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!

Stoodley's Queen II 2

“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.”

Stoodley's Queen II 3

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.

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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.

An Exclusive For Superior at NFE 2015

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The NAFD National Funeral Exhibition is always a highlight in our calendar. But this year, the show was extra-special for Superior, our customers and our industry friends. Here are our NFE 2015 highlights…

Having Sidecar Hearses on the neighbouring stand to ours again. We were neighbours in 2013 and it was great to be next door again!
pilato funeral vehicle UK
Displaying a beautiful lit-up urn holder, a Swarovski-covered coffin (from Omega) and sparkly coloured coffin (Colourful Coffins) in our stunning vehicles.

But of course the absolute highlight of the show – for us, and for all involved – was officially handing over the brand-new Pilato Queen II Pilato hearse to proud new owners Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors.
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The show was the perfect setting for handing over the stunning silver hearse, and the event was made even more special by a personal visit from the Pilato family who flew in from Italy!

It was great to meet so many of you, familiar faces, old friends, and new contacts too. Thanks for visiting the Superior UK stand at NFE 2015. We really enjoy this opportunity to speak to so many of you in person.

Tell us what you thought of our vehicles and new products! Head over to Superior UK on Facebook and join in the chat or comment on our NFE 2015 photo album. You can also send us a quick tweet at Superior UK on Twitter.

We’re back in the office now, so please contact Kevin and the Superior team for more information about new or used funeral vehicles.

PS We’ll blog more about that Queen II Pilato soon… we can’t wait to tell you more about this UK-first!

An Exclusive For Superior at NFE 2015 is a post from the Superior Automotive UK blog. The main website is here