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For those of us classified as Generation X, the iconic Ectomobile seen in the Ghostbusters movie franchise is one vehicle that is easily identified. While we may not know it by its real name, the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor (or by the Ectomobile), we know its shape and décor. We know that when there is trouble in the neighborhood, the Ghostbusters will come flying around a corner, ready to take on the ghosts and ghouls.
The 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor is what is known as a combination car. Combination cars were often built on the Cadillac Commercial Chassis but customized by other coachbuilders. These combination cars were primarily used in smaller towns as a hearse or ambulance, with the ability to switch between the two roles with relative ease.
The main coachbuilders to customize combination cars included Superior, Hess & Eisenhardt, Cotner-Bevington, and Miller-Meteor. Most combination cars had (or may feature) the following characteristics:
The Ghostbuster’s Ectomobile was a Cadillac Commercial Chassis with an ambulance-framed body.
The Meteor Motor Car Company in Piqua, Ohio, was purchased by Wayne Works in 1954. Meteor was responsible for building professional cars such as limousines and ambulances. In 1956, Wayne also acquired A.J. Miller’s professional car building company in Bellefontaine, Ohio, specializing in making hearses and ambulances models. The Miller Co. was soon combined with Wayne’s existing professional car subsidiary, Meteor, forming the Miller-Meteor division.
The Ectomobile (also called the Ecto-1) is an iconic limo-style end loader combination car that just about every Gen X can identify from a mile away. The ambulance conversion of the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor was used in the 1984 Ghostbusters movie and all the other Ghostbusters fiction. The original vehicle design is credited to Steven Dane, listed as a Hardware Consultant in the movie’s credits.
In the 1984 movie, Stantz pays $4,800 for the car, claiming that it needs a massive number of repairs. Today, this would be the equivalent of almost $12k. After the necessary reconstruction, the Ectomobile graces the streets of New York City, carrying around the Ghostbusters and their ghost-capturing equipment. One feature of the Ectomobile included a pull-out rack utilizing the ambulance’s old gurney in the back, which contained their proton packs. Many different gadgets were also mounted to the top of the vehicle, but the function of these was never revealed in the movies.
Three Cadillac Miller-Meteors were used for the filming of the original Ghostbuster’s movies. The first was a black model, leased for the movie’s opening but was never converted for filming. The original color of the Ecto-1 was black, but filmmakers decided that a black car would be too hard to see in the night shots. They changed to the white model, and the third model was purchased when the second one broke down during the filming of the second movie.
The company eventually purchased the originally leased vehicle and converted it for touring. The other two currently sit on the backlot at Sony pictures. They have undergone a full restoration after years of deterioration. The Universal Studios’ “Spooktacular” stage show featured an Ecto-1 replica that a man in Tennessee built. The replica sold at the Barrett-Jackson auto auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2010, for $80,000. Another replica was made by Peter Mosen and bought by George Barris, a designer and builder of notable Hollywood cars (the Munster’s Koach). There is one more replica on the books, residing in Roscoe, Illinois, at the Historic Auto Attractions museum.
Even though the iconic car is and will always be associated with the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor, but over the years, the Ghostbusters have had other options for their ghoulish-crime fighting.
There are so many different types of cars that have been used in movies, television shows, crossovers, comics, video games, and so on. Ghostbusters has become more than just a Generation X movie made in 1984 – it is a brand. Ghostbusters and the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor will forever hold a place in history, now and in the future, for generations to admire (even if the special effects scream the 1980s)!
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.
Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.
And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.
The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.
When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.
The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.
They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?
So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!
If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.
I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!
The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!
There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.
After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.
Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.
By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.
We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!
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