The Ecto-1 was the vehicle that the Ghostbusters used to travel throughout New York City busting ghosts and other entities.
- 1 History
- 2 Secondary Canon History
- 3 Development
- 4 Trivia
- 5 Appearances
- 6 References
- 7 Also See
- 8 Gallery
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
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.
Work on the actual Ecto-1 also started in October 1983. Stephen Dane, credited as a Hardware Consultant, was the fabricator of the original Ecto-1. On October 5, 1983, Dane started working on Ecto-1. He visited the primary ambulance in the back lot 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 Ivan 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.
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.
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.
- In the August 5, 1983 draft of the first movie, on page 65, a Motor Trend cover hails Ecto-1 as "Car of the Year."
- There had been 3 Miller-Meteor Ambulances to portray the 2 vehicles in the first two movies, the pre-Ecto-1 which was never transformed, Ecto-1 which was originally a gold ambulance and Ecto-1a.
- Dan Aykroyd drove the Ecto-1 in New York.
- $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 of the first movie but only the primary was fully converted. The secondary was used solely for early "premodification" scenes.
- Sound designer Richard Beggs incorporated a modified leopard snarl for the siren sound. The snarl was reversed, played backwards, and then its speed was changed.
- 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. Ivan Reitman also felt it was asking too much from the audience.
- The scene where Ray and Winston are in Ecto-1 talking about end of the world was used to audition actors for the role of Winston.
- In the final shot of Ecto-1 driving way in the first movie, a 65mm camera was used. They could only do one take because they were losing daylight.
- In the Ghostbusters II November 27, 1988 draft:
- On page 7, Ecto-1 won't start after the party.
- On page 8, Ecto-1 finally starts but dies. Ray bangs his head on the steering wheel.
- 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.
- On Cover B of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #1, there is an Elwood Motors keychain. It is a nod to Blues Brothers and was seen on page 2 of the Interdimensional Cross-Rip hardcover in the car ad.
- Ecto-1 appears on Cover RI of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #1.
- On Cover RI of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #2, Ecto-1 is featured. Ray is working on the red "sniffer" antennae that is present on Ecto-1's roof rack. Next to the antennae is the Texas Instruments Cross-Section Sensitivity Unit, also from the roof rack.
- On Cover RI of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #3, Ecto-1 appears.
- The last panel on page 7 of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #4 recreates when Ecto-1 parked in front of the Sedgewick Hotel in the first movie.
- Ghostbusters II
Secondary Canon Appearances
- Ghost Busted (manga)
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 6
- 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
- Ghostbusters Year One
- 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."
- Dan Aykroyd (2009). 2009 Remaster of Ghostbusters, Ecto-1: Restoring the Classic Car (2009) (Blu-Ray ts. 11:36-11:41). Columbia Pictures. Dan Aykroyd says: "Dr. Spengler had to miniaturize this for--for mobile purposes."
- Dan Aykroyd (2009). 2009 Remaster of Ghostbusters, Ecto-1: Restoring the Classic Car (2009) (Blu-Ray ts. 11:17-11:20). Columbia Pictures. Dan Aykroyd says: "Those are Muon Scrubbers up there."
- Dan Aykroyd (2009). 2009 Remaster of Ghostbusters, Ecto-1: Restoring the Classic Car (2009) (Blu-Ray ts. 11:26-11:35). Columbia Pictures. Dan Aykroyd says: "There's radio GPS Locator, there's high intensity microfoams, EMF scrubbers, it was all related to the hardware needed to go out and do what we had to do."
- 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."
- 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."
- 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
- Ernie Hudson (2009). Ghostbusters- Slimer Mode (2009) (Blu-Ray ts. 29:21-29:33). Columbia TriStar Home Video. Ernie Hudson says: "I mean, I remember we were in Central Park, you know, the little crosstown traffic that goes through and we held traffic up when the car broke down. And we had to get out and try to push the thing."
- Beyond the Marquee Joe Medjuck Interview 9/15/14 Joe Medjuck says: "When you're making a movie, you have doubles for everything. We didn't have a double for that car. It was the only painted car and when we left town and flew back to LA to finish shooting, we had our second unit doing a couple of shots with the car in New York and it broke down. "
- Joe Medjuck (2005). Ghostbusters- Commentary (2005) (DVD ts. 1:03:21-1:03:23). Columbia TriStar Home Video. Joe Medjuck says: "This is when the car died at the end. "
- Aykroyd, Dan & Ramis, Harold (1983). Ghostbusters (First Draft August 5, 1983) (Script p. 65). Line reads: "FREEZE FRAME The cover of Motor Trend magazine: ECTO ONE - CAR OF THE YEAR.""
- Joe Medjuck (2019). Cleanin' Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters (2019) (Blu-Ray ts. 1:03:35-1:03:38). Bueno Productions. Joe Medjuck says: "Dan drove the Ectomobile."
- 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."
- Wallace, Daniel (2015). Ghostbusters The Ultimate Visual History, p. 42. Insight Editions, San Rafael CA USA, ISBN 9781608875108. Richard Beggs says: "It was a leopard snarl that I had done a number of things to. I looped it, cut it in quarter-inch tape, and played it backward. Usually I am very loath to play things backward, because they have a very telltale characteristic and I think it's sort of a cop out. I played it backward and it did that err-reearr-err-reearr- the exact opposite of an animal going arghh. It lost some of its organic sound and it became this 'mechanical animal' claxon."
- Richard Beggs (2019). Cleanin' Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters (2019) (Blu-Ray ts. 1:05:52-1:06:05). Bueno Productions. Richard Beggs says: "I made that from a leopard howl that was edited and then reversed and played backwards. And the speed was changed."
- 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."
- 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."
- Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 129 annotation. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Joe Medjuck: "This was one of the few scenes in the film that didn't have any big laughs in it, but we always liked it because it offered a possible explanation as to why the city was suddenly being plagued with ghosts. Also, it was a good scene for Winston -- in fact, this was the scene we used to audition actors for the role of Winston."
- Joe Medjuck (1999). Ghostbusters- Commentary (1999) (DVD ts. 01:40:16-01:40:34). Columbia TriStar Home Video. Joe Medjuck says: "I remember we got one chance at this shot because the light came down just as we were doing the shot. And they said it was the 65mm camera. So they could do that last shot. And they said they could only do one take because they lost all the light immediately."
- 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."