The unique converted 1959 Cadillac ambulance is equipped with an infrared gamma ray gun, a high frequency telekinetic frequency finder, a giant gumball and other gizmos. Dubbed the "Ectomobile," this is the only car of its kind and it appeared in the original Ghostbusters movie.According the documentary Making Ghostbusters, Dan Aykroyd's original Ectomobile was an all-black, rather sinister-looking machine with flashing white and purple strobe lights that gave it a strange, ultraviolet aura. Though kept essentially intact through all the drafts, the vehicle concept - suggesting a hearse rather than an ambulance - was clearly more in keeping with the darker tone of Aykroyd's first draft than with lighter ones that followed.
Working with a basic 1959 Cadillac ambulance, hardware consultant Steven Dane designed and modified the final vehicle. The car is seven feet tall and nearly 21 feet long. Modifications included the addition of a ladder, storage tube, police light bar, directional antenna, TV antenna, aerials, bullhorn and assorted other stuff. The completed vehicle was a one-of-a-kind Ectomobile. Although a second backup vehicle was procured as a hedge against maintenance problems, only the primary ambulance was fully converted. In the end, the backup was used solely for early pre-modification scenes.
"For practical considerations, we had to get away from the idea of an all-black Ectomobile.," said Joe Medjuck, the movie's associate producer. "In going through the script, almost every shot of it was at night. If it had been black, you wouldn't have been able to see it through most of the movie. The Ectomobile would have been nothing more than a couple of headlights driving through the streets. So, keeping that in mind, we decided we'd better go with a white ambulance trimmed in red."
When new, the original model - which was used by the Bogota Volunteer Ambulance squad until the early 1970s - cost more than $14,000. The cost for most cars in 1959 rarely exceeded $1,000.
Along with the famous movie car, Auto 2001 will feature the newest cars from 2001 from over 25 of the world's leading automakers. Manufacturer representatives will be on-hand to answer questions and show off the industry's latest technology. The expo will also feature exhibits on safety, custom accessories and characters from popular television shows.
Other attractions included free autograph signings by New York sports figures including Yankees, Mets, Giants and Jets, as well as an appearance by Penthouse Magazine's Pet of the Year.
Auto Expo will be held on Jan. 20, 21, 25, 26, 27 and 28. Show hours are 5 to 10 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $7 for adults, $3 for kids ages 4 to 12. Children under four are admitted for free. Free parking is available. The Meadowlands Expo Center is located on Plaza Drive in Secaucus.