The Carolina Ghostbusters Ecto-1 has had an interesting life and made a long journey. Almost lost to the elements and time, the hard work and endless hours and effort of a handful of people have made the Carolina Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1 what she is today.
Ecto started out in 1968 in Detroit, Michigan just off Clark Ave. at the Cadillac plant. At that time she was just a frame with a handfull of parts including rear fenders, bumper, front seat, a variety of door and interior trim pieces, and a spare tire. The Cadillac designation would have been 698908Q, 6 to indicate Cadillac, 98 and 90 being the series code and Fisher Body Division code for “commercial chassis” respectively, 8 for the ’68 model year, and Q as the designation for the Detroit plant.
After rolling off the Cadillac assembly line, Ecto took a trip to Piqua, Ohio, to the Divco/Wayne owned Miller-Meteor Company. At this point, the car ceased to be a Cadillac and became a Miller-Meteor. Miller-Meteor was in charge of the rest of the build, everything from the front dash to the back of the car. Miller-Meteor assigned its own VIN or Vehicle Identification Number to the car, not Cadillac. And Miller-Meteor was responsible for all of the extra bells and whistles that would get added to the final product that would roll off the assembly line. Ecto’s Body Number is 681079, the 68 being the model year, and 1079 the vehicle order number, number 1079 off the production line for the 1968 model year.
Ecto rolled off the assembly line with a 472 cubic-inch V-8 engine that could pump out 375 horsepower. Sitting on a 156″ wheelbase, her total length is 20’10”, and her curb weight is a spirit-crushing 6010 pounds, just over 3 tons.
From the production line, Ecto started with a small rescue squad/funeral home outside of Dayton, Ohio. She lived there until she was retired from service and purchased by one of the retired employees. She lived outside of Dayton, Ohio, until she was purchased by a young lady from the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She resided with the young lady until she was found by Russ Consul of Lovettsville, Virgina. Ecto wasn’t in the greatest of shape when Russ found her, but all the glass was intact and she was running, so that was a start.
So Russ took Ecto back to Lovettsville and started the restoration process. The first thing the ol’ gal needed was some fresh paint!
After the paint was on, Ecto would get a temporary roof build with lights and a roof rack before moving to her current home in Charlotte, North Carolina, for a complete refit.
The roof rack was reconstructed from the ground up with all new parts and pieces that more closely resembled equipment seen in the film.
More to come….