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The Resurrection of Annabel Lee

In June of 2001, Annabel Lee arrived in Washignton State in a car hauler from Lorain, Ohio. Her long resurrection began.

Annie in Ohio

Annabel in Ohio, waiting for me to find her on Ebay. Prior to her auction, she had been sitting in a barn for 20 years. Fenris referred to this condition as being "barnsick."

Annie No Hood

Annie fresh off the car hauler. Her hood has been pulled for better access to her engine. Just look at her tragically rusted grille...

Old Interior

Her gorgeously decayed interior. I still find it bizarre that a hearse was once upholstered in whorehouse red. Just looking at that mildew makes me want to sneeze.


Rusted Floorboards

Yes, that IS Annabel's floorboards. Not a whole lot left.

Scuzzy Dashboard

Her dashboard. Oh, the humanity!

No Engine

Annabel with her engine pulled out. Look at the size of those springs!


New Dashboard

A little cosmetic work makes a big difference.

New Floorboards

Let the metalwork begin! Annabel gets a nice solid new floor.



It's Frankenbutt! Annabel gets her rusty spots repaired. And by "her rusty spots," I mean "the bottom third of the car."


New Engine

...And in the meantime, Annabel's engine has come back from being rebuilt. Isn't it gorgeous? It's the original 346 cid Caddy flathead. '47 was the last year that Cadillac made the flathead.


New Engine Side View

Look at that pretty silver powdercoat on her manifold. And her sporty red spark plug wires. She's got the sexiest rumble! (Although the first time I ever fired her up, a mummified mouse shot out of her tailpipe.)


Engine Fan

Look at the size of that fan. I can replace her fan belt with one from John Deere in a pinch.


Cadillac Tank Poster

The Caddy flathead was used in tanks and airplanes during WWII. How wicked is THAT?

Cadillac Plane Poster

Don't get me wrong. I love Annabel's engine. But would I trust it to keep me in the sky?



Caddy Engine Poster

Caddy-powered tanks had two of these engines, one in the front, and one in the back.

Annabel Bare

Back to Annabel. Once her rust was repaired, it was time for bodywork. Coachbuilders used to smooth out seams with lead (in the dark days before Bondo). About 30 pounds of lead were melted off of Annie.



That's a lot of Bondo, baby. Not surprising, considering that the coachbuilder (A.J. Miller) literally cut Caddy Fleetwoods in half and stretched them out to make hearses.

Loose Chrome

While all this was going on, Annabel's metal bits were sent out to be rechromed. In addition to the bumpers and grille, there were a whole lot of itty-bitty pieces of trim.


Next came the primer. Gallons and gallons of primer.

Ghost Girl

Eek! It's a ghost!


Annie the Skull

Annabel becomes a vision of darkness! She kind of looks like a big old skull here, doesn't she.

New Shoes

The pretty girl gets some pretty new shoes.



Just in time, Annie's chrome came back. Look at her bumper, shining like the full moon!

New Paint Job

WOW! She looks like a gigantic beetle of doom!


Annabel doing her badass hotrod impression.

New Grille

Annabel gets her teeth back.


The Business End

The business end of the hearse. Annabel and I are about ready to hit the road.



Annabel's FAQs

Is Annabel's restoration complete?
No. Her mechanical and bodywork is done, but I still need to put in her interior. She also needs a new wiring harness.

When will her interior go in?
When I have the money.

Where was Annabel's restoration done?
I'd rather not say; I don't want to give them the free ad space. They screwed me over pretty badly. There were sone wonderful craftsmen and honerable individuals there, but overall, it was a horrible experience. A great deal of the work was done badly. Annabel's electrical system is still utterly hosed, and they've done nothing to make it right. If you e-mail me, I'll tell you the name of the restoration house (because I wouldn't want the same thing to happen to you).

What did Annabel's restoraton cost?
I've never added it all up. If I did, I'd have a heart attack and die on the spot. Let's just say it was way too much. Even at a reputable restoration house, you're going to spend a ton of money on a car as old and ill-used as Annie. I'd suggest that, unless you have more money than sense, you find yourself a hearse in better condition than she was in when I found her.

Why do you drive a hearse?
Isn't it obvious?

Do your kids like Annabel?
They love her. In fact, they call all long black cars "Annies."

How many dead people were in Annabel?
Dunno. A whole lot. Perhaps even a buttload.

But nobody ever died in a hearse, right?
Not in a regular hearse, no. But Annie is an ambulance-hearse combination. In small towns, up until the 1960's, the local funeral home would own a combo like Annie. If somebody got hurt, the funeral director would zoom over and pick him up, then rush him to the town doctor. Or if the person was hurt badly enough, the funeral director could pick up the doctor on the way to the hospital (Annie originally had a jump seat for a medic). I suppose that if the patient didn't make it, the undertaker could always make a u-turn...So yes, people probably died in Annabel. Screaming and gorking blood.

Is Annabel haunted?
You'd have to ask her.

What does Annabel's name mean?
Annabel Lee is named for one of my favorite poems by Edgar Allan Poe.

Have you ever had sex in Annabel?
Wouldn't you?

Back to the Carriage House * Annie's Demon Hunter Photos * Annie's Glamour Shots
Email Lorelei Shannon