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The L.A. Hearse-A-Thon

Perhaps the most overlooked street machines ever gather in L.A. And wewere there.

By Paul Garson, Photography by Paul Garson

In L.A., going out in style is almost as important as staying in style.The idea behind the Hearse-A-Thon, after putting "fun" back in"funeral," was to add another page to the Guinness Book of WorldRecords, specifically to set the record for the world's longest hearseprocession. We covered it because you get so much with a hearse. It'shard to not see them for their vintage hardware, big-block power, andhardly used condition. You can buy one right out of an air-conditionedgarage with low miles--having spent most of those at less than 15 mph.What could be better?

A guy driving a hearse called "Deadmonkey" was thrown out because ofexpired tags and no insurance and for doing burnouts at the PetersenAutomotive Museum.

On an afternoon in October, more than 70 funeral cars of all makes,models, years, and dispositions converged at the Petersen AutomotiveMuseum. The event was organized by The California Funeral Car Consortiumand Forest Lawn Cemetery. The procession of hearses completed a 2.5-mileloop around the city then came to a rest at the top of the museum'sparking structure. Crowds of onlookers gathered along the route, andmany asked, "Are you making a movie?" No, we were making history. It wasa hearse-a-thon.

By Paul Garson
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