Skip to Main Content

Granite tombstone shaped like a Mercedes Benz.
Unusual tombstone in Linden, New Jersey.

Mercedes Benz Tombstone

Field review by the editors.

Linden, New Jersey

Ray Tse, Jr. fantasized as a teenager about getting a driver's license and owning a luxurious Mercedes Benz. Ray died in 1981 at the age of 15. His desire was posthumously and eerily fulfilled when his millionaire brother, David, commissioned a 36-ton granite memorial sculpted to resemble a full-size 1982 Mercedes Benz 2400 Diesel limousine.

The Mercedes and the mausoleum.

The granite automobile, reported to have cost about $250k, is parked on a low pedestal behind the family mausoleum. It's at the northern end of the cemetery -- the Asian section -- across from the Good Shepherd Mausoleum. Shady trees loom; shrubs planted around the car's edge are kept neatly trimmed.

On both the trunk and the front, granite vanity license plates read: "RAY TSE." The carving is meticulous, accurate in every detail, save for the missing hood ornament and sideview mirrors (which would have been too easy for vandals to snap off). Three stonecutters spent 1 1/2 years creating it from a 66-ton block of granite at Rock of Ages, Barre, VT.

Granite license plate reads RAY TSE.

There are no visible dates or labels on the monument or mausoleum, and the surrounding graves are in Chinese (It helps explain the lame descriptions of the the site elsewhere on the web, even by those who have visited in person).

A pair of senior citizens were examining the Mercedes' stone fenders when we arrived. They couldn't provide any further details, other than to note that everyone in Linden knows about it -- it's "always being written up in the paper."

Jersey weather notwithstanding, Ray Jr.'s legacy should outlast every other Mercedes Benz on the planet by centuries...

A side note: In 1988, the brother, Raymond David Tse, was indicted on murder charges after admitting he fired 18 bullets at a gang member in his Chinatown office who was demanding protection money at gunpoint. Tse claimed self defense, and was acquitted in 1991.

Mercedes Benz Tombstone

Rosedale Cemetery

355 E. Linden Ave., Linden, NJ
From US Hwy 1, turn west on S. Wood Ave., then right on E. Linden Ave. The Rosedale Cemetery is on the right, the Mercedes is on the north end of the cemetery.
Gates open M-F 8:30-4:30, Sa 9-12:30 Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Obscure Challenger MemorialObscure Challenger Memorial, Elizabeth, NJ - 2 mi.
Beatles Mural from the 1970sBeatles Mural from the 1970s, Carteret, NJ - 4 mi.
Elaborate Grave of Singin' SamElaborate Grave of Singin' Sam, Hillside, NJ - 4 mi.
In the region:
Giant Steel Hockey Player, Newark, NJ - 8 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in New Jersey

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in New Jersey.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

New Jersey Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Daredevil Graves of Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls, New York (Jun 17-23, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Favorite Quirky City Sights