1959 Cadillac Ambulance must be the ideal ghost busting machine! At least that’s what Ghostbuster Ray Stantz thought. In this “First Look” post, we’ll review the first image of Ecto 1 ever. Above is a snapshot of the Ecto 1 while still in black gray primer. The scene begins with Ray driving Ecto 1 with the lights and sirens on. He parks it at the door in front of the firehouse. Peter Venkman is standing out in the street supervising the guys who are putting the sign on the building. Ray jumps out of the car and proclaims that no one needs to worry, he’s found the car. Then he starts a rant of all the attention the car needs.
Needs some suspension work and shocks. Brakes, brake pads,
lining, steering box, transmission, rear-end.
Dr. Peter Venkman: How much?
Dr Ray Stantz: Only $4800.
[Venkman looks shocked]
Dr Ray Stantz: Also new rings, mufflers, a little wiring.
A Little Work?
A little work? I would classify that as a bit more than a “little work.” Note that Ray didn’t mention any body work, a paint job, a new light bar and all the ghostbusting equipment. Brake Pads? I didn’t realize he said that till recently. But most of these cars had drum brakes all around. It may require brake shoes, but not brake pads. Only $4800 bucks? $4800 bucks today is like $9900 today. At the time of the film, the car would have been around 25 years old. How many of you, would pay almost ten grand for a 25 year old car? I guess it would depend on the vehicle.
The primer version of the car used in this scene is a work of art. According to the Ghostbuster Wiki, the black car is the base for the Ecto 1A used in Ghostbusters II. I love how the front and rear tires don’t match, there are some missing hub caps, and the big radio antenna whip isn’t on the car. As a kid, I thought the tied back antenna was a factory detail for the Miller Meteor Caddy Ambulance. From the research I’ve done, that is not the case. The warning lights are basic compared to modern emergency vehicles. I haven’t seen another ambulance with both red and green lights.
I like the primer version of Ecto 1 almost as much as the finished version. I think a 59′ Caddy Ambulance would make a very interesting rat rod, although I haven’t seen any as of yet. But, I’m sure, some where out there someone has ratted one out. What are your thoughts about the black primer Ecto 1? Tell us about your first impressions of Ecto 1. Feel free to comment about those things, while we work on the next On Screen Cars post!