The Ecto-1 was the vehicle that the Ghostbusters used to travel throughout New York City busting ghosts and other entities.
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 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.
- Suspension work
- Brake pads
- Steering box
- Rear end
- New rings
- (a little) wiring
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 is seen spewing smoke, and having various other mechanical problems.
A further updated version of the Ecto-1 appears in during the Thanksgiving 1991 weekend, Ecto-1b. This version is similar to the Ecto-1a, but adds a Super Slammer Muon Trap on the roof which enables it to capture smaller ghosts much more quickly than the portable versions, as well as adding the possibility of capturing much larger ghosts.
Secondary Canon History
The Ecto-1 was modified during much of the first cartoon's run, These modifications included adding weapons, a blowup raft device, and more. For more about the changes go here.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game Stylized Versions
The Ecto-1 makes only brief appearances in the Stylized Version. It should be noted that the Stylized Version game uses the old name Ecto-1 and not the Ecto-1b like in the Realistic Versions.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game Stylized Portable Version
The Ecto-1 is drive-able in Stylized Portable Version. Like the standard Stylized Version, it is referred to as the Ecto-1 and not the Ecto-1b.
Upgrades are offered to research in Egon's Lab in the Firehouse.
- Ability: Increases the Ecto-1's maximum speed.
- Research Cost: money cost: $750, slime cost: 38
- Research Duration: 4 days
- Ability: Reduces collision damage to the Ecto-1 by 10%.
- Research Cost: money cost: $1000, slime cost: 375
- Research Duration: 4 days
Proton Acceleration Cannon
- Ability: Increases the Ecto-1's proton cannon effectiveness by 20%.
- Research Cost: money cost: $1250, slime cost: 300
- Research Duration: 4 days
- Ability: Increases the Ecto-1's maximum speed even more.
- Research Cost: money cost: $2000, slime cost: 150
- Research Duration: 8 days
- Ability: Reduces collision damage to the Ecto-1 by another 15%.
- Research Cost: money cost: $1500, slime cost: 750
- Research Duration: 4 days
Megawatt Proton Cannon
- Ability: Increases the Ecto-1's proton cannon effectiveness by another 20%.
- Research Cost: money cost: $2000, slime cost: 600
- Research Duration: 4 days
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.
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.
While traversing Janine's memories, Roger Baugh and Egon stumbled on Janine's interview with Peter in the Firehouse, circa 1984. Behind her was the Ecto-1, before Ray finished upgrading it. After the Tiamat incident, the Ecto was changed back to the original Ecto-1 version. Peter and Winston drove Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo to Chinatown in Ecto-1 after descriptions of an entity on a rampage matched that of Chi-You. Michelangelo was happy to man the siren. During the final battle against Chi-You in the Firehouse, Ecto-1's hood was dented by his thralls.
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.
During a full moon, the Ghostbusters chased a ghost all over Brooklyn. It attacked Ecto-1 outside Prospect Park. The Ghostbusters exited Ecto-1 with their gear and climbed out of the sinkhole. Ray sighed at Ecto-1's predicament. Egon wiped his glasses and told Ray it wasn't a loss since they could have it hoisted and make improvements. Peter reminded everyone they had a ghost to blast first. They went into the park in search of it. Ectronymous Diamatron happened to see the Ecto-1 and had the Sky Spy scan it to add it as his vehicle form. He believed he would blend in perfectly then attempted to track down the Cybertronian signal he was tasked with investigating. The Ghostbusters returned and were perplexed with the presence of two Ecto-1 cars. Ray checked and confirmed it was still in the sinkhole. Ectronymous transformed into his robot form and revealed himself to the Ghostbusters after they trapped Starscream. Ecto-1 was stored in the Warehouse in the meantime.
Ghostbusters: The Board Game
Behind the Scenes
- Ecto-1 and Ecto-1a are Miller-Meteor Futura Ambulance/Hearse Combination mounted on a 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood Professional Chassis.
- Stephen Dane, credited as a Hardware Consultant, was the fabricator of the original Ectomobile. 
- On October 5, 1983, Dane started working on Ecto-1. He visited the primary ambulance in the backlot at The Burbank Studios. He took reference photos and measurements then went home. Dane drew up isometrics of Ecto-1 and its roof rack and various views and elevations of the exterior and interior. Dane spent the longest amount of time in his gig working on the Ecto-1 design.
- After Reitman approved Dane's design, studio painters and prop makers at The Burbank Studios Mill went to work on paint and detailing. Dane oversaw construction and directed them on building the car based off his designs. After about two weeks, the paint job and details were blocked out. The prop makers also repaired the ambulance to driving condition, cleaned the interior, and installed equipment.
