Lehigh Valley

Funeral home offers unique ride for dearly departed

jamie updated motorcycle hearse video

HELLERTOWN, Pa. - Everyone handles the grieving process differently, which is why a Northampton County funeral home offers a wide variety of services to tailor to all bereavement needs.  

The newest set of wheels at the Heintzelman Funeral Home in Hellertown is a one-of-a-kind Orange County Chopper motorcycle hearse.    

David Heintzelman ordered the motorcycle six months ago to better serve the biker community.

"The last thing they want is to be in a four-wheel drive vehicle," Heintzelman said.  "They want noise and they want speed."

The custom-built bike features top-notch equipment, and was created with help from T.V. star Paul Teutel Sr., of American Chopper.    

But it's not just luxury parts that make the new hearse elite.

"It is a chopper, and it is class. The paint is second-to-none. I am so proud of the paint job. It is a black metal flake with some ghosting of gold and metal gray," Heintzelman said.

Heintzelman said the toughest task creating the bike was figuring out how to attach the hearse.

"The hours they put in alone on the coach side, the casket side, were weeks of preparation," Heintzelman said.

The casket-carriage is uniquely attached to the right side of the bike.

"I do have the capability of a quick disconnect, so I can take this section off and use it as a motorcycle," Heintzelman said.

Heintzelman wouldn't say how much he paid for the new hearse. 

Although, he said  it was "priceless," in a day in age when funerals are all about personalization.

For those who spent their life on a bike, Heintzelman said it only makes sense for a chopper to escort them to their final resting place.

"Those who are bikers understand and know, they live and breathe the road….When we have a motorcycle service, they do come in different shapes and sizes," Heintzelman said.

But the motorcycle hearse doesn't just appeal to life-long riders. 

"I actually had a person who had died, a female who was never on a motorcycle, that was in her late 80s. And they just saw a picture of it in my arrangement conference room, and they thought this was so cute and unique, they wanted to have that for their mom," Heintzelman said.

The funeral home also has a horse-drawn coach hearse, in addition to modern-style Cadillac and Lincoln models. 

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