Friday, September 22, 2006



It's how he wanted his coffin to be. He was a local top-bloke legend, and he was reknowned for his devotion to restoring hot rods.

When he died, his mates were crushed, but his wife remembered his 16 year old dream of the ultimate coffin for a hot rod enthusiast. They got to work and even included gauges on the inside of the coffin.

This is a bloke has mates.

From the Orange County Register :

Friends and family tricked out Calabrese's gunmetal gray casket with chrome and aluminum parts from his beloved 1958 Chevy Biscayne, complete with license plates and dangling dice (but no purple paint).

(His wife) recalled something her husband of 29 years said at a funeral in 1990, as he was admiring the black, bullet-shaped casket that housed a brother-in-law.

"I want that when I die," he told his wife, "and I want headers on it."

"Whatever you want, dear," Karen Calabrese told her husband.

"If you don't bury me with headers, I'll haunt you."

Friends bolted to the side of the casket two pristine Hooker-brand V8-engine headers Calabrese long had admired. The aluminum-finished exhaust system had hung in Suskie's garage for years.

They affixed to the top of the casket the hand-polished housing for an air cleaner that came from Calabrese's baby, his '58 Chevy.

They fastened valve covers to both sides of the casket, and when pallbearers carried Calabrese's 6-foot-2, 300-pound body to his grave, they gripped clear-backing tape that had "ghost flame" designs on it.

Near the headers, aluminum decals cut in the shape of flames provided the finishing touch.

"If we had another week, I could have slapped an engine and wheels on the casket and driven it here," Suskie said.

Best. Coffin. Ever.

No comments: