Canadian trendsetter or morbid automotive kook? You Decide.
You can almost feel Stephen King cranking up a sequel to Christine based on this…
Jeffery Tcakzuk, a 20-year Edmonton (Canada) mechanic has change career course and is now an automotive undertaker … and proprietor of ‘Motordale’, a burial ground for beloved automobiles that have passed over to that great traffic jam in the sky. It’s about 50km north of the city.
He still wears mechanic’s overalls … only these days with a cleric’s collar.
Once the loved one has passed on, there are two options: so-called ‘cremation’ where the car is sent to a recycler, or burial, which involves a bobcat and draining all the vital fluids before interment in a kind of reverse-embalming procedure.
There are perverse protocols at play. Mr Tcakzuk often has to remind the bereaved that it’s inappropriate to want to donate component parts during the ‘funeral’. (The place for that being back at the garage.)
He sometimes comforts the close friends and family with the knowledge that energy can’t be destroyed, but says there’s no standard memorial service. (Actually he refers to the loved one as the ‘degreased’ – but only to other staff members.)
Burial costs $1500 to $3000, based on the size of the problem. Burying a motorcycle costs about $800. If cost is an issue, a key component (sometimes actual keys, sometimes a headlight or even an electronic control module) can be interred for as little as $300.
People often want to drive (or coast) the deceased into the pit themselves. That’s a no-no, too, adding considerably to the size of the excavation required, not to mention sending mixed messages – kind of like walking grandma to her final resting place. He has to remaind them that Motordale is a dignified operation.
Often he’s asked to push a car off a cliff, to meet a fiery end. He’s only done it once. It’s a privilege he reserves only for professional stunt vehicles. Doing such a thing to a loyal family car would be “disrespectful”, he says.
Post-interment each plot is identified by number plate or VIN number, at the owner’s request. And, of course, to ease sensitivities the cemetery is divided into two sections: locally made, and imported.
You don't suppose it'll catch on, like McDonald's, do you?