"Bury me in my car when I die." A lot of us have said that in jest, especially when we come to own an awesome car like a Subaru XT6 or whatever. But one woman in San Antonio, Texas actually did it, and if you're ever in the Alamo City you can stop by the cemetery where she's buried in her 1964 Ferrari and pay your respects.
I grew up in San Antonio, but somehow I've never heard the tale of Sandra Ilene West until today. The San Antonio Express-News today reflects on West's unusual (to say the least) 1977 burial in her Ferrari. It's still there, too, buried in the Alamo Masonic Cemetery next to her oil tycoon husband.
The newspaper says West, a wealthy socialite living in Beverly Hills at the time of her death, either succumbed to a prescription pill overdose or injuries from a car crash the previous year, depending on which news reports you believe. In her handwritten will she requested she be buried in her prized blue Ferrari "with the seat slanted comfortably."
(Update: There seems to be some dispute over which Ferrari she was buried in, exactly. The Express-News story and other sources say she was buried was a 250 GT, but others say it was actually a 330 America. West owned several Ferraris.)
Since she was in California, both Mrs. West and the Ferrari had to be flown to San Antonio for the burial, which understandably attracted a massive crowd out of sheer curiosity. From the story:
More than 300 guests visited the cemetery on May 18, 1977, as a crane placed the box into a grave measuring 19 feet long, 10 feet wide and 9 feet deep. Once the box was inside the grave, crews covered it with cement to discourage potential looters.
"I just wanted to see how it was done," one guest told the United Press International, according to an article by The Register-Guard. "If you can afford it, why not?"
The site has been visited by thousands of tourists over the years, all hoping to catch a glimpse of the patch of grass that today covers the final resting site of Mrs. West and her prized Italian exotic. Check out the original UPI story on the burial here.
You can't take it with you, but you can sure as hell try.