Eagle Coach - 1981-present - Amelia, Ohio


Cincinnati is home of the highest quality and most professional specialty vehicles ever built. Limousines designed for the most influential men and women in the world, United States presidents, and many foreign leaders. Cincinnati’s legendary reputation was started by the fine company Hess & Eisenhardt in the 1940s. Hess & Eisenhardt also built the status of the S&S Funeral Coach up to the level of “perfection”. (Just ask your father, he may remember when proud owners had their picture taken as they picked up their new coach in Cincinnati.) As all things change, so did the Hess & Eisenhardt Company. In 1981, they sold the funeral coach division of the company off.
However, their most valuable asset was left behind -- their employees, the people responsible for building their high quality coaches. In that same year, Eagle Coach put this abundance of talented personnel to work building equally exceptional funeral coaches.

Eagle Coach has rapidly become recognized as the premier funeral coach manufacturer in the United States. They do not manufacture limousines, but are resellers of LCW limousines that can be matched to their funeral coaches.


Eagle Coach was founded in 1981 by well-known Cleveland professional car dealers Tony and Bob Mazzarella, who started doing GM station wagon hearse conversions in a garage in Amelia. Some of Eagle's employees were highly skilled former Hess & Eisenhardt employees. Mike Kellerman (who knew a good thing when he saw it) purchased Eagle in 1989 and was soon building full-sized Lincoln and Cadillac funeral coaches. Eagle moved into its present plant, which has since more than doubled in size, in 1990.

"We're happy to have you here, because we have a great story to tell", our host, Gregg Conrad, VP - Process, tells us in his welcome. The Eagle Coach Co.'s approximately 50 employees build 240 hearses annually at a rate of about one each working day. The company also exports coaches to Belgium and Japan. Unlike its competitors, Eagle Coach does not build limousines. These are sourced from LCW in Laredo, Texas.

In terms of size, Accubuilt is the largest funeral coach manufacturer in the United States, followed by Federal Coach in Fort Smith, Ark., then Eagle. In addition to its distinctive full-size Cadillac and Lincoln hearses, Eagle also builds the industry's only long-wheelbase Cadillac flower car, and practical funeral coach conversions of GM and Chrysler minivans. The Eagle Alternative is a pleasingly styled hearse conversion of the Chevrolet Venture minivan with raised roof cap, rear quarter panel stretch and conventional hearse rear door. It takes Eagle about 14 days to build a funeral coach. On the assembly line during our tour are two Eagle Cadillac Coupe de Fleurflower cars. Eagle builds about five of these imposing cars with gleaming stainless steel flower decks annually, but is on track to produce about a dozen this year. '

These are nice folks. Eagle Coach is reminiscent of relatively small, family-owned old-line hearse companies like Eureka, Flxible and National.


The Eagle Coach Co. in Amelia, Ohio, takes special pride in being a relatively small, family-owned operation that completes just one hearse per day, or about 240 units per year. Individual custom orders typically takes two weeks from start to finish. The firm is especially renowned for being the only Cadillac-certified Master Coachbuilder offering an extended-wheelbase flower car.

Out of 50 employees in total--a workforce one-fourth the size of Accubuilt's--more than a dozen people are related to Eagle President Michael Kellerman. Another 15 or so learned their trade at the famed Hess & Eisenhardt plant that built S&S funeral cars and armored Presidential limousines on Blue Ash Road in northeast Cincinnati.

Attached to an all-steel roll cage and chassis extension, the roof caps and quarter panels for Eagle funeral coaches are built from corrosion-resistant composite at a company-owned shop down the road from the main Amelia, Ohio, plant. Clear gelcoat is applied so cracks and air pockets are easier to spot and repair prior to painting.

In addition to building brand-new funeral coaches and flower cars, Eagle's Amelia plant refurbishes a few older vehicles for loyal customers and dealers. This 1998 Eagle Cadillac Coupe de Fleur was sent from Cleveland by American Coach Sales, whose owner Tony Mazzarella and son Robert founded Eagle Coach in 1981.


Not to be confused with the Eagle Coach Corp of Dallas Texas (1972-1977 - later Phaeton Coach Corp.) or the Eagle Coach Corp. of Brownsville, TX an RV Manufacturer



For more information please read:

Walt McCall - Return To Piqua: The Miller-Meteor Reunion - The Professional Car - Issue #113, Third Quarter 2004

The Professional Car (Quarterly Journal of the Professional car Society)

Gregg D. Merksamer - Professional Cars: Ambulances, Funeral Cars and Flower Cars

Thomas A. McPherson - American Funeral Cars & Ambulances Since 1900

Carriage Museum of America - Horse-Drawn Funeral Vehicles: 19th Century Funerals

Carriage Museum of America -  Horse Drawn - Military, Civilian, Veterinary - Ambulances

Gunter-Michael Koch - Bestattungswagen im Wandel der Zeit

Walt McCall & Tom McPherson - Classic American Ambulances 1900-1979: Photo Archive

Walt McCall & Tom McPherson - Classic American Funeral Vehicles 1900-1980 Photo Archive

Walter M. P. McCall - The American Ambulance 1900-2002

Walter M.P. McCall - American Funeral Vehicles 1883-2003

Michael L. Bromley & Tom Mazza - Stretching It: The Story of the Limousine

Richard J. Conjalka - Classic American Limousines: 1955 Through 2000 Photo Archive

Richard J. Conjalka - Stretch Limousines 1928-2001 Photo Archive

Thomas A. McPherson - Eureka: The Eureka Company : a complete history

Thomas A. McPherson - Superior: The complete history

Thomas A. McPherson - Flxible: The Complete History

Thomas A. McPherson - Miller-Meteor: The Complete History

Robert R. Ebert  - Flxible: A History of the Bus and the Company

Hearses - Automobile Quarterly Vol 36 No 3

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Michael Lamm and Dave Holls - A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design

Nick Georgano - The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Automobile Manufacturers Worldwide Registry

G.N. Georgano & G. Marshall Naul - The Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles

Albert Mroz - Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Trucks & Commercial Vehicles

Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark Jr. - Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942

John Gunnell - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975

James M. Flammang & Ron Kowalke - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1976-1999


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