The Mercedes Granite Tombstone: Honoring a Teen’s Dream of Owning a Mercedes

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This Mercedes Granite Tombstone Is The Final Resting Place Of A Teenager Who Desired To Own A Mercedes

This Mercedes-Benz 240D limousine, fondly referred to as the ‘Granite Tombstone’, stands as a poignant testament to a wealthy man’s enduring promise to his younger brother. A promise made with the sincere intention of gifting him a cherished Mercedes when he came of age.

Tragically, fate intervened before the pledge could be fulfilled. The teenage recipient, Raymond “Ray” Tse, a passionate Chinese-American car enthusiast, met an untimely end while pursuing his studies in Hong Kong in 1981. His longing for a Mercedes remained unfulfilled, leaving a void that his older brother, David, was determined to address.

David, a prosperous New York businessman, resolved to honor his brother’s final wish. Upon Ray’s return to New Jersey, where David resided, plans were set in motion to create a remarkable tribute. Collaborating with Michael DiPiazza, David commissioned the meticulous replication of a Mercedes 240D stretch limousine.

The Mercedes Granite Tombstone: Honoring a Teen's Dream of Owning a Mercedes
The Mercedes Granite Tombstone: Honoring a Teen’s Dream of Owning a Mercedes (Credits: The Rock Of Ages Blog)

Crafting this full-scale replica, affectionately known as the Granite Tombstone, was no small feat. It required substantial investment, with the original costing approximately $250,000, equivalent to about $773,000 in today’s currency.

Ages Quarry of Graniteville undertook the painstaking process, dedicating 17 to 18 months to ensure every detail mirrored the iconic Mercedes design.

Scott Rahenfuher of Rosedale Cemetery recounts the poignant narrative: “The boy’s aspiration was clear—he dreamed of owning a Mercedes once he came of age, and his older brother vowed to make it happen.” Rahenfuher elaborates, “They meticulously recreated every aspect of the car, from the headlights to the intricate grill work, down to the tailpipes and windshield wipers.”

Yet, amidst this faithful replication, the family made a deliberate decision to preserve certain elements. The iconic 3-point Star hood ornament and side-view mirrors were omitted from the design, safeguarding them against potential vandalism or theft—a poignant reminder of the family’s protective embrace over their cherished tribute.

Dana Phio

By Dana Phio

From the sound of engines to the spin of wheels, I love the excitement of driving. I really enjoy cars and bikes, and I'm here to share that passion. Daxstreet helps me keep going, connecting me with people who feel the same way. It's like finding friends for life.

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