The story is surprisingly lively!
The great American road trip is one of the most desirable and passionate experiences for car enthusiasts young and old alike. All across the nation, there are gearheads willing to push their cars to the limit to complete this coveted journey. From car guys, to truck guys, and even the odd non-enthusiast can agree that a cross-country adventure is the pinnacle of fun travel. Speaking of odd, there is one particular group of vehicle connoisseurs that enjoy dipping their fingers into the proverbial spice of life that is the interstate trek.
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While a hearse may seem to most like nothing more than a dead man's ride to their final resting place, to a very select few these carriages of carnage are the greatest joy of their automotive life. Most hearse heads are separated into two categories: restorers and traditionalists. The restorers do exactly what they sound like they do, but the traditionalists have the ultimate challenge before them. This special breed seeks out old hearses and rather than completely restore them, they just slap some tires on it and drive it until it falls apart. Chris Diganci is a self proclaimed hearse lover, he felt that the traditionalist aspect needed a little more representation. So he took his prized 1972 Cadillac Miller-Meteor hearse, changed the tires, added some preventative maintenance, and hit the road.
After having broken multiple wheel studs and replacing them with studs from a one-ton truck, due to lack of parts availability, the hearse was ready for the road. Just 45 minutes into Alabama, the temperature in the engine spikes. Upon inspection Chris was quick to find that he had thrown a belt. While replacing the water pump belt the owner was confronted by a police officer, fortunately the officer was simply checking to make sure that he was okay.
Moving on to Arkansas we get a scene straight out of a horror movie, massive blood thirsty mosquitos began to swarm the inside of the dark and temperate vehicle. Due to a lack of air conditioning, and an apparent surplus of Arkansas, the couple decided to floor the gas pedal and try their luck at wafting the vicious bugs away. After dealing with their infestation situation, Chris and his wife were back on the road again. Along the flat expanses of the midwest road ways they spotted flashing lights. Pulling up to assess the situation and ensure everybody’s safety the hearse made a stop next to the seemingly stranded vehicle. Upon seeing a hearse come out of nowhere in the middle of the night the Woman in the car began screaming. The couple were just making a stop to rest.
After spending the night in a comically small hotel room, the two made their way to the Denver hearse meet. They set on their way back home after having completed their business and had their fun at the meet. Upon reaching the lovely state of Alabama the temperature spiked once again. In fact the car had thrown the same belt, and the owner figured there was a problem with the water pump. He called a friend who ordered a new pump from a shop nearby, and the problem was solved the next day. After using close to 315 gallons of gas the couple made their way back home. As many problems as the car ran into along the way, the owner still seems to love what he does. It would appear that a cross country road trip in an old hearse is to die for.