Rocky Fluegge, of Waterford, appears on the set of the Discovery Channel show “Sticker Shock” next to his 1964 Cadillac hearse. The show originally aired on earlier this week, but can be viewed on Discovery.com. (Photo courtesy of Discovery Channel)

Well-preserved hearse earns local man a spot on Discovery TV show

By Dan Truttschel

Correspondent

What grew from a simple interest has turned into somewhat of an obsession for Waterford’s Rocky Fluegge.

And he admits it’s a bit on the odd side.

Maybe even morbid.

Fluegge is a full-time car restorer, but that’s not anything different – the fact that he also restores funeral hearses, however, certainly is.

“There aren’t a lot of people into it around the country,” he said. “It’s a narrow market, but the people who are into it are very passionate about it.”

The market for his work is varied, Fluegge said, from people in the funeral/ambulance field to members of the public who may just have a deeper interest in Halloween and things that border a bit on the macabre.

For Fluegge, it’s a combination of the two, which actually began as an interest in special effects and makeup, which almost led him to going to school in California to pursue that career path.

“I’ve always been a big car junkie,” he said. “I always built a lot of (hot) rods and did custom (builds). … I always kind of had that love of Halloween. I have a pretty huge collection of funeral collectibles and oddities that go along with that.

“… My love of custom cars (connected) with my love of Halloween, special effects and custom coach work. That’s kind of what drew me into it. It’s not just building, it’s a lifestyle. You find that with a lot of hearse owners and drivers.”

Taking it national

Fluegge, who said he currently owns 16 hearses, had his story move onto the national scale this week when a 1964 Cadillac hearse was featured on a new Discovery Channel series, “Sticker Shock.” The show featuring Fluegge’s hearse was scheduled to air as part of the season debut on Wednesday. It can be watched at discovery.com.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the May 4 Waterford Post.

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