Ghostbusters Wiki
Ghostbusters Wiki

The Ecto-1a was an updated version of the Ecto-1 that the Ghostbusters used to travel. This vehicle appears in the film Ghostbusters II and many issues of Volume One and Two of the Ongoing IDW Comic Series.


Primary Canon History[]

The Ghostbusters installed improvements on Ecto-1 with more technical equipment. One of the most noticeable upgrades was a digital announcement board running down either side of the vehicle's roof broadcasting Ghostbuster advertisements, specials, and their phone number, JL5-2020 or 555-2020. Also, the logo was updated on the doors and back entrance of the ambulance, and was put on the hood.

Secondary Canon History[]

IDW Comics[]

After the "Infestation" event, the Ghostbusters switched from their Ecto-1 look back to Ecto-1a with a few tweaks, such as keeping the classic No Ghost logo. Ecto-1a was taken along by the Ghostbusters on their summer cross country trip across America. It was rear ended when Peter and Laura Parr were attacked by the Phantom Truck Driver. Luckily, a Super Slammer Muon Trap was attached to the roof for the trip. On Peter's cue, Laura opened the trap and the phantom was captured. Once the Ghostbusters returned to New York, Ray Stantz and Winston Zeddemore began maintenance on Ecto-1a. The next year, the New Ghostbusters used Ecto-1a for a little over three months while the Ghostbusters were imprisoned in the Collectors' Limbo. Kylie Griffin drove Ecto-1a to the Parkview Psychiatric Hospital for a consultation that turned into a confrontation with Idulnas and The Collectors. In November, on the night of the Day of the Dead, Ecto-1a's roof was slashed up by a projection of Santa Muerte. Winston was visibly angered by the attack and shot the projection, causing it to split into two.

Behind the Scenes[]

After Ghostbusters II premiered in theaters, the Ecto-1a was used for a cross-country promotional tour and appeared at various Hardees locations across the United States of America between June 26th to July 23rd 1989.[1] After Hardees promotion concluded, Ecto-1a went on display at Universal Studios Orlando in Florida until around 2004 to 2005.[2][3] It was returned to Sony's lot in California.[4] For the 25th anniversary, Sony initially planned to fully restore both Ecto-1 and Ecto-1a. They delayed Ecto-1a's restoration and eventually cancelled plans.[5][6][7] It was kept in storage. Around late spring/early summer 2019, Ecto-1a became one of the cars used as Ecto-1 for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Ghostlight Industries in Los Angeles was commissioned to build two operational Ecto-1 hero cars but had less than three months to do it and deliver it to Calgary, where principal photography took place.[8][9][10]


Ghostbusters II Trivia[]

  • Ecto-1a was originally scripted as Ecto-2, and one reference to this remains in the movie. When Dr. Venkman is standing outside of his apartment and the car pulls up, the phrase "Ecto-2" is visible on the license plate.
  • In Ghostbusters II, Chapter 16: Vigo 101, on the wall in Peter's office in the Firehouse are frames of magazine and newspaper features. In the center of row 3 is a Motor Trend issue with Ecto-1a on the cover. The images are various promo shots.
  • In a deleted scene set after Chapter 16: Vigo 101, a Vigo-possessed Ray tried to kill the Ghostbusters while driving Ecto-1a. At the last second, Winston punched Ray and jammed the brake. Instead of a lethal crash, Ecto-1a skidded into a tree.
  • In the November 27, 1988 draft, on page 97, the Ghostbusters drive to Gracie Mansion in Ecto-2.
  • In a deleted scene that would have introduced Louis Tully's cousin Sherman Tully. It was revealed Sherman helped get the Ghostbusters released from Parkview Psychiatric Hospital. One of the conditions was he would get to ride in Ecto-1a.
    • In the 11/27/88 draft, Louis filled up the car's gas tank with Super Unleaded, 20 cents more than Regular, and put it on his own credit card.[11]
  • In the deleted scene Peter's Concern, Jack Hardemeyer refers to Ecto-1a as the Ghostbusters' clown car.
  • As part of Kenner's The Real Ghostbusters Toy Line, an animated version of Ecto-1a was part of the ninth wave of toys.
    • Later, Jocsa reissued the Kenner vehicle and also released a version with working lights and sound based off the previous version.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trivia[]

  • The Ecto-1a that Sony had in a storage container was one of the cars used as Ecto-1 in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.[8]
  • An Ecto-1a license plate was in the Farmhouse's barn but it was not seen during the movie.[12]

