Who are you going to call? Ghostbusters! Yeah that is right, this week’s iconic movie car is the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Hearse that was featured in the movie and the Ghostbusters main mode of transportation it was also known as Ecto-1. The car would hold their proton packs, Ecto Goggles, P.K.E. Meters and a bunch of traps to capture ghosts.
The car went through quite a journey between the two movies. There were a total of 3 cars, 2 for the first movie and a 3rd for the second movie. The first one was modified to make it look as it did in the movie, a second was brought in incase of problems but was left un-modified and used for early shots when the movie was going through the transformation of the car. In the second movie the car was named Echo-1a and added a Super Slammer Muon Trap on the roof that would enable to Ghostbusters to capture smaller ghosts much quicker than the portable versions, it also added the possibility of capturing much larger ghosts.
In previous drafts of the movie Ecto-1 was supposed to be a 1975 Cadillac Ambulance, but by the time the final script was written, the price had escalated to $1400 for an even older 1959 model. During filming, inflation increased the cost to $4800. In the second movie Ecto-1 was backfiring and spewing smoke, this was not done by special effects as the Cadillac was in a poor state of repair. The car died on the Brooklyn Bridge and the NYPD fined the filmmakers because there are no breakdown lanes on the bridge.
In 1954, Wayne Works of Richmond, Indiana – a large school bus producer – purchased the Meteor Motor Car Co of Piqua. On March 19, 1956 Wayne announced the acquisition of another Ohio professional car builder, the A.J. Miller Company of Bellefontaine, Ohio. Under this new conglomerate, the company would not be called Miller-Meteor. From day one Miller-Meteor built on the Cadillac commercial chassis and the first coaches debuted in 1957. In 1958 there was a record breaking single order for 40 funeral cars, In 1962 the company was the largest manufacturer of funeral cars and ambulances on the Cadillac chasses; sales broke all records. The car originally retailed for around $11,000 and it was equipped with an 8 Cylinder cast iron block, V8 with 310HP.
After reading all about this car I have kind of grown fond of its unique look. This is no compact car that much I can tell you. This thing is a “Boat” and very bubbly, it had that normal 1959 look that we are used to, the “bubble” look. But as I read about it and looked into it the car grew on me and I sit here and think about what it would be like to drive one of these things around town? It would be a blast to just cruise around. I grew up with the movie Ghostbusters and watched it every time it was on T.V. I loved hearing the siren going off and the guys jumping into Ecto-1 screeching around corners to make it to their next ghost busting gig. The music was catchy and the movie was great! But of course Ecto-1 was what it was all about, it was their chariot and it was awesome!