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Made In Michigan: Buggies, hearses & carriages

6:15 PM, Oct 11, 2013   |    comments
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  • A Justin Carriage Motorcycle Hearse
  • Todd Andler and Claudia Reed, of Justin Carriage Works
    

NASHVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) - If you have ever been on a city horse-and-buggy tour or have taken a trip to Mackinac Island, chances are you have seen a Made in Michigan product and didn't even know it. Some of the best carriages around are  made in Nashville, Michigan.

Todd Andler and Claudia Reed are co-owners of Justin Carriage Works, a company started by their father, forty year ago. They have been making buggies, carriages, hearses and pet carriers ever since.

"We started building what dad did," says Andler. "Now me and Claudia are taking over. We try to keep Dad out of here as much as possible."

The facility is a series of garages and barns located on the outskirts of Nashville, Michigan. In one building, a series of Vis a Vis carriages are being put together. Those are the carriages you typically ride in when you get a city horse-and-buggy tour. In another room, steel is being fabricated into horse sleighs and a rather large Santa Claus sleigh is being boxed and ready ship. They have a fiberglass fabricator and a paint room to make custom order carriages.

One of the more unusual but popular carriages are those that hold caskets. It is a hearse-horse carriage. Justin carriages have been used for funerals all over the world including Rosa Parks. "When you think of carriages, you probably think of horse carriages, but we also make them to be pulled behind motorcycles too," explains Andler.

Justin carriages are also popular with Hollywood. "We have carriages in movies like Interview with a Vampire, The Little Princess, The Crucible, and the Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman the series," explains Reed. "For 39 years, it has kept us very busy. I can't complain."

If you would like to see some made in Michigan Buggies just go to http://www.buggy.com  

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