1926 Chrysler 60
As a centennial project in 1987, the company restored a 1926 Chrysler hearse, one of the original motor hearses of Dunedin. It is now available for funeral use and was the first vintage hearse available for this purpose in our region.
The 1926 Chrysler “60” was imported from Canada as a hearse, originally owned by R McLean & Sons, Funeral Directors in Dunedin.
In 1979 Laurie Hampton, who ran Tillyshort's Monumental Company, owned by Hope and Sons, saw The Vintage in Clyde, Central Otago where it had been cut down and was being used as a truck.
The Vintage was purchased by Hope and Sons on 10 October 1979. The previous owner was in the process of beginning the restoration of The Vintage. He had the basic framework but no body work. Hope and Sons had The Vintage trucked to Dunedin.
After investigating suitable companies to restore The Vintage, we found Vintage Car Restorations in Ashburton. They were commissioned to undertake restoration work.
The Vintage was there for 3 years, during which time we visited several times. Unfortunately the company went broke, and the late Sandy Long of North End Motors, Dunedin, towed it back to Dunedin.
The upholstery in the cab had been completed by an Ashburton man, and the motor was in good order. Kevin Carter finished off the electrical work, Clements and Stephens did the finishing off on the body work, then it was delivered to Pat Moore, the auto painter, who completed the black paintwork.
It was then taken to Mosgiel, where the floor and the lining inside the back were restored and the oak deck was installed. The rollers and fittings came from the Lindsay family, who used to be the funeral director in Queenstown.
The Vintage was first registered in Dunedin on 25 May 1927, and after restoration was again registered 60 years later on 11 June 1987.
The restoration coincided perfectly with the Centenary of Hope and Sons Ltd, in 1987. The Vintage has been in active service since that time and is still in regular use.
In 2008 we acquired a car of the same make and model from Tapanui to use for parts. In 2009 the Chrysler was taken off the road briefly to replace and repair the motor, the brakes and steering.
The Vintage is now fully restored with the new low mileage motor installed. The guards and panels have been rust repaired and repainted and the interior carpets renewed. We participated in the 2012 and 2013 USA Car Day at Tahuna Park in Dunedin.
The Vintage is available for all our client families for use at funerals.