A unique 36-ton tombstone arrived yesterday at Rosedale Cemetery in Linden, N.J.: a full-size granite replica of a Mercedes-Benz limousine.
The 17-foot-long sculpture, which is estimated to have cost approximately $200,000, was built by the Rock of Ages Corp. of Graniteville, Vt. It was placed on the gravesite of Ray Tse, a young man reportedly killed in a car accident at the age of 21 two years ago.
A spokesman for the company said the tombstone was ordered by Tse's family in May 1982 and was completed last month. An older brother, David Tse, could not be reached for comment.
The older Tse had promised to buy his younger brother a fancy car but never did, the Associated Press reported. The car is complete with windshield wipers, the Mercedes insignia on the hubcaps and Ray Tse's name on the license plate.
The cemetery's owner, Charles Shreiber, said yesterday the car sits on a 30-by-40 foot plot alongside a small chapel, also built in memory of Tse. "No," he said, "We don't have anything else like it here."
Shreiber also said the late Tse's family comes to the gravesite almost daily.
According to a spokesman for Nortek Inc., the parent company of Rock of Ages, the family first approached a tombstone firm in Hackensack, N.J., which commissioned the Vermont company to do the sculpture. The sculptor was Dante Rossi of Barre, Vt.