Welcome to another archive feature! This time, we thought we’d travel all the way back to 2013 and look at VIBE Audio’s Daimler Hearse demo car. 

2013 Feature taken from Fast Car. Photos by Adam Swords.

Never before has a modified company demo car been so fitting of the products it showcases. BlackDeath – VIBE Audio’s expert-level range is a collection of no compromise, beautifully engineered products that are even more powerful than the name suggests. They’re biblical. There’s just no other word for it. What these ridiculously super-high-spec, British-built offerings can do is actually scary, and they’re constructed to be exactly that.

So, finding a car that can even begin to encompass the whole BlackDeath ethos sounds like a proper challenge, but it wasn’t. They knew exactly what they needed from the start. I mean, what can be more intimidating, in-your-face or have the British pedigree of an early ’80s Daimler Hearse? Not a lot.


The Vision

VIBE have never been ones to shy away when it comes to their demos and the man behind all of their builds is Rich Laker who’s been developing enclosures with the firm since its inception 20 years ago. The fact that this project has been fully constructed in-house is a great testament to both, especially with this obsessive attention to detail.

And that’s what pushes this car far beyond the realms of normality, it’s not just that it’s a hearse, it’s that they’ve taken the whole BlackDeath theme and run with it. When was the last time you saw a motor with Skeleton hand window winders, or an interior that wouldn’t look out of place parked outside the Addams Family mansion? And as for the speaker’d-up coffin on top, you don’t see many roof boxes quite like this one.


Serious Power

Still it’s not all show, this thing is loud! In fact it’s pretty hard to explain the gravity of the situation when you find yourself anywhere near it. I’m not exaggerating when I say, at half volume, the pressure from the bass put me in real danger of bringing up my breakfast, and that’s standing 25 feet away. And then Rich asks if I’d like to sit in it to experience “what it can really do”. I’ll leave you to fill in the colorful language that followed!

Not Your Average Showstopper

Don’t go thinking this is some sort of out-and-out SPL competition car though, it really isn’t. It might be up there in terms of decibels but it buffs the SPL trend for two key reasons. First, it’s a car. That might sound a tad obvious but allow me to explain. Full-on competition ‘cars’ are usually little more than reinforced concrete boxes. They have steel-braced aircraft-thickness windows, a head unit on the outside and, if the engine is actually still present, they won’t be going anywhere under their own steam. The VIBE hearse is different, it drives. Weighing in at 4 tonnes and dumped on a Rayvern 24V hydraulic kit, it’s not gonna spank a GT-R round the Nürburgring but, with a 4.2-litre Jag XK engine, it will roll down the road as a pretty serviceable automobile none the less.


The second reason you’re not looking at an SPL car is you can hear everything. Yes, the bass is every bit as powerful as you’d expect from six of the world’s most bonkers 15-inchers, but the multitude of 8 and 12-inch Pro Speakers – along with six huge Pro Tweeters and a coffin full of PA-style speakers – see to it that the sound is thoroughly full range. You might even call it pleasing to the ear, if of course your eardrums hadn’t haemorrhaged and your head hadn’t exploded because you couldn’t resist cranking it right up, just for a second.

A rear quarter of the VIBE AUDIO DAIMLER HEARSE


Audio Specs

The numbers are staggering. For a start you’ve got the amplification. The famous top-of-the-line BlackDeath Reaper amplifier is what audio buffs like to call the ‘bringer of death’ – it’s one of the most powerful amps in this world (or the next), and will pump out around 15,000 watts which, with the right driver, is enough to induce a heart attack… oh, and this bugger’s got three of them!

Fear the Reapers? You should, especially when this deadly trio is backed up by no less than six of VIBE’s award-winning 1000 watt Black Air Stereo 4 amplifiers. The system needs a mental 13-deep cycle batteries just to keep it juiced. And even this seems relatively tame when you consider that each of the six Bubonic subs in the back can eat up a catastrophic 20 kilowatts a piece. It’s little wonder the massive bass box that houses them had to be made from 50mm thick MDF and 40mm Plexiglass – anything less and the pressure would simply blow the windows out, and the doors off, and probably wake up the occupants of the
local cemetery.



In Conclusion…

This car is like a sick joke and that’s the whole point, it’s the final word in sonic weaponry, a master of soundwave-pumping destruction, it’s downright crazy, but why not? To me it perfectly illustrates life’s too short not to do something nuts. Rich and the boys could have gone down the usual demo route of creating something a bit tamer but, as a great man once said, “sod it – you could get hit by a bus tomorrow.”


And it’s true, it doesn’t matter who you are, one day we’ll all be cruising in the boot of something similar and, in that case, why make the inevitable journey through the gates of heaven in a subtle and orderly fashion? Like VIBE, I wanna crash through them backwards in some sort of celestial fireball, now that’s what I call a swan song!


TECH SPEC: VIBE Audio Daimler Hearse

Audio: 3x Vibe BlackDeath Reaper amplifiers, 6x BlackAir Stereo 4 amplifiers, 6x BlackDeath Bubonic subwoofers, 4x BlackDeath 12in Pro Speakers, 6x BlackDeath 8in Pro Speakers, 6x BlackDeath 4in Pro Tweeter, 2x DeltaBox line drivers, DeltaBox Bass Generator, Kenwood KDC-6047U headunit, 13x Krypton deep-cycle batteries, custom install including coffin roofbox

Chassis: Rayvern 24-volt hydraulic suspension kit