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Ghostbusters' New ECTO-1: A Phantom Buster or Just a Bust?

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author photo by Lindsay Martell July 2016

You're a Ghostbuster. You purge phantoms and slay slimers as a professional calling. What do you drive to work? A tricked-out ECTO-1, of course.

In the early-1980s blockbuster Ghostbusters, a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance-hearse combo carried the ghost-busting team played by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson around New York. Fairly sleek for a car designed to carry the deceased (and, theoretically, the remnants of spirits and their ghoulish counterparts), the ECTO-1 boasted streamlined fins and rounded edges. Some fans hailed it as the breakout star of the flick, loving every screech and cartoonish turn it took as it barreled through the Big Apple.

The first iteration was both classic and modern, thanks to its ambulance-derived features and gadgets galore. It was both clunky and loveable, simultaneously bumbling and all business. It was Ghostbuster-goofy, and we loved it.

ECTO-1, 2.0

It's not surprising the ECTO-1 got a makeover for the 2016 film starring Kristen Wiig, MelissaMcCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon. The folks at Sony kept it in the Cadillac family -- it's a 1984 Fleetwood with a hearse body. They also maintained the white-and-red color combination and the assortment of flashing lights, sirens and megaphones on the roof, as well as the unmistakable Ghostbuster logo on the side and a New York license plate reading ECTO-1.

When the film's director Paul Feig tweeted a photo of the new rig, score of fans denounced the new design, slamming it for its lack of cool. Gone were the shiny chrome and fins that gave the original ECTO-1 its hip yet clunky look.

Swagger and Slime

But in previews of the new flick, the revamped ECTO-1 appears to have plenty of edge and swagger. In a behind-the-scenes clip released by Sony Pictures, we see how a humdrum black and red hearse on loan from a local funeral home gets fully transformed into a ghost-busting dream car.

The stars of the flick couldn't be more jazzed about it. "I think it's going to satisfy the taste buds of the people who love the original. They'll love this one, too, because it's different," says Leslie Jones, who plays Patty Tolan, a street-savvy New Yorker who convinces her uncle to fork over the car for their ghoul-gathering missions.

Mission Accomplished

What better way to transport a slew of clunky proton packs and ghost traps than with a suped-up Cadillac? "[We] loved the look of it, loved the sleek lines," says Feig. "We wanted to kind of make it our own, to keep the fun of the original but have our own version of it."

When it comes to keeping slimesters and phantoms from wreaking haunted havoc, the lady ghostbusters have a friend on four wheels.

"You cannot do Ghostbusters without the ECTO-1," says Feig. Frankly, who would want to?

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Ghostbusters' New ECTO-1: A Phantom Buster or Just a Bust? - Autotrader