Say what you will about automotive performance in the 1970s and 1980s, but this era is responsible for the coolest Hollywood cars of all time, full stop. We could spend days writing articles about each one, but today our focus falls to everyone's favorite ghost-fighting Cadillac. Of course we're talking about Ecto-1 – the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance from the Ghostbusters movie franchise.
But wait, you say. That's not a 1959 Cadillac! In that assessment, you'd be correct. This is actually a 1960 model, easily identified by slightly smaller fins without twin bullet lights. In fact, this isn't even an ambulance with windows. It was originally a panel-side hearse, and it still is. Those big side windows are just black vinyl with chrome trim to mimic the window's shape, and you know what? Even up close, it's a pretty convincing facsimile. All in all, it's a fantastic build.
As such, some people might call this a tribute car instead of a replica since it's not movie accurate. The vehicle was built by Bob's Prop Shop in Las Vegas, and as the video explains, legit 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulances are already hard to come by. Getting one finished in full Ecto-1 garb can cost over $200,000, so the Ghostbusters fandom is full of tribute vehicles that faithfully honor the film. Heck, your humble author recently encountered a white Dodge Journey with all of Ecto-1's markings and gear on the roof. And you know what? It was the coolest Dodge Journey, ever.
This particular 1960 hearse was taken down to the bare body and rebuilt from pretty much the ground up. Under the hood is the original 390 cubic-inch (6.4-liter) V8, good for 325 horsepower (242 kilowatts) when new. A modern alternator and cooling system help the car along, and yes, the lights and siren are as wonderfully accurate as they should be.
With Ghostbusters: Afterlife now in theaters, Ecto-1 is back in the spotlight so don't be surprised if you see more tribute vehicles out and about. We love them all, but our hearts will always be with the classic Caddy.