- By the time it shipped on October 19, the ambulance was about half-done. Dane bought parts for the roof rack. Once it was done, it was shipped to New York where it was attached to Ecto-1. The finished Ecto-1 wasn't an exact duplicate of Dane's designs. Dane originally drew the Proton Packs to lay sideways on Ecto-1's gurney but the prop makes changed that so the packs were upright at a slight angle. Some parts on the roof rack changed position from the design. They were on top of each other or faced in a different direction. After one to two days of finishing touches, Ecto-1 was ready for filming. 
- In previous drafts of the first movie, Ecto-1 was originally to be a 1975 Cadillac ambulance bought for only $600 but by the time the final script was written, the price had escalated to $1400 for an even older 1959 model. During filming, inflation increased the cost to $4800.
- 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 Laszlo Kovacs first pointed out the black design would be a problem since part of the movie would be shot at night.  
- Dan Aykroyd's original Ecto-1 had some extranormal powers, such as the ability to dematerialize.  One use of it would be to elude police pursuit. 
- $4800 was a rather large sum at the time for a used vehicle in such disrepair - but is comparable to about $10,686.44 in 2012 dollars 
- A second Cadillac was bought in case of any maintenance problems during filming but only the primary was fully converted. The secondary was used solely for early "premodification" scenes. 
- Ecto-1 was promoting the 1984 film shortly after it was released in theaters. It drove around New York City with one of the Ghostbusters driving it in costume. Ecto-1 caused many accidents because other drivers lost control when they spotted the now-famous car. 
- In a deleted scene of the first movie, there was encounter between a policeman and the Ecto-1. It was the only scene in the final shooting script that suggested the vehicle had some extranormal powers carried over from Aykroyd's initial draft. It was removed because it slowed down the montage. 
- After shooting moved to Los Angeles, the second unit continued doing a couple of shots in New York with Ecto-1 and it broke down.  Ivan Reitman also felt it was asking too much from the audience. 
- In Ghostbusters II, 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 NYPD fined the filmmakers because the Brooklyn Bridge does not have breakdown lanes and Ecto-1 was blocking traffic.
- Before Ghostbusters: The Video Game was released, the original (and now rusty and literally falling apart) Ecto-1 was restored to promote the game. Dan Aykroyd was shocked at the high quality of the restoration.
- There had been 3 Miller-Meteor Ambulances to portray the 2 vehicles, the pre-Ecto-1 which was never transformed, Ecto-1 which was originally a gold ambulance and Ecto-1a.
- On page nine of Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #9, Steven Dane's schematic is on the upper right section of Egon's board.
- Ecto-1 was added as a Kickstarter exclusive upgrade to Cryptozotic Entertainment's Ghostbusters: The Board Game after the first stretch goal of $300,000 was achieved. 
- On page 18, panel 4, of Ghostbusters: Get Real Issue #1, on the brown cork board, are Stephen Dane's isometric sketches of the pack rack and Ecto-1.
- On page 18 of Ghostbusters: Get Real Issue #2, in panel 3, on the upper right of the chalkboard, partially blocked by Egon's head is Stephen Dane's detailed final sketch of Ecto-1 from the first movie.
- Ecto-1 appears on the regular cover of Ghostbusters International #9.
- Ecto-1 makes a cameo on Credits Page of Ghostbusters 101 #1.
- On the Subscription Cover of Ghostbusters 101 #5, on the right bottom is Lady Slimer and Slimer from Answer The Call in Ecto-1 from the first movie. The license plate is Bustin' in place of Cruisin' in the American Graffiti poster.
- Ghostbusters: Interdimensional Cross-Rip features Ecto-1 with various exterior and interior shots and advertisements.
- On page 11 of Ghostbusters Annual 2018, in panel 3, the Stay Puft packet on the dash is Alma's The Real Ghostbusters: Soft Mallow Pieces from the UK.
- Ecto-1 appears on Cover A and RI of Ghostbusters Crossing Over Issue #8.
- Ecto-1 appears on Cover RE of 35th Anniversary: Ghostbusters.
- Ghostbusters II
Secondary Canon Appearances
- 88MPH Studios
- Ghost Busted (manga)
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 6
- Ghostbusters: The Video Game
- IDW Comics
- "The Other Side 1"
- "The Other Side 2"
- "Past, Present, and Future"
- "Tainted Love"
- "What in Samhain Just Happened?!"
- "Guess What's Coming to Dinner?"
- "Ghostbusters: Infestation #1"
- "Ghostbusters: Infestation #2"
- Ongoing Series
- Volume 2
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ghostbusters
- Ghostbusters Get Real
- Ghostbusters Annual 2015
- "Daydreams and Nightmares!"
