The new Ghostbusters movie comes out on July 15, 2016, but fans have been getting excited for years — ever since the reboot announcement first came out. Every detail released about the movie ramps up the excitement, from the awesome, hilarious cast to the costumes and the set design. One of the most iconic images from the original, the ECTO-1, is back in full force, but with a few intriguing changes.
The New ECTO-1
In July of 2015, Paul Feig, the Ghostbusters reboot director, took to Twitter and showed the world of the new ECTO-1. They’ve upgraded from a 1959 Miller-Meteor Cadillac ambulance and hearse to a 1982 Cadillac hearse. Autoweek talked to Feig about the decision to go with an 80s hearse, and he revealed that not only is he drawn to 80s cars, but the Ghostbusters ladies don’t have a lot of money. The answer is a car that’s more than three decades old. Fun fact: the new ECTO-1 would have been around when Bill Murray’s crew of Ghostbusters was kicking ghostly butt in ’84.
How the Sweet Ride Looks
Like the original, this 80s Cadillac hearse is painted white with red accents and features the Ghostbusters emblem on the sides and back. Where the old car had those great 50s fins, this one is boxy like 80s cars usually are. In the trailer, Leslie Jones’s character borrows the car from her uncle and gets a less than enthusiastic response from the rest of the team. The new ECTO-1 has the same hodgepodge of gadgets strapped to its top, so hopefully it’s going to offer some classic ECTO-1 awesomeness.
Cadillac Engines in the 80s
The 80s were an interesting time for Cadillac design. In the late 1970s, Cadillac started downsizing their engines because of fuel economy issues, which means that the early 1980s saw some interesting engine changes for Cadillac. They came out with both the L61 and the L62, which may not have worked out so well in practice but were forbearers of today’s variable displacement engines. Hearses from the 80s were rear-wheel drive operations, and Cadillac had used Rochester Quadrujet 4 barrel carburators in their commercial vehicles since the 60s.
The Classic ECTO-1
A lot of what we know about the original ECTO-1 is because of what happens in the original film itself. The used vehicle required all kinds of repairs to basically every part of the car, from the transmission to the suspension to the brakes. It remains to be seen if the new Ghostbusters characters will have to do the same kind of work on their 80s hearse. The original ECTO-1 proved why an old ambulance was such a good choice: space. The Ghostbusters could fit all kinds of gadgetry in there, making it into a movie car icon that basically became a character in its own right.
From what we’ve seen so far, the new ECTO-1 gives a serious nod to its predecessor in both design and purpose. One thing we know for sure: everyone’s so ready to see this Cadillac in action.