A project of large proportions!
Comissioned by Waikanae Funeral Home, this restoration is incorporating the best of modern technology with classic vintage styling.
Originally a 1927 Chrysler 72 5 passenger Town Sedan. We have added height to the doors & made a new roof superstructure to accomodate a full size coffin. A hatchback style rear door enables access to the rear of the vehicle.
Two lifters & four rollers are mounted in the rear floor to enable the wooden box to be raised & lowered to window height
The extra length was made from a splicing with a donor chassis & crossbracing.
All outward appearance is to original 1920s funeral coach style. Even the roof is covered in padded vinyl!
The original rims have been rewooded & brake drums have been reattached for the correct visual impression. New 18 inch Firestones are mounted on new split rims as in 1927.
For ease of use & practicality however, the running gear is 2000 model AUIII Falcon with the 4.0 OHC Intech 6. The fuel injected engine, 4 speed electronic transmission & live diff are adapted into the original chassis.
Whilst the straight six is a narrow engine, the variable length intake manifold & serpentine belt system adds to the width considerably. The custom mounts for the engine & power steer, plus other ancillaries required for modern transportation posed a real issue as the original bonnet lines had to be maintained.
Cooling has required a custom crossflow modern radiator & Ford recovery tank, mounted behind the original honeycomb radiator.
Fortunately all has been achieved including keeping the engine low in the chassis to maintain a reasonable centre of gravity!
We are utilising full EEC-V Ford engine & transmission electronics, including OBDII diagnostics. All wiring to ensure correct function of all systems has been kept including the diagnostic port & fuse boxes.
This complete functionality will enable any Ford dealership to service & communicate as per usual.
Suspension is the authentic leaf springs, with modern telescopic shock absorbers & sway bars fitted front & rear.
A power steer system has been engineered using a modern box & custom steering arms etc. Care was taken to ensure an acceptable turning circle in both directions.
Brakes are standard 4 wheel Falcon discs with factory booster & master cylinder, vented & cunningly concealed behind the original brake drums attached to the wheels.
In New Zealand all vehicle modifications from widening rims upward have to be approved by independant compliance before vehicle can be used.
This vehicle has now been photographed by our local paper, and delivered to Waikanae Funeral Home where it has received considerable interest.