William T Fraser & Son First In Highlands To Take Delivery Of PilatoMercedes Polaris 

William T Fraser & Son took delivery of their Polaris Mercedes hearse in July, they became one of the first funeral directors in the UK to run this stunning new design concept from Pilato.

Director Martin Fraser, who represents the third generation of this family business, explains why the Polaris gets a resounding thumbs-up from him and all his team.

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“We wanted to add a new hearse to our existing fleet of a vintage Daimler and E Class Mercedes,” said Martin. “I started looking around and realised most modern hearses are quite unattractive. Why should we have to buy ugly hearses? Superior UK and Pilato offer something very different and exciting. Kevin came all the way from Berkshire to Inverness to talk to us about the Polaris.”

Kevin Smith from Superior UK was delighted to tell Martin and his family about the PilatoMercedes E-Class Polaris hearse, which is still new to the UK. It’s a modern take on traditional hearse design, with sleek lines and distinctive Polaris aesthetics. Large side glasses, a glass tailgate, and LED illumination give an incredible sense of space, with the high-tech specification taking this hearse to a new level.

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“Since that first long-distance visit to talk us through the options, Superior have continued to be a great help,” says Martin. “The ordering process was very smooth and we were able to personalise the specification, interior, and exterior. Greg from Superior was on hand right through to delivery day. I couldn’t be happier with the build quality, fit, and finish. It’s an absolutely stunning vehicle.”

Martin isn’t the only one who thinks the Polaris is the most eye-catching hearse around. Luckily, his whole team agree.

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“I did a blind test of all the hearses on the market,” Martin says. “I showed every member of staff a photo of all the cars we could have chosen, making sure to remove the vehicle names first. They all picked the Polaris, without knowing it was the car I was considering.”

Martin likes to keep ahead of the game, and he has the first Obsidian black Polaris in Scotland. It has already become the show stopper of the William T Fraser fleet.

William T Fraser Fleet

“People are coming up especially to see it,” says Martin, “and it’s received incredible feedback from families. The Polaris is one way of showing our dedication to bringing the best possible service to families.

“We are over the moon with the vehicle, and with the service from Superior UK. We are very proud to be one of the first funeral directors in the UK to take ownership of a Pilato hearse.”

William T Fraser & Son First In Highlands To Take Delivery Of PilatoMercedes Polaris is a blog post from Superior UK – the main Superior UK website is here.

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Edwin Pounds Choose Pilato For Brand-New Mercedes E-Class Hearse



Edwin Pounds and Sons of Bradford have become one of the first funeral directors in the UK to add a Polaris hearse to their fleet, taking delivery of the Pilato-Mercedes from Superior UK. Simon Broome, Company Director, explains the decision to switch to Pilato.

“We have already had three full fleets from Superior UK,” he says, “so when they became official partners of Pilato we kept an eye on the vehicles. We knew the partnership with Pilato was sure to produce something out of the ordinary.’

When it came time to change his existing hearse for a new vehicle, Simon came to Superior to enquire about Pilato’s hearses.

Edwin Pounds and Sons was established in 1904 by Simon’s maternal great-grandfather, who added funeral work to the business in 1940.

“We have worked with Simon and his family for nearly 15 years, and we know how much pride they take in running a beautiful fleet,” says Kevin Smith of Superior UK. “I was excited to tell Simon about the two Pilato hearses – the Mercedes E-Class Polaris and the Jaguar GrandAurora – and even more excited to actually show him the vehicles.”

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Superior UK arranged for Simon to visit the Pilato factory in Italy.

“It’s very rare to get the opportunity to see potential new vehicles in the build stage,” says Simon. “The Pilato family were so welcoming – it’s obvious they take great pride in what they are doing over in Italy.”

Simon made the decision to purchase a new Pilato Mercedes E-Class Polaris hearse, and Superior UK helped him settle on the ideal spec and finish. They even managed to fit in a second trip out to the Pilato factory – this time to see Simon’s own vehicle being built.

“It can sometimes feel like a long time to wait from ordering to delivery, so this extra bit of customer service fills that gap and adds a great deal of trust and confidence,” he says. “It was great to see our hearse in build – we were able to spec it up whilst we were out there. It’s a great way to feel involved with the process.”

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Kevin Smith explains the special partnership between Pilato and Superior UK.

“Both Superior and Pilato are relatively small, family-run businesses,” he says. “We really understand the funeral industry, and know how much value our customers place in their ceremonial vehicles. Funeral cars are not like other cars. They are a hugely important part of a funeral director’s business. That’s why we take our customers out to the Pilato factory so they can see the design and build process. Pilato go the extra mile to make their vehicles special, and we extend that care to our own customers. Our partnership lets funeral directors feel very involved in their vehicle investments. Which is as it should be!”

