The ECTO-1D / AKA: Vera

In May 2011, the Twin Cities Ghostbusters got a new car. Cory M. Deveney (GB911's Dr. Tyler Martin) came across a fully restored 1963 Cadillac Superior ambulance on eBay. His wife, Jen, told him they should get it & "live their dream while they're young". (He obviously married the right woman!) Cory & Jason Skoby (GB911's Vincent Gehin) flew out to Washington DC to pick it up & make the 18 hour drive home.

 

The car was originally from a small town in Virginia that only had the budget for one car to pull double duty as both an ambulance & a hearse. When Cory & Jason picked it up, it looked like this...

Below is a slideshow of the car before the build.

Click on a pic

to read more

Pre ECTO-Build

Pre ECTO-Build

The car before it's complete restoration.

Pre ECTO-Build

Pre ECTO-Build

Before previous owner restored the original paint job.

Pre ECTO-Build

Pre ECTO-Build

After restored original paint job.

Pre ECTO-Build

Pre ECTO-Build

The car was put on ebay.

Pre ECTO-Build

Pre ECTO-Build

The owner offered to put all chrome trim back on.

Pre ECTO-Build

Pre ECTO-Build

We opted to keep trim off for the white paint job that was needed for the ECTO-fication.

Pre ECTO-Build

Pre ECTO-Build

The original seat and upholstery.

Pre ECTO-Build

Pre ECTO-Build

The original engine had been 100% restored & in perfect running condition.

Pre ECTO-Build

Pre ECTO-Build

The car was stripped down, but was complete with all trim, interior & parts.

Pre ECTO-Build

Pre ECTO-Build

Interior of the car.

Cory & Jen really lucked out with this eBay find. She ran beautifully, but had an exhaust leak due to damage the exhaust line took when a shop drove it onto a lift the wrong way. Cory & Jason made the 18 hour drive from Washington DC to the Twin Cities with exhaust leaking into the car & all the windows rolled down. They got a little loopy upon their return.

 

Once they got her home, the first step in the ECTO-fication process was to have her painted white. They had already begun collecting the necessary items for putting the roof rack together, but nothing could be done on the car before an all white paint job. After a trip to MAACO, she looked like this... 

Below is a slideshow of the car during the build.

Click on a pic

to read more

The Build

The Build

The ECTO-1D license plate arrives.

The Build

The Build

Testing where to place the lightbars.

The Build

The Build

We unfortunately only had red domes to start with.

The Build

The Build

Jason preps for painting the fins red.

The Build

The Build

It's amazing what a can of red spray paint can do.

The Build

The Build

Painting fin #2.

The Build

The Build

Our at-home spray paint job turned out better than we had hoped.

The Build

The Build

Clean lines & no paint came up with the tape. Whew!

The Build

The Build

Jason's "chrome" liner job.

The Build

The Build

Completed fins.

The Build

The Build

The 1C & the 1D.

The Build

The Build

Jason gets ready to mount the roof rack.

The Build

The Build

Testing where to place the rack frame.

The Build

The Build

Marking where to drill the holes.

The Build

The Build

Getting creative to climb up and work on the rack.

The Build

The Build

Attaching the individual parts to the roof rack.

The Build

The Build

Getting closer to looking like an ECTO.

The Build

The Build

Gotta switch those red light bar domes to blue ones.

The Build

The Build

Most of the pieces are together at this point.

The Build

The Build

The blue hoses are attached.

The Build

The Build

Hmm...needs the door logos.

The Build

The Build

The door logos are applied.

The Build

The Build

She's 22 ft. long & 8.5 ft. tall!

The Build

The Build

Vera's ready!

After the white paint job was done, the roof rack, elements that make up the roof rack & other hallmark "Ghostbusters" touches could finally be added. Many of them had to be custom built, such as the sniffer antenna, white radome,  large yellow storage tube, A/C fan box, directional dome antenna & aircraft beacon. Others had to be modified, like the original siren that came with the car (Jason fabricated a new shell) & the red "gumball" light (Jason took a scoop headlight from an old car & crafted a new casing). Then there were a handful that had to be hunted down online, like Force 4 XL police lightbars, ambulance lights & more. The hardest to find were two World War II bomber pilot oxygen tanks with regulators. It took a lot of research, but we got 'em! Jason had cut and welded a custom roof rack frame, which were the bones of the entire assembly. This is what it looked like when we had it powder coated... 

Below is a slideshow of the parts that made up the roof rack & more. Read the captions to find out what part is what.

Click on a pic

to read more

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

The welded roof rack frame before powder coating.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

The aluminum sides for the roof rack frame.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

The assembly of the sniffer antenna.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

A closer look at Jason's custom fabricated sniffer antenna.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

The fully painted sniffer antenna.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

Original WWII bomber pilot oxygen tanks.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

The oxygen tanks even came with regulators.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

The oxygen tanks mounted on the roof rack.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

The long yellow storage tube.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

The long yellow storage tube installed.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

Assembling the "bubble" directional antenna.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

The completed "bubble" directional antenna.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

The custom made marine radome.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

The A/C fan box. Custom fabricated by a friend of Jason's.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

What Jason used for the red "gumball" light.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

Fabricating the new casing for the "gumball" light.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

The completed "gumball" light.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

Installing the loudspeaker for the PA system.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

We installed a CB radio for the PA system.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

Jason drills the hole for the front whip antenna. Cory cringes.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

The front whip antenna goes on.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

Jason installing the rear whip antenna base.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

The blue side hoses. Minivan A/C hoses from the junkyard painted blue.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

Blue side hoses are added to the car.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

The mismatched front light bar domes.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

Mismatched rear light bar domes.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

Getting the blue domes together for the light bars.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

Replacing the light bar domes & bulbs.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

Both whip antenna & blue light bar domes installed.

ECTO Parts

ECTO Parts

A collapsible gurney was added for the proton pack rack.

For a more detailed account of this ECTO build, info on where we found parts & what we used, & tons of additional photos...click here to see our build thread in the forum at gbfans.com.

 

The ECTO-1D made it's on-screen debut in episode 7 of Ghostbustin' 911. Tyler Martin used to drive it while working at a different branch & named it "Vera" (for those who were wondering...yes, that is a Firefly reference). It has since been our main vehicle, giving the ECTO-1C a well deserved rest.

We're proud to add the ECTO-1D to the list of fantastic fan-made ECTO replicas on roads all over the world! Contact us if we can help you with your build. Check our events calendar to find out where you can see the ECTO-1D in person, & keep an eye on our YouTube channel to see it in action!

The finished product,

       Check it out!

ECTO-1D

ECTO-1D

Aside from a few tweaks down the road, she's done!

ECTO-1D

ECTO-1D

Ghostbusters screening at Marcus Theater.

ECTO-1D

ECTO-1D

Shined up for Springcon.

ECTO-1D

ECTO-1D

Outside the Roseville AMC theater for the Ghostbusters Halloween rerelease.

ECTO-1D

ECTO-1D

Halloween 2014. Interior LED lights added.

ECTO-1D

ECTO-1D

Springcon 2013.

ECTO-1D

ECTO-1D

New tires with thin whitewalls.

ECTO-1D

ECTO-1D

The cast of GB911 at the Mounds Theater GB911 screening.

ECTO-1D

ECTO-1D

All lit up!

ECTO-1D

ECTO-1D

Cory & his wife, Jen, with the car at Springcon 2014.

ECTO-1D

ECTO-1D

At a car show with proton pack rack out.

ECTO-1D

ECTO-1D

The 1D hanging' with the Batmobile at Springcon 2014.