A MIDLAND funeral firm is offering Volkswagen fans the ultimate send-off – by using a VW camper as a hearse
A MIDLAND funeral firm is offering Volkswagen fans the ultimate send-off – by using a VW camper as a hearse.
Clare Brookes and business partner Michelle Orton, both aged 35, created the camper van when they launched their unique funeral van three years ago.
The Tamworth-based pair, who are VW enthusiasts, spent £8,000 restoring it and following the company’s first funeral in December 2007, business has been booming.
It’s believed to be the only Volkswagen hearse car of its kind in the world.
Clare and Michelle also offer bereaved families the choice of a stretched Beetle Limousine and bus and camper van fleet for funeral hire.
Clare said: “I have always loved cars and so I thought to myself, ‘What would I like to go off in?’ I just thought, ‘Stick me in a camper van’.
“If that’s what I’d want, I thought there had to be a market out there.
“Our camper van was born in 1972 and was a motorway body removal vehicle, so it was similar to a hearse before.
“We just changed the metal flooring to wood.” The van, which has hire charges starting at £400, has been used for more than 40 funerals nationwide. Clare said: “People will naturally interact with the van and touch it. It also breaks down the barriers and gives people something else to talk about at a funeral.
“While many families continue to prefer traditional funerals, an increasing number are now changing traditions in many ways.
“We are often called in to provide a tribute when a young person has died. The look of the VW can help brighten a very sad and difficult day.”
Nichola Green, who used the VW hearse for her father’s funeral said: “When my dad Brian passed away suddenly earlier this year my family were looking for a funeral service with a difference and which reflected him as an individual.
“Dad had seen the hearse at a classic car show and thought it was a great idea but we didn’t think we would be calling upon it quite so soon.
“While the day was a very sad occasion, the hearse looked brilliant when it arrived at our house. Dad would have been amazed.”