Photos: Alex Hevesy

Outside of a funeral procession and a few rockabilly hot-rodders, seeing a hearse in the wild isn’t that common. I was very surprised when I came across this Buick Roadmaster Hearse parked in front of an apartment complex in Bel Air, Maryland.

While I initially thought that the Grim Reaper himself was out for a brisk Saturday afternoon drive, the Pennsylvania license plate and lack of the sense of overwhelming dread clued me in that it was just a regular hearse. This hearse was coachbuilt by Eagle and is decked out in far more ‘90s luxury than necessary.

Owning a hearse straddles that fine line between creepy and cool and only subtle details divide the two. One small change on this chariot of the afterlife puts it firmly in the “cool” category. That tiny change is the addition of a Dale Earnhardt Sr. vanity license plate. While Dale Sr. adorns many cars, his presence on a hearse was spectacular.

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I never met the owner of the hearse but I have a theory. Maybe it was Dale Sr. himself taking a break from doing laps in Heaven with Jesus and Dan Gurney. It wasn’t his iconic black number three Monte Carlo but it was a GM so it makes sense that he stayed within the family.

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Perhaps the Ol’ Intimidator himself wanted to check out Pennsylvania and suburban Maryland. I don’t claim to know what famous NASCAR drivers do after they’ve passed on.

H/T to Mark!