Edwin Pounds and Sons have now taken delivery of their new Polaris hearse – and of a brand-new VW Transporter 4MOTION removal vehicle which was also ordered from Superior UK.

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“When we saw Superior were doing the VW Transporter in 4-wheel drive, we knew it was the right choice for us,” said Simon. “We struggle here in Bradford during harsh winters. Our new vehicle hasn’t met any snow yet of course, but it’s already a far smoother and more powerful drive than our previous removal vehicle.

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As for the Polaris, it has surpassed our expectations,” he said. “It’s stunning, unusual, and a real touch of class. Great service as always from Superior UK, this time with the addition of everyone at Pilato in Italy.”

For more information about Pilato vehicles or the Superior UK/Pilato partnership, see https://www.superioruk.com/

W S Ingham & Son Turns Heads Making Switch To Jaguar For New Fleet

W S Ingham & Son independent funeral firm had run Ford vehicles for over 10 years. From the moment they saw Superior UK’s Pilato demonstrator, the decision was made – the next new ceremonial vehicles would be Pilato Jaguar. Tony Ingham explains why his new cars have the wow factor.

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“We’ve made a lot of changes to our premises over the past 6 years,” Tony says, “including two extensions and new garages. We take pride in being a modern, forward-thinking business. It was about time our fleet reflected those values and showed the local community how we like to take care of them.”

Tony, who runs W S Ingham & Son with his mother Pat, had been running a fleet of Ford vehicles, but when looking to change they were not wowed by the new models. Tony felt they just lacked that ‘certain something’.

“We actually tried out the new model of our existing fleet cars,” he explains, “ and they were just OK, certainly not special enough for how we like to do things. I knew that Superior work with Pilato Jaguar, so I got in touch. They were quick to respond, and brought the demonstrator for a visit.”

As soon as Tony saw the XF GrandAurora hearse, he realised how different it is to anything else on the market.

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“It was clear from first glance that Pilato have thought about Funeral Directors and designed something that really works for us,” he says. “Greg from Superior talked about all the extras and personal touches we could have – and the decision was made. Once I’d seen the GrandAurora, I couldn’t imagine us with anything else.”

The GrandAurora certainly has the wow-factor, but Tony wanted a whole new fleet. Alongside his new hearse, he also required two limousines, and we were able to help him personalise his new XJ limousines with plenty of special touches.

Ingham signing car at Pilato factory

“We’ve never had a Jaguar fleet before,” says Tony, “but this entire process was so smooth and easy. By far the most exciting part for me was our visit to the Pilato factory in Italy. What a wonderful experience! It’s amazing to see your vehicles being made. The factory is remarkable, and the Pilato family can’t do enough for you. It’s thanks to Superior that we were able to have that experience.”

At the Pilato factory, Tony and his fiancee Debbie gave their cars the ultimate personalised touch: a signature on the interior whilst the vehicles were in build.

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Debbie Walls and Tony Ingham (far left and right) with Gianvittorio Stella and Barbara Pilato at the Pilato factory in Italy

“This is the third new fleet I’ve bought, and I’ve never been asked to put my signature inside my cars before now,” says Tony. “Debbie found it so overwhelming, she burst into tears.”

A New Fleet That Turns Heads In Brand Colours

The Ingham family were able to customise their hearse and limousines with the features, spec, and finish they wanted – down to every last detail.

“We like to be different,” says Tony. “So it is great to have ceremonial cars that match our company colours and help us stand out.”

When the vehicles were ready, Superior had them delivered by covered transporter for the official handover at W S Ingham & Son’s impressive Mansfield premises.

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“Driving the new cars onto our premises on the day was an amazing experience,” says Tony. “The entire team came out to welcome the cars. Since then, they’ve been out on the road and the response has always been “WOW!” They have been an absolute dream to drive. And the service we’ve received from Superior is second to none.”

Kevin Smith from Superior UK says what a pleasure it was to help W S Ingham & Son with their Pilato Jaguar fleet.

“Tony was very clear in what he wanted from his cars,” he says, “it was refreshing to work with a Funeral Director who is so hands-on. Taking Tony and Debbie out to Pilato in Italy was a great experience and I enjoyed showing them the lengths Pilato go to in making dreams a reality. It has been great to demonstrate what the Superior/Pilato partnership is capable of. These three cars are absolutely beautiful!”

