New York Custom Coach - 1990s - Hollis, (Long Island) New York



The Professional Car - Issue #81 Third Quarter 1996



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



For more information please read:

The Professional Car - Issue #81 Third Quarter 1996

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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