I would like to thank everyone who has rated my PT Cruiser, I now have over seventeen thousand hits on my ride page! While you look around, please take the time to follow the links to my car friends’ pages, and the pages of other PT Cruisers. My Bella is pretty unique, but there are a lot more sweet and sick rides out there to look at!
This is “Bella Morte”, or Bella, my 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser.
How it started: In 2005 and 2006, I started visiting car shows and cruise nights in my area. I hadn’t been out and about in the car scene for many years, and wanted to get out and see what was happening these days. While visiting in Joplin one weekend, I ran across a car show at which were displayed some 60s and 70s era, very well tricked out Cadillac and Pontiac hearses. Besides being beautiful vehicles in their own right, an old GM or Pontiac based coach can have almost anything done to them a same period standard car can have done: wheels, custom paint, chops, shaves, drops, you name it. I was immediately hooked on the idea of a custom rod coach.
In 2007, the car I had, an old Buick Century, was on its last legs. I had to get a car. I had been looking for a coach, but it became a decision between an older coach that I would have to keep up and work on, while working, or get a new car that the dealer would take care of if there were any issues. I had looked around for cars I liked, in a price range I could afford. Everything was so cookie cutter, and so plastic, I was about ready to start looking for something used. A friend at work with a 2003 PT Cruiser suggested looking at a new PT Cruiser. The prices had come down since they had originally come out. I drove hers one afternoon, and loved it. I went to the dealership with three requirements, black, air conditioning, and a 5 speed. It took some looking, and turning down of many versions of the car I didn’t want, but mine was finally delivered after a 300 mile trip from Iowa. I bought her new in October of 2007, with only about 300 miles on her from the delivery.
Before I bought the car, it had occurred to me that the PT Cruiser was vaguely hearse shaped, it certainly wasn’t a cookie cutter box shape, or “aero” shape. A few reviews I had looked at had mentioned the retro style, and even the funeral coach shape. But it wasn’t until almost a year of owning the car that a little old lady walked up to me while I was pumping gas one day, and told me, “That damn thing looks like a HEARSE!”
And so Bella HAS become my hearse! You don’t think I’m serious? My friends and family do. Co-workers as well. My mother has already told me she wants to be delivered to her final resting place, some day, in my car. Possibly folded in half....That was the start.
I hear differing opinions on what qualifies a car as a hotrod, a modified, or a custom. I’ve also heard there is a difference between what you want to do, and what you have done. Car people argue endlessly over :built” or “bought” My car is “customized” and “themed”, and will continue to be for as long as I have a vision of what I want her to become. And I’m afraid I’ll have to be one of those people who always has something they want to do, because I’m one of those people who doesn’t have the reserves AND the time to always do what I want to do.
When I go to a cruise or a car show, I am very aware of the fact that my car is a theme car, not really a custom. Very little has been physically done to it, and the only mechanically related changes have been the addition of a K&N air filter, and performance plugs. It has its place and categories it fits into at the cruises and shows. But these guys, and gals, that spend time and money on body work, interiors, paint, and custom parts know the difference, and so do I. One thing though that really helps out, is that even the custom car guys and hot-rodders know and understand what I am doing. It’s my thing, and they can appreciate that.