Ghostbusters III: Hellbent Trivia[]

IDW Comics Trivia[]


  1. Ghostbusters Fans "Anyone remember Ecto-1 at your Hardees?" 12/22/2010
  2. Brent Lohaus Flickr "Ghostbusters Ecto-1a" 8/31/2010 to 9/1/2010
  3. Reddit kudzu007 "Universal Orlando Ecto1A" 7/1/2023 kudzu007 says: "This mustve been around June 2005. Went to Universal Orlando and they had this Ecto1A in really rough shape."
  4. Flickr Tony Castillo "Ecto1-A!" 10/3/2005
  5. Proton Charging "Sony Ectos getting some TLC?" 8/1/2007 Proton Charging says: "Jason (aka Star Car Detective) sent in some pictures of some familiar faces – dropping in at a Movie and TV car restoration company he knows, he was surprised to find a dusty Ecto-1 and Ecto-1a there. Details are limited (not a chatty bunch, those restorers), but the cars are Sony’s and once cleaned up will be on display for “walking-tours” (which suggests a home on the Sony lot, than at someplace like Universal Studios. Nice to see them get some care and attention – thanks Jason!"
  6. Proton Charging "Needs some suspension work..." 12/1/2007 Proton Charging says: "A secret squirrel sent in an update on the restoration of the Ecto-1 and Ecto-1a, currently underway. As you can see, the Ecto is in paint, and the Ecto-1a will follow shortly. So what’s it all mean? Well, it means, if I understand correctly, that they’ll both be done in January/February – the team working on the cars have picked January/February as their completion target."
  7. Proton Charging "Ecto-1a restoration pushed back" 4/29/2008 Proton Charging says: "The Hollywood Detective has check-in with PC, saying that due to an increased workload for active TV and movies, the restoration company that restored the Ecto-1 has had to put work on the Ecto-1a aside until mid-May or June. The HD also confirms that the Ecto-1 is currently on the Sony lot, and it only has two confirmed events in the future – namely appearing at the San Diego Comic Con and a game launch event on the Sony lot."
  8. 8.0 8.1 Go Creative Show YouTube "Ghostbusters Afterlife Production Design (with Francois Audouy) GCS291" 30:20-31:10 12/6/2021 Francois Audouy says: "We ended up using the-an Ecto-1 that Sony had in a storage container from the second film and then purchasing a second Ecto-1-a second 1959 Cadillac and then we took every-the picture vehicle company took the whole-both cars apart and catalog every single piece of both cars like like I don't know like forensically so basically imagine walking into a garage and two cars were completely torn-taken apart and then cataloged and then every singe piece, thousands and thousands of pieces were restored but then the cars now the cars, it wasn't just a restoration job because the cars had to do three things."
  9. Inguanzo, Ozzy (2021). Ghostbusters: Afterlife The Art and Making of the Movie, p. 88. Titan Books, London UK, ISBN 1789096529. Line reads: "The filmmakers commissioned Ghostlight Industries in Los Angeles to build two identical, fully operational hero Ecto-1s, inside and out. An interior buck that would come apart in four pieces for stage photography was also built."
  10. Inguanzo, Ozzy (2021). Ghostbusters: Afterlife The Art and Making of the Movie, p. 91. Titan Books, London UK, ISBN 1789096529. Line reads: "O'Neil's team had less than three months to deliver the restored vehicles to Calgary."
  11. Aykroyd, Dan & Ramis, Harold (1988). Ghostbusters II (November 27, 1988 Draft) (Script p. 108). Louis Tully says: "I brought everything you asked for and I gassed up that car with Super Unleaded. It cost twenty cents more than Regular Unleaded but you get much better performance and in an old car like this that'll end up saving you money in the long run. I put it on my credit card, so you can either reimburse me or I can take it out of petty cash--"
  12. Tested YouTube "The Production Design of Ghostbusters: Afterlife!" 4:33-4:27 1/26/2022
  13. Aykroyd, Dan (2006). Ghostbusters III: Hellbent (February 6, 1997 Treatment) (Script p. 5). "Winston Zeddemore says: "Hey Ray, your nephew Frank called from Ecto-1-A."


Primary Canon Appearances[]

Expanded Universe

Secondary Canon Appearances[]


Primary Canon Images[]

Secondary Canon Images[]

Behind the Scenes Images[]