LS Resurrection! Fabulous 1957 Cadillac Hearse

When a pall descends and I intone “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” this fully-refurbished service vehicle will do just fine to carry me home. While some folks call their car “all original,” (except for the engine, transmission, and half the rest), the seller of this 1957 Cadillac Hearse in Watertown, South Dakota says “Everything is New,” punctuating that sentiment with “Nothing Original.” A modern fuel-injected V8, stunning blue and white paint, and a leather interior grace this striking ’57. Cash in your chips and place a bid here on eBay. At publication this Cadillac’s value lies in repose just above $14,000. Don’t wait to be saved by the bell; this auction bites the dust on Monday 28 October, 2019.

The nondescript “aluminum V8” appears to be this century’s favorite transplant, the GM LS V8. The LS has re-powered everything from milk vans to microcars, and its combination of power and economy suits cars that are enjoyed and relied upon. A well-maintained LS can cheat death for 175,000 miles and more. The milk-jug master cylinder suggests this hearse’s front disc and rear drum brakes can decelerate this monster without scaring its passengers to death.

This car’s fabulous original styling and well-executed finish defies nit-picking, but the seller confesses that body filler entombs some door imperfections. Personally I would have chosen either a. a completely stock restoration or b. an LS-powered wedding rental or SUV alternative with three rows of seats. However, if driving a tricked-out hearse to car shows, or work every day, is your jam, this Caddy is to die for.

Air conditioning keeps passengers cool whether they be live or dead. Timing of the sale suggests an appeal to the Halloween junkie looking to exterminate his or her neighbor’s lawn clutter with the ultimate over-the-top impulse-purchased seasonal decoration. Halloween taxi service could easily make up the down-payment on this heavenly hearse (as called out on the engine cover). Is owning a hearse on your bucket list?


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  1. canadainmarkseh Member

    It’s to purpose built it needs to go back into the shop to be refitted with some seats, and turned into a more mainstream car.

    Like 1
    • Miguel

      No, Canadian, it is perfect the way it is, inside at least.

      Too many old coaches have been destroyed by removing the rear rollers and bastardizing the rear of the car.

      Like 13
      • Todd Fitch Staff

        Here we have a perfect exmaple of how a half custom / half restoration offends both purists and the custom crowd. That said, if there’s already a handful of these perfectly preserved in museums or collections somewhere, why not do whatever you want with yours? Not everyone signs up to be their car’s personal museum curator. The target audience for this car, as it sits, seems quite narrow. Maybe a Hollywood funeral home will cast a bid.

        Like 10
      • Miguel

        Todd every car is unique. there might have been 2 of the same made if a funeral director ordered two cars at one time, but that was rare.

        Also nobody has any of these in museums.

        Even the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas has zero professional cars on display.

        Like 1
  2. Luki

    You do realize that is a death threat and you can be arrested for it. Right?

    Like 5
  3. The Chucker

    Lose the curtains, tint the windows, and tow an Airstream to your next camping adventure…now THAT would be cool!

    Like 15
  4. The Chucker

    Yeah, because 50 year old technology is so much better. (eyeroll)

    Like 4
  5. Howard A Member

    Yeah, whoa ho, 1st, the people in the back aren’t going to give a hoot, and who cares where they spend their money, I’ve learned in my old age.
    Now, hearse jokes,,,why are there no luggage racks on a hearse? You can’t take it with you,,,Boom-tis,,( crickets)

    Like 4
  6. Superdessucke

    Well, the bright side is it’s definitely going to be much faster than it was stock. Probably frighteningly so. And if you crash, they can just throw you in the back and tow you slowly to the morgue, for a noble conclusion to your time on this mortal coil.

    Like 9
    • Miguel

      The brakes on these were not that good, if memory serves.

      I hope he put disc all the way around.

      Like 1
  7. local_sheriff

    Miguel, I respect your contributions however that kind of language, serious or not, only because someone has built a vehicle not according to someone’s liking is simply inappropriate. We’re adults aren’t we?

    With that said, as a fan of professional cars myself I somehow agree the builder should’ve kept the 365/ Hydramatic. On the other hand an LS isn’t what most of us will call a ‘horrible’ engine – for what we know this hearse’s driveline was gone or beyond – the alternative could’ve been scrapping!

    Apart from the engine it still presents as the real deal. I see it as a reborn rare hearse with a modern pacemaker that offers enjoyment for several decades ahead

    Like 4
  8. Stevieg

    I like it! I am not a fan of LS conversions, but this one was done with taste. It will make the car more reliable than the original drivetrain would have been 60 years after manufacture. It will probably make the car more economical than original (road trip? Plenty space for luggage!), and maybe even faster than factory (get them to the hole in the ground before they smell funny lol).
    I love it the way it is & I would be honored to own it, even though I would not have done it to this car personally myself.

    Like 1
    • Miguel

      Steve, the way the engine, and especially, the transmission function, sound and feel are a big part of this car.

      Without that, it is just a big station wagon like any other.

      Like 1
  9. TonyF

    I would say good deal. If I bought it I would rent it to funeral homes for people that want a special last ride .

    Like 2
  10. Rodney - GSM

    Since there are plenty of “Wedding Cars” around why not a “Divorce Car”. What could be better than this beast to whisk you off to the lawyers offfice to sign those final papers and bury the unholy union in style.

