Meet Sandra West, The Socialite Who Was Buried In Her Ferrari
On May 19, 1977, socialite Sandra West was buried in her Ferrari, as she imperatively requested. “Around the time you’re having your second cup of morning coffee, Sandra Ilene West is going to be buried in her expensive Ferrari sports car.” was written in the San Antonio Express-News reported 39 years ago Thursday.
Sandra West was buried in her 1964 powder blue car at Alamo Masonic Cemetery, on the East Side. She was a Beverly Hills socialite, widow of Texas oil tycoon Ike West. The Ferrari she was buried in was placed in a concrete box. Sandra West and her car were covered in cement due to the high number of crimes in the neighborhood, in order to prevent anyone from stealing the car.
Out of the hundreds of people that gathered for her funeral, none were family or friends. Just people that wanted to see what opulence really looks like. Over 300 people took part at her funeral, witnessing the 19 feet (5.8 meters) long, 10 feet (3 meters) wide and 9 feet (2.7 meters) deep grave.
“Of course, this is the most unusual funeral I’ve ever handled,” said funeral director Porter Loring at the time. “It’s been a tough battle trying to keep this as unsensational as possible.” he added.
Sandra West died of a prescription drug overdose on March 10. In 1972, she requested that upon her death, she must be buried next to Ike West: “next to my husband in my lace nightgown by Porter Loring (Mortuary) and in my Ferrari with the seat slanted comfortably”.
The Beverly Hills socialite had a net worth of $5 million inherited after her husband’s death in 1968. She left behind a $500,000 stamp collection, $500,000 worth of jewelry, a solid-gold fishing reel, two other Ferrari’s and a Stutz Blackhawk, according to an Express-News report from April 13, 1977.
The year she died, her physician, Dr. Raymond Weston, testified that she started acting bizarre and described her as “a psychotic with a tendency toward paranoia and hallucination”. Today, Sandra West’s grave gathers thousands of tourists each year, as part of a San Antonio Neighborhood Tour.