Trudy was built and registered in 1965. She was supplied by Colmore depot, based at West Bromwich in the West Midlands. She led a normal life, becoming gradually run-down through daily use, until Andrew Bywater bought her as a complete wreck in April 2009. It took two and a half years of painstaking work to restore her to show condition.
Don't miss the restoration gallery below to appreciate how far Trudy has come.
In June 2018 Trudy found a new home with classic car collectors Clare and Michelle whos large vehicle collection includes a 1957 Morris Minor saloon 'Banjo' a 1947 Austin 8 saloon 'Arthur' and new to the stable is a 1968 Austin 8 kwt van 'Trevor' who after a light resto will be given a new contract of employment working along side of Trudy!
Volkswagen enthusiasts and hearse suppliers Clare Brookes and Michelle Orton have owned and run Volkswagen Funerals for the last 15 years and are known and trusted throughout the funeral profession.
Read all about Trudys epic restoration Practical Classics feature
In 2019 Trudy had a makeover to include a respray and new wheels and this clever mechanical coffin deck that rises and falls, designed, made and fitted by good friend Mario McLaughlin, along with all of our deck fixings and pins. We can now offer a few more inches to accommodate slightly longer coffins and see over the top to drive! Mario is a very talented engineer in particular for any classic car requirements, he's old school, and he's your man. www.mjclassiceng.co.uk
Andrew and Judith Bywater made the decision to retire from the funeral profession and Trudy had been greatly appreciated and admired by Clare and Michelle since her launch at the NEC classic car show in 2011. It seemed that we were the best people to keep Trudy providing her service and are able to offer her further afield.
Clares father Ron Brookes worked at Morris engines in Courthouse Green Coventry for most of his working life only finishing his career as a machine tool setter when the factory closed in the early 1980’s.
Green - Eco funerals.
Our Morris Minor hearse is an appropriate choice for anyone considering an ecologically sympathetic and ethical funeral. This car has effectively been "recycled" having been completely rebuilt creating a smaller carbon footprint than a new-build traditional hearse. Part of the structure is from Ash, a natural material which would be in sympathy with for example a woodland or natural funeral.
One of the major restorers and suppliers of Morris Minor parts Charles Wares Morris Minor centre in Bath was presented with the National Green Apple award in 2003 to recognise their contribution to sustainable car preservation and provision of employment in the third world via their factory in Sri-Lanka.
Trudy may be available for filming - we have a selection of classics that are available for filming / static photo shoots etc. Just ask.
Trudy and her Bywater family feature in this Moggy documentary.
Andrew Bywater talks on stage at 2017 Restoration show at the NEC about his idea and the restoration of Trudy.