Peter Green HOSTBUSTERS – Ecto 1 Featurette: Resurrecting the Classic Car
Driving around acto is just this great character of the film it’s funny it’s sci fi, it’s cool it’s nostalgic, and we had this vision of getting ecto 1 totally refurbished. You can restore any kind of vehicle, but have something like ecto. You don’t get that opportunity every day. The ecto is certainly a piece of Hollywood history. If you want it to look it’s best and when somebody like mr. akroy is gon na visit, us don’t want the customer to be a hundred percent out. A lot of the interesting things when we started the refurbishment piece was realized that ACTA won’t really is the genesis of Dan. He knew that there was this car he had in mind. Dan is so technical. His script would describe things in exact detail and he got a friend of his to do illustrations with the script. The car originally was black with all kinds of really black electronic brushed boxes on it, and you know deep purple lights and everything. Then we paint it up and bring it up as follows. This was a lighter on a brighter paint scheme and see that we made the right decision there. Dan had always wanted to have an old used ambulance as the basis for the Exxon, Mobil and that’s. Just seem so funny and so right for the movie, because it kind of looks a bit clown car I mean you know we.
We did have some great clowns in there.
In the picture we Came, we saw we kicked its at cars based on a 59 Cadillac series, 62 Miller, meteor built those cars for ambulance and earth. Setups. You go back to 1959. The car designers at the time wanted to make this car look like it could fly. It has elongated tail fins, it’s got a very big body, almost like a spaceship or an airplane. We needed streamlining to be able to corner be able to go through tunnels in New York City, but it also had to have the capacity to carry the four people and also just the level of equipment. We had to carry they’re heavy they’re, not the best handling cars in the world, so some of the stuff that they put the car through in the show is pretty amazing for the amount of weight that was in the car back toe actually makes a great appearance. It’S, probably one of my all time, favorite grand entrances in a film it’s like a superhero tearing out of a phone booth, you just can’t get better than that big barrel in 1959, Cadillac chassis, rolling down the street with that siren, blazing and wild colors. Looking the way it did with this logo on the side you had to smile, you had to laugh so it achieved what we wanted it to right away. Over the past 25 years, it’s been in parades, it’s been in theme park attractions wherever that thing has ever been.
It has been just an amazing appearance. It has been a huge success, so when we were deciding to relaunch ghostbusters as a major next gen video game, we started realizing. We got ta, get act, a one out on the road and that’s a great realization, but then the next dawning was Yanks. It needs a lot of work, need some suspension, work and shocks and brakes brake pads lining steering box transmission rear end. I got a call from Keith Hargrove you asking me: we want to use ecto like a promotional, fit and we’re thinking about. You know clean a thing up real nice make it look great. Can we do that here? We knew that cinema vehicle services had a background when, first time you visit their warehouse, it is an eye open. You know if you say I need 17 police cars from circa 1984. They have it of the building and act. Oh one, we just felt like we had a perfect fit and that’s. When the refurbishment process really took off the car came in, it had been sitting for a long time. The belts hoses fluids. You know carburetor fuel tank, all the fuel lines most of the wiring no had to be refurbished to replace the body has had a lot of weathering over the years. There are some rust issues that probably were inherent with that car when they first bought it. When we first started with ecto, we probably took 200 pictures from every angle inside outside under the hood, every little almost the screws you know, and then it really helps out in the restore in a vehicle.
The basic premise of it was that we wanted to make especially the exterior ecto 1 as close to the original was Music Applause disassembled. What we needed to on the exterior components. We sent all the exterior components to our different departments to fabrication and electrical and had those parts gone through the very first time I got kind of scared was the day I got there and all the accessories have been lifted off the car. So it was just stripped bare, and that was the day. I realized myself well there’s! No! Turning back now we have to refurbish this car because we just dismantled it. Bike was pretty tough. We replaced as much sheetmetal as need be sent the actual body of ecto to our body. Shop started primer in it sanding it get it ready for paint Music. Then it was time to put ecto back together. We end up restoring the light bars on the top of ecto, replacing the lens polishing some lenses, a lot of the old motor mechanisms. We had to upgrade them and put newer motors in them and then I remember we ran that car for about a day and a half literally about 12 hours a day just to try to get it to fail and there were certain things that did fail. So we want to make sure it was dependable while this process was going on, you know he said Sony’s talking about giving us some audiovideo components, you guys capable of doing that sure making sure.
First of all that when we put it in it, doesn’t look too out of place. You know we need to sneak it in strategically to where everyone doesn’t go. Hey that wasn’t a part of the original you know. So we want to keep the asset pure. They wanted to upgrade it a little bit, but there again just not take away from the fact of what it was instead of just plopping speakers where people would traditionally put them in the door panels. We’Re gon na hide them yeah. We Hartman’s because this was a combination. First ambulance body, there was all these little side, compartments and doors and everything and everything fit really cool into that like it just existed, so it is actually something that just turned out perfectly. Even the DVD audiovideo system we put up in the upper compartment where the divider panel is between the driver, compartment and the rear compartment it’s all hidden away. So when you look in acto, it doesn’t look like this things being completely modified. The reaction you get having that car here is unbelievable everyone that came here if they had a glimpse of it. Oh wow, cept. Oh I want to take a photo with it. It’S, like you, can’t you can’t. As far as the fan aspect of it, we were doing research on the cars and I came across fan websites and it’s kind of neat that these people build replicas of cars I’m. All for that, I couldn’t believe how many different vehicles that are being built out there I mean it’s, like they’re into it.
