Detroit, Michigan, the music industry and the world at large lost an icon with the death of Aretha Franklin. And the Queen of Soul received a fitting vehicle for her final ride here on Earth.
The Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday that a 1940 Cadillac LaSalle hearse carried Frankin to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Midtown Detroit. Swanson Funeral Home, which opened in 1958, has kept the hearse since its opening and only uses the vehicle for special occasions upon request.
The two-door Cadillac hearse features a three-speed column shifter and has carried Franklin’s father, David Ruffin of The Temptations, and civil rights icon Rosa Parks.
Jonathan Klinger, spokesman for Hagerty Classic Insurance, said the LaSalle is the perfect vehicle to encompass what Franklin meant to Detroit.
“The LaSalle from that era had a perfect combination of sportiness and luxury. It’s just very fitting that a classic icon of Detroit, Aretha, was driven by a classic automotive icon of Detroit,” he said.
Franklin passed away on August 16. She was 76-years-old.