- "Hot Foot"
- "A Fall Wind in Summer"
- "World of the Psychic"
- Volume 3
- Ghostbusters Annual 2017
- Where Winston Was
- Ghostbusters 101 Prelude
- Ghostbusters 101
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters Volume 2
- Ghostbusters Annual 2018
- Ghostbusters Crossing Over
- Ghostbusters IDW 20/20
- IDW 20/20 (Dimension 50-S version only)
- 35th Anniversary: Ghostbusters
- Transformers/Ghostbusters: Ghosts of Cybertron
- "Times Scare!"
- The X-Files: Conspiracy: Ghostbusters
- Ghostbusters: Deviations
- ↑ Ray Stantz (2005). Ghostbusters (1984) (DVD ts. 20:46). Columbia Pictures. Ray says: "Only 4800."
- ↑ Ray Stantz (2005). Ghostbusters (1984) (DVD ts. 20:36-45). Columbia Pictures. Ray says: "Everybody can relax, I found the car. Needs some suspension work and shocks... and brakes, brake pads, linings, steering box, transmission, rear end."
- ↑ Ray Stantz (2005). Ghostbusters (1984) (DVD ts. 20:46-20:49). Columbia Pictures. Ray says: "Only 4800. Maybe new rings, also mufflers, a little wiring."
- ↑ Ghostbusters Credits
- ↑ Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 66. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Paragraph reads: "Working with a basic 1959 Cadillac ambulance, hardware consultant Steven Dane designed and modified the final vehicle."
- ↑ "Beyond the Marquee: The Web-Series (Episode 70) – The GHOSTBUSTERS Ecto-1 Car and Designer Stephen Dane" 9/18/14
- ↑ Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 50 annotation. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Paragraph reads: "In all previous drafts -- including Aykroyd's -- the basic vehicle from which the 'Ectomobile' would evolve was specified to be a 1975 Cadillac ambulance, secured for a bargain basement price of only $600. By the time the final script was written, the price had escalated to $1400 -- for an even older 1959 model. During filming, inflation struck once more, and the pricetag was upped to $4800."
- ↑ Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 67 annotation. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Paragraph reads: "Dan Aykroyd's original Ectomobile was an all-black rather sinister-looking machine with flashing white and purple strobe lights that gave it a strange, ultraviolet aura. Though kept essentially intact through all the drafts, the vehicle concept -- suggesting a hearse rather more than an ambulance -- was clearly more in keeping with the darker tone of Aykroyd's first draft than with the lighter ones that followed it. It was cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs, however, who first pointed out a serious problem with it."
- ↑ Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 67 annotation. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Joe Medjuck recounts: "The Ectomobile would have been nothing more than a couple of headlights driving through the streets. So, keeping that in mind, we decided we'd better go with a white ambulance trimmed in red."
- ↑ Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 67 annotation. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Harold Ramis recounts: "Dan's script was set in the near future and there was much more fantasy in it. In that script, the Ectomobile was able to dematerialize. When we anchored the script more in reality and set the time in the present, that concept had to go. Besides, it's funnier so see them in an old ambulance that barely runs."
- ↑ Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 95 annotation. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Harold Ramis recounts: "The encounter between the policeman and the Ectomobile is the only scene in the final shooting script which suggested that the vehicle itself had some extranormal powers -- a carryover from Dan Aykroyd's initial draft in which the Ectomobile was equipped with an advanced dematerializing capability that allowed its operators, functioning somewhat outside the law, to readily elude police pursuit."
- ↑ CPI Inflation Calculator
- ↑ Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 66. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Paragraph reads: "Although a second backup vehicle was procured as a hedge against maintenance problems, only the primary ambulance was fully converted. In the end, the backup was used solely for early 'premodification' scenes."
- ↑ Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 95 annotation. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Paragraph reads: "Though the ticketing sequence was shot and cut into the film, it was ultimately removed because it slowed down the breakneck pace of the montage."
- ↑ Beyond the Marquee Joe Medjuck Interview 9/15/14
- ↑ Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 95 annotation. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Ivan Reitman says: "There was no reason for the Ectomobile to have magical powers. It had been done with the Bluesmobile in The Blues Brothers -- where the car did somersaults and things like that -- and I didn't think it was particularly successful. I don't like movies that have no rules -- where anything is possible. We were already asking the audience to believe that there was a piece of equipment that could trap a ghost. Asking them to accept an Ectomobile with supernatural powers was just too much."
- ↑ Ghostbusters: The Board Game Update 3 2/11/15
- ↑ Peter Venkman (2016). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters International #1" (2016) (Comic p.10). Peter Venkman says: "I can get you a brochure from the car."
- ↑ Ray Stantz (2019). IDW Comics- " Transformers/Ghostbusters Issue #2" (2019) (Comic p.2). Ray Stantz says: "Are we sure it's not a ghost that's animating the vehicle?"
- ↑ Ray Stantz (2019). IDW Comics- " Transformers/Ghostbusters Issue #2" (2019) (Comic p.20). Ray Stantz says: "Our car is... well, you saw."