wheels via worm-drive. Michigan built both horse-drawn and motorized funeral cars, ambulances and casket wagons. Their first "Auto Hearse" appeared in 1913 and featured an elaborate carved-body mounted on a light truck frame. For 1914 Michigan offered coaches on a heavy-duty White chassis in addition to their own assembled six-cylinder offerings which included a regular six and a new light-six chassis made to compete dollar for dollar with Meteor. In 1916 they introduced a six-cylinder 29hp model 1220 limousine that was designed as a pall-bearers' limousine or a formal limousine.

Michigan continued to offer funeral coaches with a 45hp Continental six-cylinder engine on their own assembled worm-drive chassis in 1917. Their catalog included their new limousine-style arched top coaches as well as more traditional flat-topped carved-paneled funeral vehicles. During the summer of 1917 Michigan announced a new MHC passenger car and MHC factory to build it, but this was probably just a scheme to market their pall-bearers' limousine as a regular automobile, and no MHC cars are known to have been built.

For 1918 Michigan was marketing their limousine-style coaches as a four-in-one all-purpose vehicle. This combination pallbearer's coach, mourner's car, children's hearse and ambulance was still built on their 45hp assembled chassis. For 1919 Michigan added a 12-column hearse to their lineup, a style that up until now had been championed by Sayers & Scovill exclusively. The 12-column "Michigan Six" carved-panel hearse continued into 1921, the major difference being the addition of disc wheels, which Michigan included on their entire range of vehicles. The subtley-carved hearse was gaining favor with the industry and Michigan offered one in a choice of colors, traditional black, three-tone gray, or silver-bronze.

In 1921 Michigan exhibited a magnificent coach which featured a solid mahogany interior. Its light gray exterior featured beautiful arched leaded stained-glass windows between the 12 columns. They named their chapel on wheels "The Gothic" but it proved to be their swan song as the firm went out of business later in the year, a victim of the post-war depression of 1921-1922.

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