BMW Tombstone with Parking Ticket Marks Grave of Car Fan

The grave of a car fanatic has been turned into a tomb in the shape of a BMW – complete with personalised registration number.

Steve Marsh's BMW-shaped tombstone in east London. Photo: Peter Lawson

The shiny black car at Steve Marsh’s grave even features a parking ticket on the windscreen. When BMW fanatic Steve Marsh died last year, aged 51, his family wanted to mark his passing with something more than ordinary grave, reports Daily Mail.

After getting permission from the authorities they came up with this headstone – in the shape of Steve Marsh’s favourite BMW M3 convertible. The granite scale model, which had to be imported from the Far East, cost around £50,000 – almost as much as the real thing.

The BMW sculpture, which is weighing one ton, had to be lowered over Mr Marsh’s grave by crane in an operation involving 20 people. The detailed design includes silver-painted lights, a complete dashboard and tiny BMW logos on the wheels. It even has the personalised number: “Steve 1.”

Mr Marsh, who was also known as ‘BMW Steve’ because of his love of the BMW cars, died in his sleep last April. He had been suffering heart problems. His wife Joanne, 51, and children Kerry, 31, and Vincent, 27, from Forest Gate, East London, drew up the designs for the headstone with the help of a stone mason.

The BMW on Mr Marsh's grave is made of granite and even has a joke parking ticket. Photo: Peter Lawson

After the blueprints were approved by the manager of Manor Park cemetery, they ordered the black granite car from China. The family unveiled the headstone at a memorial service on the first anniversary of engineer Mr Marsh’s death on April 23, which was attended by 50 mourners.

Even a joke parking ticket was placed under the windscreen wipers for the service. Mr Marsh’s daughter, Kerry, said: “He was a car enthusiast all his life, he loved cars from a child. When Mum was in labour with me my Dad was outside fixing the nurse’s car and got a page when it was time to come inside.”

“He always drove BMWs, we’ve all got them. We couldn’t just give him a normal headstone. We wanted it to look as realistic as possible. We had a lot of trouble getting it done. We had to order it from China and have it shipped over. It weighs about a ton and was made out of one piece of granite. I think my Dad would absolutely love it,” she added.

Steve Marsh worked as an engineer for Ford and had loved cars since he was a child. He died from an undiagnosed heart problem. Photo: Peter Lawson

However, some cemetery visitors are a bit concerned about the impression a granite BMW tombstone might generate. The gatekeeper at the cemetery said: “I was very surprised they were allowed to have it. They certainly wouldn’t allow that at City of London cemetery.”

“I said to the manager, ‘people are going to want all sorts now’. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next thing people are asking for is a bus. I think it’s possible it could be targeted by vandals,” he added.

Local resident Rene Dryden, 33, a mental health therapist,said: “You have to admit it’s totally different to everything else around it. It’s definitely not my taste. I think some people will say it’s tacky and it could end up as a target to be vandalised.”

“It could open the floodgates for anything to be built in a cemetery. When I walked past it the other day, though, I have to admit it did make me smile,” he added. [via Daily Mail]

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