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W S Ingham & Son was set up in 1927 by Tony’s grandfather. Tony explains why luxury ceremonial vehicles are an integral part of a modern Funeral Director business.

“Giving our families the best possible service is the most important thing to us,” he says, “and these vehicles are a massive investment for our company. Having cars like these shows our commitment to families and to our local community. We care about every detail of the service we offer.”

Discover more about Superior UK’s official partnership with Pilato here.

A E Stoodley’s Queen II Pilato takes centre stage



When A E Stoodley & Son hosted a gala event to launch their Community Fund, the firm’s new Queen II Pilato hearse had a starring role. Tracey Warren of A E Stoodley & Son tells us what’s so special about her new Pilato.
Tracey Warren of Stoodley with Queen II at Community Fund launch

“I’ve been at A E Stoodley & Son for 18 years, but I took over fully in 2017,” says Tracey. “We are a very progressive, forward-thinking funeral director, and my goal was to bring our brand in line with our values. One of the first things I did was replace our existing vehicle.”

A E Stoodley & Son were running a Mercedes E320 Pollmann build which was about 20 years old – a true workhorse of a car but no longer in line with her vision. Tracey wanted something new, unique, stylish and modern for the business in 2018.

Love At First Sight

The Pilato Queen II was the first vehicle she saw at the National Funeral Exhibition last year. Even though she took a good look around, she couldn’t help coming back to it.

“I assumed we’d get another Mercedes,” she says, “we’ve always had a Mercedes fleet. The second I saw the ‘Queen II’ on Superior UK’s stand, I knew I wanted it. I spent a lot of time looking around, but there was nothing else that came close for me!

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“I had a strong vision of how I wanted our vehicle to look, and the scope of the Queen II allowed me to look beyond the demonstrator. I knew we could create something really special for A E Stoodley & Son.”

Kevin and Peter Smith of Superior UK spoke to Tracey at the NFE and help her to make her vision a reality. She knew exactly what she wanted, and Superior UK were able to advise her with their extensive knowledge and experience of Pilato vehicles. They even facilitated a visit to the Pilato factory in Nervesa della Battaglia, Italy, so Tracey could see her Queen II progressing through the build process.

Watching The Build At The Pilato Factory

In February (6 months after placing the order), Tracey went over to Pilato with Peter, Kevin, and Jon of Superior UK.

“The entire trip was memorable,” she says. “I had a wonderful tour around the factory and saw our Queen II in her grey shell as she started to take shape. It was amazing to see what Pilato do and watch the build in action.”

Tracey was even able to add some very special personalised touches to the car during the build phase.

Stoodley's Queen II coffin chamber

The Most Personalised Details

“I signed the vehicle inside the back wing, and had our logo etched into one of the windows. It was great to have that level of detail available to us. It made me even more excited to take delivery of the finished vehicle.”

Superior UK kept in touch with Tracey throughout the process, and then delivered the car to her by specialist transporter in June 2018.

“I don’t mind admitting that I cried when I saw it,” says Tracey. “It is absolutely stunning, beyond anything I could have comprehended. It is everything I’d hoped for – and the rest!”

Soon after delivery, the Queen II was put centre stage at a special event hosted by A E Stoodley & Son – the launch of their Community Fund. The funeral firm have always been community focused, they are at the heart of the town, for the local people.

Centre Stage At Community Fund Launch

In their 95th year of trading in the town, Tracey launched the Stoodley & Son Community Fund. This initiative is the latest in the firm’s community focused activities. Tracey presented the first award on the evening to The Teresa Braley Memorial Garden. A E Stoodley & Son also run a free Bereavement Support Group (which has supported 120 families over 5 years) and hosts a number of charity events throughout the year.

“People want a funeral director they can feel comfortable with,” says Tracey, “our community work makes us more noticeable and approachable. It was great to be able to welcome so many local people to the launch event. We were only expecting 40 people, and we had over 120! The Queen II was a stunning centrepiece and a real talking point.”

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Since the community fund launch evening, the Queen II has been out and about in the local area – working hard and turning heads.

“We get plenty of looks,” says Tracey. “People even cross the road to look at the car and talk to us about it!”

Stoodley's Queen II detail

A E Stoodley & Son’s new Queen II Pilato has helped bring Tracey’s vision for the business to life. Superior UK were delighted to play a part in the journey.

“A E Stoodley’s Queen II Pilato takes centre stage

” is a blog post from Superior UK. The main Superior UK website is here.

