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Entrepreneur to spend $350k on funeral so he can be buried in his CAR

A wealthy Australian entrepreneur has revealed a plan to spend around $350,000 (£190,000) on his ultimate petrolhead funeral, so that when he is eventually laid to rest he will be alongside the love of his life – a rare sports car previously owned by Richard Hammond.

Philip Allen told Retromotive magazine that he has already looked into the full cost of being buried with his Morgan Aeromax, of which only 100 were ever made, including his example first owned by the former Top Gear host.

The plans include the car being sealed in a 20-foot container that will be lowered into an enormous hole in the ground and covered with a concrete slab. 

Allen has also requested for his partially-mummified body to be donned head-to-toe in crocodile-skin clothes, with one hand placed on the steering wheel and the other holding a cigar, he explained.

Car coffin: An Australian entrepreneur has outlined his plans to be buried in his rare 2008 Morgan Aeromax sports car, which was first owned by Richard Hammond

Allen, a businessman who ran firms importing Kickers and JBL speakers for cars into Australia, purchased the rare car in 2014 for a price of around $265,000 (around £143,000 at the time).

Its first owner was pint-sized TV star Richard Hammond, who co-fronts Amazon Prime’s The Grand Tour, alongside fellow former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson and James May.

Allen said he has been in touch with the motoring TV celebrity since buying his former motor, with Hammond telling him that he ‘regretted ever selling it’.

And it appears he will never be able to get his hands on the exclusive vehicle again – or even see it, once the Australian keeper eventually passes away. 

In an interview with Retromotive, Allen explained in detail his plans to take the car with him into the great beyond.

Described by the magazine as a ‘man passionately in love with his car’, he said: ‘Look, I don’t take myself too seriously, I’m here for a fun time and I love this car so much I’ve already made plans to be get buried in it. It’ll cost about $75,000!’

Philip Allen told Retromotive magazine that he has already looked into the full cost of being buried with his Morgan Aeromax, of which only 100 were ever made, including his example was first owned by the former Top Gear host

Philip Allen told Retromotive magazine that he has already looked into the full cost of being buried with his Morgan Aeromax, of which only 100 were ever made, including his example was first owned by the former Top Gear host

The plans include the car being sealed in a 20-foot container - which Allen has already purchased - that will be dropped into an enormous hole in the ground and covered with a concrete slab

The plans include the car being sealed in a 20-foot container – which Allen has already purchased – that will be dropped into an enormous hole in the ground and covered with a concrete slab

Just 100 examples of the Aeromax were produced by the British brand that's based in Malvern, Worcestershire. It has become a modern classic

Just 100 examples of the Aeromax were produced by the British brand that’s based in Malvern, Worcestershire. It has become a modern classic

He went on to give a fairly detailed explanation of the process, and the costs associated: ‘The car will be pushed into a 20-foot container, which I’ve already purchased, and put on jacks because I don’t want the tyres to go flat,’ he said. 

‘The container will be welded up so it’s air and water-tight. 

‘We dig a hole and bury it and put a concrete slab over the top to seal it off.’

He went on: ‘I’ll be partly mummified and dressed in my crocodile skin jacket, pants and boots. One hand on the steering wheel the other holding a cigar and a smile.

‘It’ll be facing east because at the Second Coming, when Gabriel blows his horn I ain’t walking nowhere – I’ll be driving like a bat out of hell!’

The cost of the burial would be $75,000 (£40,000). Added to the $265,000 (£143,000) value of the Morgan sports car hearse-turned-coffin - that means the whole funeral will set the motor-mad Australian back around $350k (£190k)

The cost of the burial would be $75,000 (£40,000). Added to the $265,000 (£143,000) value of the Morgan sports car hearse-turned-coffin – that means the whole funeral will set the motor-mad Australian back around $350k (£190k)

Former Top Gear host Richard Hammond reportedly told Allen that he regretted selling the sports car, which he would have paid £110,000 to buy over a decade ago

Former Top Gear host Richard Hammond reportedly told Allen that he regretted selling the sports car, which he would have paid £110,000 to buy over a decade ago

Chris Vermeulen, former MotoGP and World Superbike racer, purchased the car and transported it to his home country of Australia

Vermeulen bought the Morgan Aeromax from Richard Hammond in 2011 and sold it just three years later

Hammond sold the car in 2011 to former MotoGP and World Superbike star, Chris Vermeulen, who transported it to his home country of Australia when re-located back from Europe

The burial cost of $75,000 (£40,000) – and the $265,000 (£143,000) value of the Morgan sportscar hearse-turned-coffin – means the funeral will set him back almost $350,000 (£190,000). 

It is money well spent, he says.

‘I am someone who appreciates automotive art and the first time I saw the Morgan Aeromax, I knew it was a rolling sculpture.’  

The Aeromax is a coupe version of the British firm's Aero 8 model, boasting 380bhp from a BMW V8 engine

The Aeromax is a coupe version of the British firm’s Aero 8 model, boasting 380bhp from a BMW V8 engine

It can accelerate from zero-to-62mph in less than 5 seconds and up to a top speed of 160mph

It can accelerate from zero-to-62mph in less than 5 seconds and up to a top speed of 160mph

Just 100 examples of the Aeromax were produced by the British brand that’s based in Malvern, Worcestershire.

Allen explained he wanted one of the cars from new, but by the time it was announced all available examples had been pre-sold to celebrities and former Morgan customers. 

When new in 2008 it had an asking price of £110,000 – so around £33,000 less than what he eventually paid for it some 16 years later due to it becoming a modern collectible classic.

The Aeromax is a coupe version of the British firm’s Aero 8 model, boasting 380bhp from a BMW V8 engine capable of catapulting it from zero-to-62mph in less than 5 seconds and up to a top speed of 160mph.

Hammond sold the car in 2011 to former MotoGP and World Superbike star, Chris Vermeulen, who transported it to his home country of Australia when re-located back from Europe.

It was listed for sale in 2014, with Allen purchasing it from the motorbike racer. 

It won’t be the first car coffin… 

This coffin was created to look like James Dean's Porsche 550, which he called 'Little Bastard' and was the car in which the film star died in while driving in 1955

This coffin was created to look like James Dean’s Porsche 550, which he called ‘Little Bastard’ and was the car in which the film star died in while driving in 1955

It is may be surprising but the idea of being buried in your car, or a coffin-like version of it, is catching on as a concept. 

New York lawyer turned art dealer Kenny Schachter admitted in GQ magazine that he wants to be buried in his Porsche. 

And he visited Ghana to meet with artist sculptor Joseph Ashong known as ‘Paa Joe’ who specializes in bespoke funeral caskets.

It sold at a Bonhams auction in London in 2014 for a fee of £6,500

It sold at a Bonhams auction in London in 2014 for a fee of £6,500

Driving into the afterlife in this Porsche 550 modelled on James Dean’s famous P550 that he named ‘Little Bastard’, the car in which he was killed in 1955. 

This macabre work of art was sold in 2014 by Bonhams – the international fine art auction house – during at its Contemporary African Art Department in London’s Bond Street.

The winning bidder paid £6,500 for the creation, which was said to share the ‘pomp and extravagance of ancient Egyptian Royal tomb’.

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