Ecto-1 came to a stop by the Trap Field. Phoebe exited out of the rear with the Trap holding Zuul. Callie came out next and stared upwards at the Psychokinetic Atmospheric Influence now above the Farmhouse. Trevor looked up at it, too. He got into the back of Ecto-1 with Podcast. Gozer, in a disembodied form arrived soon after. Trevor was supposed to join Lucky in blasting Gozer but the gunner seat thrower failed to fire. Mini-Pufts were on the back of the gunner seat disabling the pack as well as the machines inside Ecto-1. Podcast saw one on his left cuff and screamed. Ray, Peter, and Winston arrived and battled Gozer. Gozer grabbed their streams and whipped them. The momentum lifted them off their feets and they hit the side and front of Ecto-1. Ray groaned he did not remember the job being so painful. Winston disagreed. Podcast picked up the P.K.E. Meter and tasered a Mini-Puft apart. The other Mini-Pufts got scared and tried to run away. Podcast kept up his assault then a machine turned back on. Podcast declared they were back on. Trevor fired at the capacitor silos powering the Trap Field and Gozer, Vinz, Zuul, the P.K.E. wisps flying around, and the Psychokinetic atmospheric influence were captured. Podcast stepped out of Ecto-1 covered in marshmallow residue. Winston touched the hood of Ecto-1 in dismay. He promised to take her home and get her all cleaned up. Several nights later, Ecto-1 drove across the Brooklyn Bridge into New York City. Winston purchased the Firehouse from Starbucks and walked around inside. The front doors opened and he motioned the driver in. He placed a hand on the hood. Three Ecto-1s were used in the movie. Ghostlight Industries, based in Los Angeles, were commissioned to build the three cars. Ghostlight had less than three months to build them. The crew went frame by frame of the 1984 movie and logged all the details of Ecto-1. The original license plate was scanned and replicated. The ladder was moved to the other side of Ecto-1 to compensate for the addition of the gunner seat. The Ecto-1a that Sony had in a storage container was one of the cars used to build Ecto-1. While the two Ecto-1 hero cars were 1959 Cadillac models, the third Ecto-1 was sliced into sections for filming certain scenes and was a 1961 donated by a Ghostbusters fans. Some of the moldings for the Ecto-1 built for Ghostbusters: Afterlife were recreated with 3D printings or fiber glass parts that were chromed when the original could not be sourced. The vehicle used for the Ecto-1 was a 1959 Cadillac professional chassis, built by the Miller-Meteor company. The ambulance/hearse combination was the end loader variety. Dr. Ray Stantz found the vehicle in 1984, shortly after he mortgaged his mother’s house to buy the Firehouse. Because of his mechanical skills, he was able to repair the vehicle, which he acquired for $4,800. After repairs were completed, the vehicle had quite a unique character. It became a well-recognized symbol for the Ghostbusters franchise. The vehicle had enough room in it to store Proton Packs for all of the crew, along with Ecto Goggles, P.K.E. Meters, and a slew of Traps.After Fred’s crew of Poltergeists killed Egon, Ray, and Winston, Fred stashed the bodies in Ecto-1. Fred then drove Ecto-1 off into the East River. It appears the Angels later hoisted Ecto from the river in the least.
The initial idea for the gunner seat was to just bolt on a regular Proton Pack. The gunner seat’s Particle Thrower was designed by Kirsten Franson then built by The Hand Prop Room. Early concepts for the Remote Trap Vehicle’s deployment in Ecto-1 included a swing out arm and a rotating turret door. For the No-Ghost logo on the Ecto-1s for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Francois Audouy recreated vinyl replicas of the logo then he integrated specific cracked patterns to simulate aging.
