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Deadset - Vick's happy in her hearse

Vick Pattison with her 1965 Dodge Phoenix hearse,  in front of Rick's Garage in Palmwoods.
Vick Pattison with her 1965 Dodge Phoenix hearse, in front of Rick's Garage in Palmwoods. Brett Wortman

VICK Pattison drives a hearse, but she is adamant that as long as she owns it, it will always be a happy hearse!

The Palmwoods local uses the 1965 Dodge Phoenix as a work car - a mobile billboard and workshop for her day job as a "sign painter".

It's no surprise that the stretched flat black machine turns heads. It is not only big and long, but it is itself a masterpiece in progress, complete with candy and flake painted roof, which took about 200 hours work, and airbrushed pin-up girls on the bonnet.

"She's a happy hearse and creates enjoyment wherever she goes, and people want to stop and talk to us," Ms Pattison says of her "girl".

"She's the only one in existence, as far as we know.

"We went through the bottle shop and a woman wanted to photograph it, and we stopped to get petrol and people talk to us.

"Even the cops have stopped us. They say they're checking if we're transporting bodies," she said with a laugh, "but really they just want to check out the car."

The head-turning machine is an ideal ice-breaker to get her talking about her work.

Ms Pattison is an art school dropout and self-taught "sign painter", which she describes as a dying art form. She uses paintbrushes to write signs instead of computers and vinyl cutters to produce cheap stick-on letters that she says "lack soul".

"I'm crazy passionate about it. I live and breathe it," Ms Pattison said of her work.

Her work can be seen at Rick's Garage in Palmwoods, which features airbrushed art typical of the 1950s.

The garage has become a favourite stopover for car and bike enthusiasts seeking a "cool" backdrop to photograph their beloved machines.

 

Topics:  business, head, signwriting, vick pattison


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