SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – This is the kind of deal that will stop would-be buyers dead in their tracks.
After investing close to $12,000 in a new paint job, custom rims, velvet upholstery and other accessories, Jenny Morales is selling her 1986 black Pontiac sedan for only $1,500.
While it still needs a lot of work, this set of wheels screams originality. It has a custom design and lots of leg room. Though it’s carried countless passengers, none has ever complained, and it’s guaranteed they never will. In fact, they were all dying to be in it.
“I would like somebody to fix it up and get it running and make it beautiful,” Morales said about her vehicle, which is no ordinary car but a hearse she affectionately calls the “Death Machine.”
As Halloween approaches, Morales’ hearse and another one like it have been getting a lot of attention in Santa Fe since they were both parked in a field off West Alameda Street just east of Siler Road and put up for sale within the last week.
Morales said the other hearse, a 1990 Cadillac dubbed “Last Ryde,” belongs to a friend, a tow truck driver who is selling it for $2,000.
Morales, a 39-year-old Santa Fe native, said she became infatuated with the Pontiac after her friend towed it. Though she doesn’t know a lot about the history of the hearse, she said a couple of teenagers used it as a “party car” before it was abandoned and her friend, the tow truck driver, picked it up and hauled it away.
“He knows I’m a weirdo,” Morales said, laughing. “He was like, ‘Hey, Jenny, you have to come see this.’ The more I thought about the car, the more I wanted it.”
Morales, who works at a sign shop, said her friend agreed to give her the hearse in trade.
“A lot of people are actually creeped out by them, and some people are like, ‘How could you drive them?’ “ she said.
“I think unless something horrible happened in a hearse, it would be creepy, like if somebody actually got in an accident and died in the hearse. But they’re already dead when you put them in there,” she said. “In my head, I have more loved ones dead than alive, so I’ve always been infatuated (with death). I’ve always leaned toward to the dark side, so in my head, death is beautiful. It’s an amazing thing. . I love all things dark. It’s beautiful to me.”
Morales said the hearse – a Pontiac Parisienne model with about 94,000 miles – was made in the U.K. so parts are difficult to find, a fact she discloses to would-be buyers.
“It’s a complicated car. It needs work. It’s a project car. The parts are difficult,” she said. “I don’t sugarcoat nothing. Nothing. Not even life.”
Morales, who got the “Death Machine” with the intent of fixing it up and taking it to car shows, said her longtime boyfriend found a newer hearse for her about three years ago. She calls that newer hearse – a 1994 Cadillac – the “Dark Angel.”
“We haven’t done anything too special with it, but it’ll get there,” she said. “It’ll get there.”