POWr Multi Slider

Monday, May 9, 2016

Matchbox 1963 and Johnny Lightning 1966 Cadillac Hearse's




One of the most strange car culture's out there that has been recently adopted is the Hearse.  No one wants to remember the last ride most of us takes before going six-feet underground, but apparently most do.  Good for cruising or scaring the heck out of people for Halloween the Hearse is the perfect tool.  Plus, some models you cannot get a wagon in stock form, like Cadillac for example, so the Hearse fits the bill perfectly, and in the onslaught of popularity with diecast hearses two 1:64 scale models have been the most popular by far: the Matchbox 1963 Cadillac Hearse and the Johnny Lightning 1966 Cadillac Hearse.




Click Here for Photo Gallery



Matchbox 1963 Cadillac Hearse

Matchbox arrived on the scene in 2006 to the growing hearse culture that was making the JL version hard-to-find.  The 1963 was based on Felix Holst's own hearse, right down to the lowered stance.  The front has the quad round headlights that flank the eggcrate grille and the bumper that contours the shape of the front.  You can see on the front fenders the chrome strips on top, the wraparound windshield, the chrome trim on the sides and around the window trim, right down to the S-shaped trim on the rear 1/4 window panels; the nub on the roof that is used as a light for special purposes, and even the rear fins still protrude despite the wagon look.  The rear has the pointed fins with taillights and exhaust just below in oval housings and a typical side-opening rear door to load/unload caskets and a large rear window.  It's inside that rear window that you can see a casket inside and, look close, a large creepy hand starting to come out!





Click Here for Photo Gallery


The base underneath shows off the drivetrain inside the X-brace support frame and the exhaust system.  Powering this beast is the 390 CID Cadillac V8 that produces 350 hp. through a 3-speed automatic.  The interior has a bench seat for three people, and if it's not carrying a casket can unfold the second row for three more passengers.  The dashboard has a driver-oriented setup with speedometer, large deep-dish steering wheel, and radio controls to the left.  After the black version the 2007 goes for a white version, and then finally to a silver with red interior for 2008; at that time there was complaints from parents in other countries about having a hearse as a toy car for kids was against their religion, so to satisfy demands and keep the 1963 Cadillac Matchbox released the revised Ambulance in 2009.  The new Ambulance rides higher and has the Cadillac V emblem on the hood.  the rear windows return and the roof raised for more clearance in the back, aided by roof lights and the rotating one on top that is part of the windows.  The base is the same, as for the front seat area, but the back area removes the hearse for a stretcher and seating areas for EMS personnel to attend to the injured person.  Before vans this was the only way to transport a patient to a hospital.  The Ambulance underwent a change of cost-cutting with a large window on the roof added in 2012, while the Hearse made one last appearance with a metal base in the Lesney series before hiding away from the spotlight.




Click Here for Photo Gallery



Johnny Lightning 1966 Cadillac Hearse

On the other hand Johnny Lightning was the first on the Hearse scene when their 1966 Cadillac debut in 2000 alongside a dual-engined dragster version called Hairy Hauler.  Since then it's been a very popular casting and very hard to find one in a clean appearance, which appeared on its last release in the Hearse Haulers series around 2007.  White and the black one, shown here, were the colors offered, and unlike the others (the Universal Monsters version in black and the X-men version to which I based my custom dragster) this was the cleanest you can get.  The front has Pontiac-style vertical-staked headlights with signal lights on the large grille and on the front fenders on the other sides of the headlight.  The hood has two versions: one with a domed scoop and the other just stock, thankfully this black version has the latter.  The sides, long devoided with graphics, has returned to chrome trim, window surrounds, and S-shaped rear window.  Even the roof gets a nice split outline with the silver chrome trim.  Chrome hubcaps with white walls and narrow tires make a nice return to this wagon.








The rear has split taillight design on the fins, detailed trim around the doors, gas filler cover to the left of the door, and the rear plate area also serves as the rear base support.  One nice touch is the use of window curtains for the three rear doors that, when added to this nice clean black version, represents the beauty in this Cadillac and deserves it well.  The base shows off the stock frame with engine and drivetrain details and this time just one exhaust pipe instead of two (also note the lack of the X-brace support frame.)  The engine is a 429 CID Cadillac V8 that produces 340 hp through a 3-speed automatic transmission.  The Monsters version looks cool in black with red bats on the sides and roof, Dracula on the roof, and the Universal Monsters logo on the hood scoop.  Heck, even the Mag wheels look cool here.




Click Here for Photo Gallery


Before I realized that there was a dragster Hearse made by JL I made my own custom by getting rid of the horrific X-men deco on a 1966 Cadillac Hearse and transforming it into a dragster.  Trail and error from trying to fit the dragster frame from a Hot Wheels Funny Car did not work meant some cuts to the rear wheelwells which really wasn't needed.  Instead the funny car chassis was cut off so that the only remaining items are the engine and the rear seat.  This duo then was glued on the base where the interior used to be.  The windshield was cut out to allow air flow to the engine and the rear curtains were retained (though they had to be painted red over the pink).  Wheelie bars from a metal paper clip was added to the rear, along with a spare cylinder eraser that I used as the parachute bag.  Finally the vehicle was painted black with hand-painted red blood flames and a silver ghost on the roof to finish off the Hearse dragster.  Not the best, and I admit I could've done better, but this was one of my first few tries at customization (which really didn't work out.)  Cool thing is that the body can be separated from the base to show the engine and then reattached to the body, and as for the large holes at the rear wheelwells I got the idea of concealing them with vertical quad exhaust pipes used from paperclips.




Click Here for Photo Gallery


Even more cool is the support truck that I made from an extra Muscle Machines Dodge Ram 3500 Duallie from the Jesse James series.  This custom dually has the Cummins turbodiesel I-6 to a 4-speed automatic, a lowered stance that features a suspension that you press down on the vehicle to raise or lower the truck, on nice chrome 5-spoke wheels, and a topper over the bed.  The dashboard, which used a 2001-2004 Dodge Dakota/Durango dashboard, was used in a proper Dakota, which in turn the Ram used the older dashboard that looks similar to the original Ram's dash.  To match the paint the white truck was painted black, and that's when the blood red flames take over.  Since there was enough room to work with I added the flames around each wheelwell, over the tailgate, and over the front where the grille gets a viscous sharp teeth with blood dripping from it.  Finally I added labels as the Hearse Transporter to the topper on the sides and rear from printer paper and Monster Customs was my initial customization shop until I decided to stop after a while.  While the Hearse is cool, the Ram is way cooler with one of my best hand-painted art skills to date.





Click Here for Photo Gallery



While we may never see another Hearse in diecast again if politics keep getting in the way, the premium diecast lines will keep making them, though not as often.  Heck, even Johnny Lightning might revive the Hearse for their new line...just as long as they keep it as clean as the black version shown with no graphics.









Click Here for Photo Gallery


No comments:

Post a Comment