A Real Jaguar Hearse Inspired by ‘Harold and Maude’

Dec 23, 2015 | 5 comments

All I want for Christmas is the Jaguar hearse featured in the 1971 cult classic film, Harold and Maude. And a real one exists!

Harolds HearseThe movie Harold and Maude is a quirky, unlikely love story. Harold is a young man from a wealthy family. He is fascinated with death, attends the funerals of people he doesn’t know, and makes a regular habit of faking suicides to try and rattle his self-absorbed mother.

Maude is a free-spirited 79-year-old woman with a breezy outlook on life, who meets Harold at a funeral. She also attends the funerals of people she doesn’t know.

Harold drives a hearse, a great hulk of a 1950s model. His mother, in her quest to shake Harold of his obsession with death, gets rid of the old hearse and presents him with a brand new Jaguar XKE Roadster. He promptly takes a blow torch to the car and turns the Jaguar into the vehicle you see in the photo above. This automobile was destroyed during the filming.

But hark, the Harold angels sing! A man named Ken Roberts has created a Jaguar hearse inspired by the one in Harold and Maude. He shows it at car shows with a “before” version of the Jaguar XKE Roadster. This show quality replica includes a remote controlled banjo case holder in the back (because Harold was learning to play the banjo). The case is filled with items Harold used to create his fake suicides, like a samurai sword and a noose.

Recreation of the Jaguar Hearse from Harold and Maude

The “before” and “after” cars are garaged in Queen Creek, Arizona, along with the other cars of the Ken & Glenda Roberts collection.

Check out these photos of this awesome Jaguar hearse inspired by the one in Harold and Maude! Maybe Santa will recognize how good a Doyenne of Death I’ve been this year and reward me accordingly.

Ken Roberts will be showing this car and the movie at the JCNA International Jaguar Festival in Scottsdale, Arizona on Sunday, April 3, 2016. For more information about the Ken Roberts Collection and these vehicles, contact Don Kessler at 541-840-0240.

UPDATE: The Jaguar hearse came to Albuquerque! Read this post to learn how Ken Roberts recreated this amazing automotive icon.

H&M Jaguar hearse

Jaguar hearse side view

Jaguar hearse with banjo holder

Jaguar XKE Roadster original

Gail Rubin, CT, is a popular speaker who uses humor and funny films to teach about end-of-life and workplace issues. She “knocked ’em dead” at TEDxABQ in 2015 – watch the video. She’s also the author of A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die and Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips.

A Good Goodbye