A J Wakely & Sons has recently invested in a black Defender 110, fulfilling the need for a robust hearse in areas otherwise difficult to access or reach, especially when bad weather envelops the vital yet delicate country roads.
Based in a predominantly rural area where agriculture and farming play an important role, AJ Wakely & Sons understand that the Land Rover is more than just a means of transport. With many people holding an emotional connection to the iconic Defender, the family run undertaker can now help people make their final journey in a vehicle that means something special to them and their family.
After tracking down a suitable Land Rover and eventually purchasing the Defender 110, modifications were made for the 110 to fulfil its new duties. Alterations had to allow for a coffin to be safely placed and secured in the rear and then removed by pallbearers on arrival at the chosen final destination - whether it be a cemetery, church or crematorium.
Dedicated Land Rover specialists Rudkin Vehicle Services were commissioned to undertake the conversion, exploiting the inward-facing rear seating area to install a platform of chequerplate, tailored with a series of rollers, support posts and locking mechanisms - harking back to the style found in more traditional hearses.
The finishing touches were then added, including ambient lighting for the interior, a storage compartment for personal effects, along with an appropriate wheel-cover for the back door and black paint.
When not on funeral duties, the platform can be completely removed as a single unit to allow the Defender to assume the more customary obligation of carrying passengers.
A J Wakely & Sons have branches throughout Dorset and Somerset. For details visit ajwakely.com
You can discover more about Rudkin Vehicle Services on their website.