Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘Ghostbusters’: All About Their Car, the Ecto-1

‘Ghostbusters’: All About Their Car, the Ecto-1

Ghostbusters is the seminal horror comedy. It also featured one of the most iconic cars to come out of 80s film, the Ecto-1. Sure, it’s not as sexy as a James Bond car, or quite as slam-packed with gadgets like the Batmobile. However, its lived-in quality and distinctive look set it apart from other classic film automobiles. The Ecto-1 helps to personify the working-class vibes of the ghost-hunting crew played by Billy Murray, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, and Dan Aykroyd.

According to The Drive, the Ecto-1 has quite a backstory. The Wayne Corporation and the A.J. Miller Company were once rivals, specializing in manufacturing buses and producing hearses and ambulances, respectively. However, the Wayne Corporation eventually acquired A.J. Miller, resulting in an interesting turn of events in their shared history.

This led to the Cadillac Miller-Meteor being manufactured and launched in 1959. With just 400 units ever produced, it remained a rare gem of a vehicle. In 1984, it was transformed into the iconic Ecto-1 for Ghostbusters.

The Ecto-1 is known for its distinctive tailfins positioned at the rear. The Cadillac Miller-Meteor boasts the largest tailfins ever seen on any car. Interestingly, Cadillac also used these tailfins on another model, the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado. Despite the large tailfins, the Cadillac Miller-Meteor was notoriously cumbersome to drive even before being modified into the iconic Ecto-1.

The Ghostbusters Drove a Different Model Ecto-1 in the Script

However, co-screenwriter Dan Aykroyd hadn’t originally intended for the Ghostbusters to drive a modified Cadillac Miller-Meteor. According to Alt-Driver, in the initial script, Dan Aykroyd depicted the Ghostbusters cruising in a 1975 Cadillac.

However, when the 2016 Ghostbuster reboot rolled around, Aykroyd’s original choice provided some inspiration. The new crew’s The Ecto-1, a 1984 Cadillac Fleetwood hearse, bears some resemblance to the 1975 Cadillac.

One of the Ecto-1’s defining characteristics is the white paint job covered in weeks of filth. However, the original plan was for the car to have a much different look. Dan Aykroyd, as reported by The Drive, intended the Ghostbusters’ vehicle with a darker and more horror-themed appearance. Instead of an all-black Ecto-1 with purple lights, the initial plan shifted to the iconic white and red color scheme.

The idea of a black Ecto-1 with purple lights sounds extremely cool. However, since the scenes with the car involved so many night shoots, the white version is what the filmmakers went with.