New Vito Private Ambulance Brings Fleet In Line For M Garton & Son

When Malcolm Garton of M Garton & Son in Hull decided to upgrade his private ambulance, he knew it was time to invest in a vehicle that matched the rest of his smart Mercedes fleet. He had been to Superior UK in the past, so knew exactly who to ask for his next Mercedes.

“We have Mercedes limousines, so we really wanted a Mercedes removal vehicle to complete the fleet,” explained Malcolm. “We had been running a Vauxhall Vivaro but, even though it wasn’t very old, it was giving us no end of problems. In fact it ended up off the road for a while, which was far from ideal. We needed a new vehicle which would perform as good as it looks.”

Malcolm and his wife Barbara are co-directors of the family firm, which was founded in 1888 by Mark Garton – Malcolm’s great-Grandfather. The business has five offices across East Yorkshire, serving a wide area which runs along the north of the Humber: from South Cave across to Hedon, taking in the city of Hull.

M Garton & Son’s new private ambulance needed to be modern, dignified, and discreet to stay in keeping with the firm’s reputation and image. Superior UK’s Northern sales associate, Greg Platt, helped Malcolm put together the perfect specification.
Malcolm Garton with Greg Platt (Superior UK Northern Sales)
“We knew we wanted the Mercedes Vito, and wouldn’t need the full Superior ‘Rise&Fall’ decking system,” said Malcolm. “So we asked Superior UK to build a lower fixed type decking system finished in a hearse type wood laminate,” said Malcolm. “Greg helped us with the deck, interior, paintwork, finish, and choice of trimmings.”
Greg Platt Superior UK Northern Sales with Malcolm Garton
M Garton & Son’s finished Vito is a very smart, modern-looking removal vehicle that fits in perfectly with the rest of the fleet.

The Vito has a walnut interior, and is finished in flint grey metallic paintwork with colour coded bumpers and all-round glazing ensure for a discreet removal. The new Vito doesn’t just look great – it’s a pleasure to drive, too, with driver aids including air-conditioning, parking sensors and reversing camera.

“Superior UK made the entire process really easy,” said Malcolm. “We knew from our previous dealings with them that we would be treated very fairly, with great customer service and after care should we ever need it. The Vito is a great addition to our fleet and a vast improvement on our previous private ambulance. Everyone here enjoys driving it, and the families appreciate the dignified and professional look of the vehicle.”

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This is a blog post from Superior UK. Our main website is here.

A Second Queen II Pilato Hearse For Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors & Family

In 2015, Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors proudly took ownership of a Pilato Queen II hearse. The family firm have just taken delivery of their second Queen II, and Anthony O’Hara told us about adding a new statement vehicle to their head-turning fleet.

“The time had come for us to replace our original Queen I hearse,” explains Anthony O’Hara, who represents the third generation of Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors. “We have been over the moon with the vehicles we have received from Pilato via Superior UK. Our first Queen II hearse has been an outstanding vehicle from the moment we received it at the NFE 2015, and we knew we wanted a second Queen II.”

Nicholas OHara left, Anthony OHara right, Kevin Smith Superior UK middle

Kevin Smith at Superior UK (Pilato SPA ’s official UK distributor) took Nicholas O’Hara over from Dorset to Italy to visit the Pilato SPA factory and workshop. The two men were met by Barbara and Gianvittorio of Pilato, and Nicholas given a full tour of all the potential specification for his new Queen II.

“We have always been made so welcome at Pilato,” explains Anthony, “and this visit was no different. It’s very exciting to see exactly how your vehicle will be built and to be able to choose your specification from such a legendary factory. We had full input into the spec and finish of our new vehicle. Once my father was at Pilato in Italy, he realised we were spoiled for choice!”

Nicholas and I spent a lot of time designing this vehicle,” says Kevin Smith at Superior UK. “Nicholas is very hands on and enjoys discussing every detail of his vehicles. The result is a beautiful hearse, with new one-piece headlining with a blue quilted leather insert, quilted leather side covers and an Almond Oak slide-out decking system. Other items requested by Nick were clear flashing LED lights covertly mounted in the front grille, an MP3 loud speak system and illuminated name plates. It is a stunning looking vehicle inside and out.”

OHara Queen II inside

From visiting Pilato in March, to taking delivery of the vehicle in August, the entire order was fast and smooth, thanks in large part to the close relationship between Superior UK and Pilato SPA.

“Kevin Smith at Superior UK was excellent as always,” Anthony says. “His customer service is second to none and he makes every order very easy indeed – even special and complex ones like a new Queen II!”

The O’Hara family are delighted with their new Queen II hearse, which was delivered in person by Kevin Smith in August.

