Local entrepreneur Stewart McCulloch has designed and manufactured a unique Harley hearse for anyone wanting to take their last ride in an exclusive and original manner.
Stewart always had a dream of building such a vehicle after he saw one while visiting the United States.
He made enquiries about importing a hearse and found out it was going to be cost prohibitive, but he intrinsically knew, “I could build one.”
The goal was shelved for a while until Stewart lost work due to the impact of COVID.
About a year ago, the reality of building the motorcycle hearse was inevitable; he would have something to do and it would be the foundation of a business idea that was brewing in his head.
Working only from his American photo, Stewart set about estimating the size and calculating the dimensions of his dream bike hearse.
After six months of searching, Stewart found a Harley Davidson Ultra Glide, 103 inch3 75 horsepower trike which he then set about adapting to suit the hearse.
A turntable hitch was built to fit this HD trike, the wheel track was extended, then came modifications to the body to keep it within Department of Transport and Main Roads regulations.
“I could picture it in my head, I spent hours researching and eventually found Hilliers in Tenterfield who provided vital information regarding internal measurements,” he said.
Local support for Harley hearse
Stewart used many local companies to source materials in order to build the Harley hearse, including steel, aluminium, timber, glass and many other items.
The project started on the driveway next to Stewart’s home in Coral Cove.
When the project grew, he had to move it to a shed.
Kirk, owner of Bob Elliott Smash Repairs, offered some space in his shed.
Kirk also completed all the spray painting of the trike and the hearse.
Stewart said he was very thankful for Kirk’s assistance.
Stewart added hand-made coach lights from England and the roller system was imported from Canada.
Stewart said the roller system is the best on the market.
To keep in the theme, tombstone lights were fitted to the trike and hearse.
In December 2020 after meeting all of the Main Roads compliance standards for the safe conveyance of a deceased person, Stewart launched Your Ultimate Ride business.
“Dad has already booked a ride though he’s not planning to take it any time soon,” Stewart said.
“Also, two ladies in their 80s have reserved the right to take a ride eventually.”
Stewart said Your Ultimate Ride was for anyone who wanted to take a unique ride to their final resting place.
Stewart offers a discount to all armed service personnel, past and present, and this also applies to all police, fire and emergency service personnel.
Travelling in an enclosed trailer, the Harley hearse can go anywhere in Queensland and northern New South Wales.
It will be on show at a forthcoming 2021 Seniors Expo at the Bundaberg Multiplex Function Centre on Tuesday 23 March, from 9am to 1pm.
Stewart is in discussions with an indigenous community with regards to building a hearse for them and eventually plans to design and manufacture unique wedding carriages and made-to order-trailers.
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