GALLERY: Behind The Scenes On Our “Harold and Maude” Jaguar E-Type Hearse Film
In the spirit of the season, today’s film takes on a more morbid tone than most, though this bespoke hearse is keeping the past alive for one film fan in Arizona.
When you think of movie cars painted black, chances are it’s some iteration of the Batmobile that comes to mind rather than a stately Jaguar E-Type serving a certain funereal function. Built for a little-known film that would turn into a cult classic years down the road, the original Jag hearse constructed for the 1971 coming-of-age black comedy film Harold and Maude was destroyed during filming (spoiler alert for a 40-plus-year-old movie: it does take a plunge off a cliff at the end).
The original car had left the physical realm then, but it was immortalized in the myriad VHS tapes and DVDs in home entertainment collections that included the quirky drama-comedy it was featured in. For one fan it wasn’t enough though, and so Ken Roberts took it upon himself to bring the iconic hearse back into corporeal existence though, and though the young death-obsessed Harold somehow builds the hearse out of an XKE Roadster and a blowtorch, movie magic doesn’t extend into the real world. This would take some serious work and commitment if the end result was to be a faithful recreation. Of course, now that it’s finished, Roberts’ Jaguar represents a level of quality far surpassing that of the original.
Rather than rehash the build process and the story of this proper British burial barge, please enjoy the photos from the film shoot, and learn the complete story of how this car came to be by revisiting Ted Gushue’s in-depth interview with its owner, Ken Roberts.