“It’s a truly top of the range vehicle, with incredible styling,” says Anthony. “We get masses of compliments on it and the families love how special it is. We even have other funeral professionals taking photos of it – nobody has seen anything like it in this country!”

The O’Hara family’s second Pilato Queen II hearse completes an impressive fleet of vehicles for the Dorset funeral directors, who now run two Queen II hearses, two Pilato Imperial XJ limousines (the first Jaguar limousines made outside the UK), and a Mercedes Benz private ambulance, all supplied by Superior UK.

Kevin Smith was proud to help O’Hara with their latest Pilato fleet vehicle. “Superior UK is proud to be the official UK distributor of Pilato SPA’s Jaguar vehicles. As a family business, we always enjoy serving other family run businesses like Nicholas O’Hara. And Pilato has been a family managed company for over 50 years. We get a lot of personal and professional satisfaction out of every handover.”

A Second Queen II Pilato Hearse For Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors & Family is a post from the Superior UK blog. Our main website is here.

The UK’s First Pilato Superstella Lands In Norwich

Allcock Family Funeral Services had a very special delivery in March – the UK’s first Pilato Superstella hearse. We asked brothers Paul and Philip what’s so special about their new hearse.

Pilato Superstella at Superior UK HQ

The Superstella before it left Superior UK’s HQ

When the Allcock family ordered their new hearse, they knew exactly how special the vehicle was. After all, they’d actually seen it built at Pilato’s factory in Italy.

Allcock Family FS’s Pilato Superstella hearse is the first UK example of this stunning hearse. Brothers Paul and Philip Allcock explain why they choose to be trailblazers.

“The original plan was to upgrade to the latest Binz vehicle,” said Philip “But we’d seen the Superstella on Pilato’s website, and spoken to Superior UK about it at the NFE show. We liked what we saw. The question remained, was the UK market ready for it?”

Philip’s brother Paul was the one who pushed the idea forward. “We do things differently!” he said. “Our priority is to offer the best with no compromises. We’ve always been very forward-thinking. I told Philip that I thought the Superstella would make an excellent “front of house” vehicle.”

Allcock’s commitment to progress is evident in their choice of silver vehicles. The sleek, futuristic look of the Superstella was the next step. “We debated the pros and cons of running such a distinctive looking car,” said Paul. “We considered the new Binz hearse, too, but it wasn’t enough of a step forward for us. That highlighted just how different the Superstella actually is. We will never compromise on quality, and knew the Superstella is built on the Mercedes chassis that we’re used to. We decided to take the leap.”

The Allcocks were invited to Pilato in Italy to see the build in action. They were joined there by Kevin Smith and his father Peter, from Superior UK, who are Pilato’s exclusive UK partner.

“Barbara and Gianvittorio showed us the greatest hospitality,” said Philip. “Actually seeing the production line was incredible. Everything is hand-built. We could see the entire process from Binz baseline model, through to preparing the body, the paintshop, and the coachbuilding production line. We were struck by how quiet the production line was. It was like a cathedral!

“We were able to walk round the factory by ourselves, then Barbara and Gianvittorio introduced us to the foreman. We were able to discuss our requirements about the interior, trim, and finish.”

Allcock Pilato deck out

The Superstella’s bespoke deck


Kevin Smith from Superior was pleased that he could be there. “We have been Allcock’s vehicle partner of choice since 2008,” he said. “Paul and Philip are hands-on, and knew exactly want they wanted from their Superstella. After several consultations, we helped arrange a visit to the Pilato factory in Italy.
Allcock Pilato decking at night

A view of the deck lit up at night


“The Allcocks wanted a custom built deck and interior. The interior trim work was installed at Pilato, and we designed and manufactured the slide-out decking system. After our visit to Italy, the craftsmen at Pilato were left to transform the Allcock’s dream into reality.”
When Kevin delivered the Superstella to Allcock’s premises in Norwich, Paul and Philip’s father Terry conducted the handover.
Allcock Pilato with Terry at handover

Terry Allcock with his new car at handover


“The style was even better than we remembered, the deck looked stunning, and the finish was beyond our expectations,” Philip said. “I have to congratulate Pilato and Superior UK for the way they married style and function. They gave us exactly what we wanted, and we couldn’t be more pleased.”

The new hearse has received positive feedback since it took to the road in March. “The good comments reassure us that we made the right decision,” said Paul. “The families love the design, and our team members enjoy driving it.”

Paul Allcock is the current President for The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors, making the Pilato Superstella the preferred Presidential choice!

The UK’s First Pilato Superstella Lands In Norwich is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main funeral cars website is here.