    Like 8
  11. Coventrycat

    I would die for that.

    Like 5
  12. JOHN Member

    Lose the steering wheel and go with the original, other than that, pretty cool!

    Like 5
  13. local_sheriff

    It says 14 comments at the top of the write-up – as of writing there are only 10? Seems like one of our contributor’s comment on the LS conversion got sensored…? 😉

    • Miguel

      That would have been mine.

      Like 1
  14. Classic Steel

    Sorry its just not my style.
    I like the funeral ⚰️ home retro wagon or Cali ghosts tour but ask yourself will the wife enjoy it in the driveway? I bet unless its Elvira its a 👎 no. The other use if the movie “Warriors “ II is being made and they can cone out and play during filming 😏

    I could maybe be caught dead in it on my final ride…

    • Miguel

      My wife can’t wait for us to get a hearse. it is a matter of time and finding a nice one.

      She is not Elvira.

      Your name is Classic Steel and you can’t appreciate a hand made Cadillac station wagon?

      One time my friend and I were selling Hawaiian shirts at the Pomona swap meet. We had them hanging off of his 1959 Cadillac Superior Limo style hearse.

      A man came by and commented that he has has every model of 1959 Cadillac but he does not have a hearse.

      I said to him then he doesn’t have a 1959 Cadillac.

  15. Stevieg

    My now exwife was freaked out by these. She ended up in the gray-bar hotel for some time & when she was released, the only running car I had was my hearse. She wanted to go out & tie one on that night. So she gave in & we went bar hopping in the hearse.
    It was a beautiful 1972 Cadillac Superior 3-way, silver, deep red velvet interior. People stared, but usually smiled & often times gave a thumbs up. She was embarrassed & slouched down at first. She sure seemed to enjoy the positive attention though, & by the end of the night she was proud to be in it. Next thing you knew, she had to have her own. I bought her a 1970 Miller Meteor 3-way, same color combo as mine. So we had his & hers hearse’ lol.
    I have a picture @ home. When I get home from work I will take a picture of the picture & download it.

    Like 8
    • Miguel

      I have a similar story.

      A friend of a friend, female, didn’t want to sit directly on the seat the first time she was in the hearse.

      After she got used to it, Paul let me use a 1968 Superior combo and her and I took a trip from LA to San Francisco. I lost 3 tires on that trip, which was fun.

      At one of the gas stations late at night, we had to buy a used tire. I was 18 and broke.

      The young attendant asked her if she was freaked out riding in a hearse.

      She answered “No, as a matter of fact we drug my mom off in this one”.

      She was alright.

      Like 2
  16. Comet

    Nice car, but I’m in no hurry to ride in a hearse anytime soon.

    Like 3
  17. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    I’m with you, Miguel. Don’t rod it or “bastardized” it.
    I prefer totally original, but an LS and some upgrades makes sense.

    Like 3
    • Miguel

      Like I said above, especially in a 1957 model, the engine and transmission are an integral part of the charm of driving this car.

      Also I don’t want my 1957 coach to sound like a hot rod from an LS engine.

      Like 1
  18. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Went to high school who had an old hears/ambulance.

    Lots of stainless steel in the back along with a drainage system.

    I was under the impression the hearses were pressed into use carrying the deceased TO the funeral home with the body packed on ice to keep it “fresh” especially in the summer.

    We filled it ice and beer and went to the beach. Seem to remember the MPG was about 5 or 6!

    Good times.

    Like 3
    • Miguel

      Ross, back then they had dedicated first call cars that dealt with the mess.

      The hearse was only to move the box from one location to the other.

      if it was a combination car, which this one was not, it was also used as an ambulance, but I doubt they used the same car for first calls. They can get really messy and smelly, which is not acceptable when they use it for a hearse or ambulance again.

      Then minivans were invented, so now they do that work.

      Like 2
  19. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    @Ross W
    Many hearses of the late fifties and through the sixties doubled as an ambulance/hearse. You’d see this big black Cadillac hearse with a “bubblegum machine” on top. That was the ambulance emergency light. They rarely had curtains also.
    This was mostly for small towns and rural areas.

    Like 2
    • Miguel

      Angel, still with that they would not use the car for first calls.

  20. Stevieg

    Here is the only picture I can find of the 2 hearses together that I told ya all I would submit. Not a real good picture, even worse that I am using my phone to take a picture of a picture lol. Whatever. Enjoy!

    Like 5
  21. Stevieg

    The now exwife, about a week after her release, with the car that converted her.

    Like 3
  22. Stevieg

    This just amuses me, even yet. Thought I would share.

    Like 2
  23. Stevieg

    I’m done now. Enjoy!

    Like 2
  24. Little_Cars

    Stevieg, I not sure whether to dig the photo of the ex attired in what appears to be a one-piece black bathing suit, or congratulate you on having moved on. Please tell us she is you “ex” because of some sort of skullduggery and one of the hearses.

    Like 1
  25. Stevieg

    I moved on for many reasons lol. I got sick of supporting her drug habit (although she lost a lot of weight because of that lol) & she and one of my employees had a baby while I was still with her lol.
    Now she lives on my couch.

    • Rodney - GSM

      Thanks for the scariest Halloween story this season…

      Like 1

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