Ecto-1 buckled under weight of Proteus as the god stood atop it, anticipating the capture of Ghostbusters he had sought out. Janine drove the Ecto-1 and took Peter, Ray, and Winston to the Teterboro Airport where they took a private jet to Italy for their first case under contract with Erland Vinter. On a Friday, at 3 pm, weeks from Halloween, Winston tried to perform some maintenance on Ecto-1 in the garage bay while Ron Alexander went on and on about his grievances against Egon and Ray.In 1989, after Peter, Ray, and Egon were arrested on First Avenue, nearly all the equipment on Ecto-1 was stripped and confiscated by the police. Winston drove it to their trial at the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse and parked out front. When a third ghost, Mama Scoleri, manifested, Winston searched Ecto-1 for anything he could use. He found one Trap and captured her.
The Ecto-1 was modified during much of the The Real Ghostbusters’s run. These modifications included adding weapons, a blowup raft device, and more. For more about the changes go here.After the Ghostbusters were shut down, the Ecto-1 was used primarily for transport to and from appearances at such places as children’s birthday parties. It fell into a state of disrepair, and was seen spewing smoke, and having other various mechanical problems. Following the Ghostbusters’ return to business in 1989 after capturing the Scoleri Brothers, the Ecto-1 got an overhaul and was renamed Ecto-1a.
The next day, amid the chaos caused by the interdimensional cross-rip, Phoebe, Podcast, and Trevor returned to the sheriff’s department along with Lucky Domingo to recover Ecto-1 and the confiscated equipment. Trevor and Lucky found Ecto-1 up on a hydraulic lift. Phoebe pushed the equipment on a cart to the rear of Ecto-1. Trevor handed the equipment to Podcast inside. In Ecto-1, Trevor drove Phoebe and Podcast to the Shandor Mining Company. Once Zuul was trapped, Trevor started up Ecto-1 and the sirens turned on. It slid in with its rear facing the stair of the Temple of Gozer. Podcast and Phoebe headed into the rear with Callie Spengler. Phoebe closed the door and Ecto-1 took off. The Remote Trap Vehicle followed close behind. Callie came to and asked what was going on. Phoebe told her it was okay. Podcast informed her she was possessed. Phoebe added she turned into a dog. Podcast added she got kind of “humpy.” Callie was only getting more lost. Trevor yelled out for everyone to hold on. They turned at Spinners. Podcast lowered the hatch for the Remote Trap Vehicle. Callie remembered finding the Farmhouse’s underground laboratory. Phoebe cut her off and told her she knew about it. Callie recalled seeing computers and equipment. Podcast thought the place was insane. Callie agreed and revealed she sussed out Egon had a plan. Phoebe informed her they were aware. Callie remembered seeing all the photographs of her and realizing Egon was tracking her entire life. Podcast found that rewarding. Phoebe thought it was super but Trevor pointed out they were in the middle of trying to save the world. Callie wanted in.During a paranormal incursion incited by Idulnas, the Ecto-1 was outfitted with a Dimensionometer to banish captured spirits directly to the Spirit World.Dan Aykroyd’s original Ecto-1 was an all-black, rather sinister-looking machine with flashing white and purple strobe lights that gave it a strange, ultraviolet aura. While going through the script, the cinematographer László Kovács was the first who pointed out the black design would be a problem since part of the movie would be shot at night. It had some extranormal powers, such as the ability to dematerialize. One use of it would be to elude police pursuit. In drafts of the first movie, Ecto-1 was originally different models. In the July 6, 1983 draft, it was to be a blue and white 1975 Cadillac Full Formal Excelsior Ambulance bought for only $600 but by the time the September 30, 1983 draft was written, the price had escalated to $1400 for an even older 1959 model, “very long, gold 1959 Cadillac ambulance.” During filming, inflation increased the cost to $4800. It was ultimately decided that Ecto-1, and later Ecto-1a, would be a Miller-Meteor Futura Ambulance/Hearse Combination mounted on a 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood Professional Chassis.The black and gray 1959 Cadillac Miller Meteor Futura purchased by Ray in the movie was originally an ambulance used by the Bellwoods Rescue Squad No. 486 in Bellwood, Illonois, a suburb of