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Ricky T - building an Ecto

#1 User is offline   RickyT Icon

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 05:25 PM

Hey everyone,

This is my first time here on this forum, and to be honest I'm here to absorb some of your technical hearse knowledge! Regular Caddy forums aren't much good for hearse stuff. My name's Rick (or Ricky T, which is my nickname at work where there are 3 other "Ricks" - T is my middle initial).

I have a 1960 MM Ambulance and it's my 3rd Cadillac. My first one was a 59 Superior Landau which I sold in 2005 to Karen Morgan in Western Australia, and my 2nd Caddy was a '64 Convertible, and I sold it to buy this '60 Ambo that I'm working on now.

I bought my 1960 MM Ambulance from a bloke in Mexico. Some of you might know the car better than I do, I only became aware of it when a friend on the Ecto-1 Forum told me about it. Apparently it originated in Colorado and somehow ended up in Mexico. I suspect it had been south-of-the-border for nearly 20 years, however the registration sticker on it says it was last registered in 1996. I honestly don't know the history of it, all I can say is it was there, I liked it, it had a Mexican title, the car dealer had a good reputation and references, so I bought it. That was in November 2009.

The car finally left Mexico around March 2010, transported through Loredo TX, to Battle Ground WA where it was cleaned and containerised, and it arrived in Sydney Australia in August 2010. And now it's in my driveway!

The car is mostly complete except for the engine and transmission (which probably went missing long ago). The rear floor boards were removed by Quarantine and discarded, so I'm taking the opportunity to do a tidy-up before I put a new floor down. I'm replacing all the rusty floor bits and cleaning/rust-proofing the chassis and suspension. The outside rockers also have rust and I've got replacement panels coming from Canada.

Like Fifthrider with his 59 Superior, I'm turning this car into an Ecto-1 replica. Not just a crap shriner one, I want to make it as authentic as I can despite being a non-59 car. Besides, the car was just rusting into the ground in Mexico anyway, so I figure I'm doing it a favour.
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#2 User is offline   fifthrider Icon

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 06:54 AM

...removed by quarantine and discarded. Genius. The trials you've been through to get that car through 3 countries are really the stuff of legend. Glad to see you here Ricky.
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#3 User is offline   Otto Baron Icon

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:36 AM

Good luck on your project, you might look at buying the 1/18th scale model, as a refence source. Since this vehicle is as gone as you say, it really isn't that your taking a nice original coach and trashing it, and a MM is actually really closer to a "correct" ecto, then say a Superior or a Eureka.(not to mention aside from the front clip and the fins, that ambulance is close to a movie Ecto) You might also want to consider putting a rear seat in, since there are groups like "SoCal Ghostbusters" which may want to use it at an event.
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#4 User is offline   TroyD Icon

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 01:25 PM

Welcome Rickey,

I'm new on this forum myself. Have been lurking since September but actually hit the button on 1/1/11. Hope your Ecto turns out great. Are you going to post pics of your progress? I'm sure lots of people on here would love to see them.

Troy
That What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Walk Funny.
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#5 User is offline   Mark V Icon

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 02:28 PM

View PostOtto Baron, on 05 January 2011 - 09:36 AM, said:

...since there are groups like "SoCal Ghostbusters" which may want to use it at an event.


Otto,
RickyT is in Australia.
It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this. -- Bertrand Russell
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. -- Dr Seuss
I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am. -- Joseph Baretti
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#6 User is offline   RickyT Icon

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 06:07 PM

Hey guys, thanks for the warm welcomes.

At this stage I don't plan on putting more seats in the back. The car has 2 standard dicki seats (or nurse attendant seats, I'm not sure which is the preferred terminology) which are in pretty good condition. They were also removed by Quarantine but thankfully they weren't damaged, and I've got them stored in the house at the moment. Quarantine also removed EVERY piece of steel trim from inside the cargo area and I have no idea what piece goes where. From curtain rails to the tiniest piece of trim, it's all in a box in the garage and it'll be a nightmare when I eventually have to refit it all.

When it's finished I plan to do the odd car show and convention and just enjoy driving it around. I'm not associated with any Ghostbusters groups, it's just me and my two mates from around Sydney, and even then we only dress up for Halloween and Armageddon/Supanova (the two big comic conventions here). I am involved with the Cadillac LaSalle Club which also has a few members with hearses and ambulances, so I'll be taking it on all the club runs with them too. I wish we could have opportunities to see Dan Aykroyd at his Vodka signings or Ernie Hudson at conventions, but unfortunately it's impossible here... unless they come down for a holiday or movie premier or something.

I'll be sure to post some pics up soon and show you where it's at.

Cheers,
Rick
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#7 User is offline   Mark V Icon

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 09:37 AM

Will you be converting it to right-hand drive?
It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this. -- Bertrand Russell
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. -- Dr Seuss
I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am. -- Joseph Baretti
Humankind cannot stand very much reality. -- T. S. Eliot
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#8 User is offline   RickyT Icon

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 12:33 PM

View PostMark V, on 07 January 2011 - 03:37 AM, said:

Will you be converting it to right-hand drive?


I thought about it, but there's no requirement to convert it. The laws here state that if a car is over 30 years old you can leave it Lefty. The only thing I need to change for compliance is the headlight lamps.

I did get some quotes for a conversion and the minimum was $10k for a partial mirror conversion. A bit too expensive I think.
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#9 User is offline   fifthrider Icon

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 12:00 PM

Ten grand? For a car as simple as an older model Caddy? Ouch.

I'm starting to think just leaving it with '60 fins is the way to go as well.
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#10 User is offline   RickyT Icon

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 08:35 PM

View Postfifthrider, on 08 January 2011 - 06:00 AM, said:

I'm starting to think just leaving it with '60 fins is the way to go as well.


Me too. I couldn't get a '59 so my goal now is just to make it the best '60 Ecto-1 so far. I know of at least 2 more replicas using 60's, plus Chris's Ecto-1A project. I like Rusty's the most but even his has different model lightbars and custom interior trim. Not that it's a competition or anything, but for me personally it's a case of doing it properly, or not at all. Using the best parts where possible.
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#11 User is offline   fifthrider Icon

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 11:20 AM

I remember Rusty's. It was quite an inspiration to me back then, especially because it was so good that it took me a few times of looking at his pics until I even noticed it was a '60. He did all the details so well that I just plain missed the fins and grille.
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