The Matchbox ’63 Cadillac Hearse is definitely the best Halloween-ish model I have…

I wasn’t planning on doing a Halloween-themed post today.  No need for Lamley to remind you what day it is today.  Every Facebook post not about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will do that.

But when I made my run to Walmart last night to find the Fast & Furious models, I ended up behind a fantastic metallic bronze ’63 Caddie Hearse clearly hauling a group around.  The car was immaculate.  Long, low to the ground, with a white roof and silver hubs.

After seeing that beauty I HAD to show the Matchbox Hearse today.  There are so many gems from the last Matchbox Golden Age, and the Hearse is certainly one of them.  Since it debuted in 2006 it has been that model always flies off the pegs.  We just haven’t seen to many of them.

And there is a reason.

It’s a Hearse.  A Hearse!  Remember Hot Wheels doesn’t call the Dodge Charger Hellcat a “Hellcat”, and with that in mind you can think that doing a Hearse in a kid-aimed line could potentially cause some issues.

I talked to one of the designers at the time, Ryu Asada, and got some of the details.  The Hearse is based on an actual Hearse owned by Felix Holst, who ran Matchbox at the time.  The team was excited to make the model, but knew they might encounter some hurdles.  So they designed two models.  A ’63 Cadillac Hearse and a ’63 Cadillac Ambulance.  The Hearse was approved and released in the basic range three different years, and in premium lines twice.  It also made it into a Scooby Doo themed 5-pack.

The Matchbox Team made it that far until those expected hurdles kept the Hearse from continuing in the mainline.  It was released once more, in the Lesney Edition line, mainly because it that was a collector-aimed, and then retired in place of the Ambulance.

But it was fun while it lasted, and I would guess if the current team could get the Hearse back in the line they would.  The tool still exists.  The model was made to be a fun one, and it shows.

Did you know there is a hidden engine in this one?  You can only see it if you take it apart.  Even better, did you know there is a casket in the back?  That would make sense, until you look closely and see the occupant actually escaping:

If you want to collect 2006-2011 era Matchbox, which you should, this will be one you should go after.  The Lesney in blue is my favorite, and there are variations like the wheel change on the Superfast and trim change on the silver version to look for.

It’s a classic.  And very much Halloween-worthy…

9 Replies to “The Matchbox ’63 Cadillac Hearse is definitely the best Halloween-ish model I have…”

  1. At the Albuquerque gathering I picked up a Hearse that was inscribed with 'Widows of Matchbox Collectors', or something to that effect. It was a black hearse. I got it during the charity auction, I have no idea about it's history.

  2. One of the coolest models from Matchbox from the golden era. As much as I miss the model, I would prefer it not to return to the line again – especially after looking at the recent fate of the “once-lovely” Cadillac ambulance. This would either turn all plastic or would be the world's first hearse with the “largest” sun-roof… Yes it's a rant.

  3. Glad I got the black hearse 2 of them at least. Is it really true that this casting is banned by Mattle due to parents complaining it was made a diecast toy?

  4. its only the usual American moaners that put the stop on the model, the rest of the world actually takes that model for what it is, a toy of a real car, it will be next that Americans moan about seeing the real cars on the road to a funeral and demand they are removed from the roads, DUH ! itts getting stupid that the good ole US of A tries and fails to dictate to the rest of the world, after all, coming from a country that could vite for Trump as president, if you thought that things are bad now, wait till he gets into power (No chance) and the world will turn its back on you – and his constant diatribe is why the rest of teh world no longer takes any store in the country – its a bloody toy for god sake, cant you lot just get over yourselves…

    We had one Woman move to a village near me, she was so far up her self that witin a week she had alienated herself from the rest of the village, she tried to get the church bells from ringing, after ringing for 600 years, she moved to the village and thought she could run it, LOL….. now, no one speaks to her, has anything to do with her and the bells are still ringing, its the same with the caddy Hearse, a few morons get their facelifts in a twist and put a stop to it, and it is behaviour like this that really makes the rest of the world just laugh at you.

  5. Not to take anything from your rant Jon but actually it was some other countries that banned the Hearse from being sold. Seeing that Matchbox couldn't edit what was being sent to other countries they removed it from the mainline and put it in the Lesney line because it was mainly a US product.

  6. Mr. Lambert is correct in this. I remember this; in fact the protest came from some Eastern European countries and, I think, a few southeast Asian and African countries where toy hearses are considered taboo. This makes one think who the consumers in those countries feel about the Caddy Hearse model from the new Ghostbusters movie series and the Rat King hearse model from Playmates' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.

    I actually like the Hearse; I have all the variations except the Scooby Doo model, and I didn't know it existed. And it's still popular today. My brother-in-law and a few of my friends who are in the funeral profession saw my models a few years ago and have been hunting for their own ever since.

  7. I have the black hearse on display in my lounge, I had to get it out and check what you said. I have a hearse/wagon obsession anyway, now I'm even happier! What a shame we won't see it again and also that Matell don't make more cars in the way the Mini is constructed with a removable body to show off hidden engines etc.

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