Aretha Franklin’s Body Delivered in a 1940 LaSalle

Wilbert Tan

The body of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, was taken to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Midtown Detroit for public viewing on the morning of August 29, Thursday. Franklin, who died August 16 at age 76, was transported in an elegant white 1940 LaSalle hearse—a befitting final ride for the much-revered singer.

The two-door hearse is a modified version of the luxury car built by General Motors that was designed to slot in between Cadillac and Buick in the car maker’s distinctly classified portfolio. The LaSalle was produced from 1927 to 1940, and so Aretha’s final car was built on the last year of its run.

The 1940 LaSalle is the same one that carried Aretha’s father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, Temptations singer David Ruffin, and civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

Franklin was laid to rest on Friday, August 31. The funeral was closed to accommodate family and friends only.


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