During the refurbishment, we started realizing that there were people out there that climb fences and sneak into garages. Basically, I felt like a detective had to watch people coming in the shop. I actually caught a couple guys what a camera had to chase them all around, but I mean that’s how much attention that car gets where you can get people trying to sneak in our shop, taking pictures, there’s, always stuff. That comes up that you don’t anticipate, especially when you’re working on a 40 year old car. It was a bit of a challenge trying to find some old bits and gadgets to restore some of the outside pieces. It’S. A lot of it was just handmade stuff. We got stuff from all over the world. The windshield came out of South Africa if I’m not mistaken. I was really worried that the chrome you’re not gon na find too many chrome pieces that fit in 1959 Cadillac anymore and if you do it’s, probably gon na need an extensive amount of polishing and refurbishment. Well, everything we did to act. Oh, it was a little tricky, but once you start putting all the chrome on it, that’s when you start seeing the car, then last and lease is pretty much just the upholstery and the paintwork on it. We polished up the gurney and we’re able to do a lot of stuff with the electronics and you step back and you look at it and you go that’s cool yeah that looked good yeah that’s nice.
We started realizing. You know, step by step. We were getting, there were actually getting closer, okay, oh well. We knew we sort of had a VIP coming and it wasn’t just to drop by. We knew that was also sort of an unofficial approval process of how well did we do? How do you do mr. Aykroyd ray Claridge ray? Thank you so much for welcoming me to the gates of heaven cinema Vehicle Services. Only in Hollywood, could you have a place like this there’s, a buzz around the shop when the word got out that Dan Aykroyd beat her. Everybody was coming out to me. Hi. Is that true people that I have working for me? A lot of them been here for a long time. So, certainly when somebody like mr. akroy is gon na visit us, you know it’s a it’s, a big boost for us. What was a long anxiety you know getting to meet somebody that you used to watch as a kid. You know now I’m working on stuff that he’s working on everything kind of led up to that meeting, and so there was an extra level of nervousness on my partner’s, like Dan gon na, like you know this car about to show you what we did Wow look At that Cadillac, Music, first time you, you see the carne film, you wow it’s, a big car it’s, pretty impressive. First time you see it in person, I mean it is honking huge it’s, the prehistoric SUV.
Congratulations! First of all long I mean this is magnificent. It’S been an endeavor of fan, joy, oh it’s, beautiful I’m sure he was surprised, seeing the car from you know, 25 years ago to now seeing it in a different state. Well, when he first saw the car, I think he was quite surprised that how much of the originality was still there and it shocked me of his knowledge. Actually I mean he knows a lot about those old Cadillacs now. This, of course, is the 59 Cadillac which was based upon, I think either an MampM or hassel Eisenhart culture much a little different pimp, but I mean that’s positively, just impaling, but he was just flawlessly brought it back got in glad. I didn’t have to pay this Dan really is the tech wizard and can talk about the car and levels that no one else could talk about the car closer muons rubbers up yeah. We we had lost that in the Hangout. Everything on there has a reason for sure there’s, a radio. You know GPS locator there’s, you know high intensity, microphones, EMF. Scrubbers was all related to the hardware needed to go out and do what we had to do, which is a dirty dirty job. Dr. Spangler got to miniaturize this for firfer mobile purposes, that’s how brilliant dr. Spangler was she’s, very tough to get it back up and running. So I know having a schematics on it. No, no that’s right that’s right.
He had a back story for every gadget and he wasn’t making it up. Theoretically, if you gave him enough time and enough money, he could make that stuff work. No, these condensers in here I assume, were for these landing strokes. These are aircraft landing strobes. You really get that thing that it was not just another prop that it wasn’t just something in their holster. It was like a buddy that was along the ride for the the filming, even when the camera wasn’t working, I think we we took it for a few spins. I know Murray and I went around the corner for cigarette and it a couple of times absolutely. I used to take naps in the backseat there because he got the jump seats. You know it’s the perfect length to stretch out no, we were in the backseat and he was looking at the DVD that display of the movie, and at that moment he was just a guy and joined the movie and enjoying the car that it brings it all. Back again, kind of a I’m so proud of the way it holds up really, the film holds up really really well yeah. I think he wanted to just for old times sake get in it and rev it up and drive it and just to bring back his memories. It sounds good cool. No, he was chomping at the bit. I think he jumped right in and fired it up, feels good man, so we’re gon na go.
Take this thing for a little cruise it’s got a beautiful Cadillac motor I’ve pushed it pretty hard at driving it. You know absolutely I’ve got some sparks out of it. Leaned on it a little bit, you know just seeing him take off and hearing him corner around a couple of corners. It was like that was cool that was cool watching those two get together again. I think you could take it at home, he could have, but it made it out and it made it back. So our job was our job was done as we were really getting close to the end of the refurbishment process. You know it was quite a journey. There was a lot that we were impressed with with cinema vehicle services. We did this for the promotional value, of course, but as the process kept going, we started realizing we’re doing this really for the fans we put so much time and effort into the car thing means a lot to me. You know seeing it finished from when it first got here to you know it leavin completed I’ll, have memories forever and having Dan Aykroyd come over. I mean Cod that’s, something that you know I’ll be telling my grandkids about for years. You know this is the real car and that’s. What was special to us. You know, Sony would have come to us and said: look. We want to build three copies of the ecto. You know it had been another job, but when you get to take a piece of Hollywood history and rebuild it and then a new generation of fans get to see it.
That’S special that go on really holds itself well up there. In the pantheon of of movie vehicles, the people who worked on the car and were able to elaborate on it to the magnificence that you you see here, I never thought I’d, see it shined up and looking so good.