Every Ecto has it's bad day, and we finally had ours this past weekend.
Friday night, we had just returned from a local retro night screening of Jurassic park, and were preparing to make a 3 hour hike to an early AM Touch a Truck chairty event Saturday morning in Northern New Jersey.
With the Ecto packed, we hit the road at about 12:30AM, and made a quick stop for coffee.
This blurry photo was the last shot taken before the incident.
After stocking up on snacks, we turned the corner to the local carwash, We always go to this one because it has an unlimited time lane, and the bays have enough clearence for the Ecto.
Unfortunately, on this night the carwash did not have enough clearence for the Ecto. One of the bay doors was broken, and lowered about 1'. Since the area is poorly lit, we didn't notice until it was too late. As we pulled into the wash bay we heard a sickening crunching sound followed by a thud and a snap. What felt like an eternity later I saw a pile of roof rack parts tumble out of sight in my rear view mirror.
The sniffer, sattelite dish arm, and instrument arm had all been severed from the roof rack.
Fortunately as designed, the sniffer and instrument arm broke off cleanly.
The sattelite dish however did not fare so well. The sensor arm snapped off, and the plastic sensor head mostly shattered.
After pulling out half my hair, I decided to be responsible and call the car washes 24/7 emergency hotline. Surprisingly, no answer, so I left a voicemail. After 3 days, they have still not called back. Some "Emergency" hotline.
At this point we were in a bit of a tough situation. A charity event with raffle that involved a ride around town in our Ecto in less than 8 hours, and a trashed roof rack, we had a LOT of work to do.
Once we arrived back at home I did a closer survey of the damage, we quickly decided the sensor arm for the sattelite dish was totaled. The dish needed some hammering, the instrument arm could be shortened and re-attached, and the binoc's just needed a new flange.
After 3 hours of driveway repairs in the dark, and proabably angering a few neighbors with the sounds of hammering and power tools, we were road ready with a once again round sattelite dish, and slightly shorter instrument arm. We arrived in Madison NJ at approx 6AM, just in time to go into their Home Depot for a new flange to re-mount the binocs with. On my way out of the store with flange in hand, the sky opened up and the sun shone down on the Ecto.
At this point I knew it, we were....
We retreated to the back of the parking lot and made a few quick repairs, and alas the roof rack was again mostly in one piece!
We drove a few more miles, grabbed some breakfast, and arrived at the event at 8AM. We were tired and beat up from the repairs, but against all odds, we were there!
The waves of kids playing with the lights and ecto siren made it all worth the effort, expecially the little girl who said that we were cooler than all the fire trucks and police cars there.