New York Custom Coach - 1990s - Hollis, (Long Island) New York
The Professional Car - Issue #81 Third Quarter 1996
OUT OF THE ORDINARY
1995 CHRYSLER CONCORDE BEARER'S COACH BY NEW YORK CUSTOM COACH
The Professional Car Society's own publicist, Gregg D. Merksamer, was the designer of this one-off 1995 Chrysler Concorde "Bearer's Coach" which was custom-built for a funeral livery service in Taipei, Taiwan by New York Custom Coach of Hollis, N.Y.
The Lyommais Hsieh Enterprise Company Ltd. faxed photos of the super-stretched Lincoln bearer's coaches they already had in service to New York Custom Coach. The conversion consisted of cutting the Concorde in two and inserting a l00-inch center extension that would accommodate six passengers between the driver's and casket compartments. The center section is accessed through a custom-made square door on the right-hand side of the car. both the driver's and casket compartment partitions have glass and solid retracting panels.
It is the custom in Taiwan for the mourners to ride with the casket.
"In search of a station wagon section that could be turned into the loading door for the casket compartment, I must have visited every automobile dealership and supermarket parking lot in Queens with a tape measure," Gregg stated. "I ultimately decided that the current generation Ford Escort looked and fitted the best. My runner-up was the Toyota Previa minivan, whose parts would have been much more expensive to buy. - in order to fit an electrically extending casket table, we also fabricated a dipped rear bumper cover out of fiberglass.
"Even though there are quite a few things on this prototype I would have liked to have seen done differently -- like a lower rear hatch recess -- the number of passing motorists who did double takes or stopped to ask questions when we drove out to take photos of this car, implied that we folks at New York Custom Coach did achieve something really special. There is a chance that we might get to do another, shorter Chrysler Concorde more in the style of an English bearer's coach with an extension behind the stock rear doors and seats for five instead of eight.
"One of the toughest things about my part-time design job at New York Custom Coach is that 95 per cent of the things I draw never get built. I'm glad to say this .Chrysler Concorde Bearer's Coach is an exception," Gregg said.
Originally dark red, the finished coach was repainted a dark metallic blue.
New York Custom Coach 19829 Jamaica Ave Hollis (Long Island) NY
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