Chicago, between 1968 and 1981. The exterior was red and white and the interior vinyl was baby blue. A young 20-something year old paramedic named Roger, who worked for a private ambulance company in Chicago, saw the Cadillac in November-December 1982 in the South Side with “59 Cadillac, Make Offer” written on the windshield with shoe polish. A few days later, he bought it and his father helped him retrieve it. In September 1983, the EMT company where he worked at was contacted by a representative of Columbia. They were looking for a ’59 Miller Meteor as the “before car” for a movie. Roger rented it to them for four months. The deal was that it would be transported to Los Angeles in October for the filming. However, it was first trucked to New York City for the exterior shoot outside Hook & Ladder Company #8 at 18 North Moore Street when Peter exclaims, “You can’t park that here!” Roger was able to make the trip to New York City in October 1983 using some of the rental money to see the filming. The license plate was “2785-FEM”. He was surprised to see his car painted black and gray. That was not part of the deal, but Columbia gave him a second payment to cover the price of painting it back the way it had been. It was then transported to Los Angeles for the interior shoot of Dana’s first entrance into the Firehouse. A total of 94 miles was added to its odometer.Ecto-1 was backfiring and spewing smoke. This was not done by special effects as the Cadillac truly was in a poor state of repair. It finally “died” on the Brooklyn Bridge. The New York Police Department fined the filmmakers because the Brooklyn Bridge lacked breakdown lanes and Ecto-1 was blocking traffic. Vinz Clortho made a move for the Remote Trap Vehicle but missed. Podcast steered it to the sidewalk. Callie asked what that was. Trevor replied that was her boyfriend Gary. She took issue with “boyfriend.” Vinz chased the Remote Trap Vehicle onto the sidewalk. He rammed into benches, tables, chairs, and newsstands before stumbling and tripping. Phoebe told her the Gatekeeper was in the Trap and her reunited with the Keymaster was bad. Callie was not catching on. Phoebe put a pin in it, pulled the lever, and moved outside on the gunner chair then she blasted Vinz. Vinz yelped. Phoebe returned inside. Callie was shocked. Phoebe stated she was a scientist. The Remote Trap Vehicle reached the ramp but faltered then finally entered the car. Phoebe continued explaining the plan to Callie. Ecto-1 plowed through some of the Revelation 3:16 signs. They all screamed. Ecto-1 broke down in Central Park. They were blocking the crosstown traffic so the cast and crew pushed it out of the way. After principal photography moved to Los Angeles, the second unit continued doing a couple of shots in New York with Ecto-1 and it broke down. Ecto-1 died during filming of the Chapter 20 “Keymaster” scene where Ray and Winston drove across the Manhattan Bridge. The black and gray Cadillac was returned to Roger in February 1984 with some damage to the rear end as if it had been backed into a wall. A hand-made logo was put on the door then Roger and his then-girlfriend Annette took the car to a drive-in for opening night of the movie in Wheeling, Illinois on June 15, 1984. A few years later, in 1988, Roger sold it to a downstate Illinois paramedic and car collector named Ed. Before the release of Ghostbusters: The Video Game in 2009, the original Ecto-1 was now rusty and literally falling apart. It was fully restored to promote the game. Dan Aykroyd was shocked at the high quality of the restoration. Around 2012, the black and gray Cadillac was sold to a private car collection in Illinois. In the original movie, Ray Stantz pays $4,800 (equivalent to $13,521 in 2022) for it and claims it needs a plethora of repairs. In Stantz’s own words, “it needs suspension work and shocks, brakes, brake pads, lining, steering box, transmission, rear end… maybe new rings, also mufflers, a little wiring….”Earlier versions of scrip
ts written by Aykroyd for the first Ghostbusters also includes mentions of the Ectomobile having the power of interdimensional travel. The shooting script for the movie describes the Ectomobile as being black, with purple and white strobe lights that gave the vehicle a “purple aura”.
A miniature replica of the vehicle was mass-produced as a children’s toy. Polar Lights released a 1/24 scale model kit of the Ecto-1 in 2002. In 2010, Hot Wheels released a “Ghostbusters Ecto-1” as part of the “2010 Hot Wheels Premiere” series.