If you're attending one of Michigan's many classic car cruises or shows this summer, don't be alarmed if you see a caravan of hearses in the mix. Chances are it's the Mortis City Hearse Club.
The Detroit-based club, led by President David "Scary Guy" McMahan, is a group of hearse enthusiasts founded in 2007 for like-minded individuals to celebrate their favorite car.
A member of the National Hearse and Ambulance Association, Mortis City currently consists of 13 hearses. Members must own a hearse to be accepted into the club.
Their caravan of vehicles is expected to make an appearance at the car show this Saturday, which runs east along US-12 from Wayne down to Dearborn.
While a hearse may not typically be associated with a classic car cruise, McMahan and his club mates are no different than your average gear head or nostalgia enthusiast with their hot rods and muscle cars.
These guys know their stuff.
"I personally love mine because it's a completely customized luxury car combined with a station wagon," McMahan said. "Not to mention they are a testament to USA engineering and manufacturing, both from the car company and the coachworks that modify them for use."
Members meet to talk shop over barbecues and car shows or just to cruise around town. Despite any negative stereotypes people might conjure up over a hearse club, the members aren't the morose bunch some might expect.
"Whatever we're doing, we have fun doing it, otherwise there wouldn't be a point to it," McMahan said.
There is, however, the occasional negative confrontation. Like the time a funeral director approached McMahan at a parade to scold him. But even those are few and far between.
"Mostly we just have problems with homeowners associations if we have any at all," McMahan said.
More often than not, the group ignores any negative attention it receives. The positive reactions always outweigh the occasional negative one.
"Most of the attention has been positive overall and people really get a kick out of it," McMahan said. "And I've had other funeral directors show me their hearses and ask me questions about mine. Unfortunately, most of them don't want to join the club, though, because they have to keep up a public image."
Ultimately, the members of the Mortis City Hearse Club are like those of any other car club. They would much rather talk about the cars than anything else. But instead of sports cars and luxury sedans, Mortis City likes hearses.
"They're all interesting, that's the thing," McMahan said. "Almost no two are alike."