So, as has been discussed, the fins on a regular 1959 Caddy are just a bit different than the ones on a Miller Meteor (see Loren's post at the beginning of the thread). That being the case, it was time to modify the 1959 fins on my car. It became essential, because the very tops of the fins had a little bit of rust on them, which would've made connecting the outer trim to the fin quite a pain in the ass. The solution, of course, was to take parts of my 1960 fins...
...removing the very tops of the 1959 fins, and using the 1960 tops to replace the rust and also to add the height to make the fins accurate (a 1959 M&M was used as reference...fortunately there are a few of them out there for my restorer's necessities). These next 2 pictures just show what's been done...
Of course, as everything else, the work on the car is top-notch and the strips have grafted on nicely. Once it's painted, nobody will know it was modded:
The best part is that on May 4th I'm going out to California to see my car amongst other awesome things!
Also, I found the proton pack rack! I have to wait for it to arrive...what a relief it will be once it does...
Wow, what's with this sudden surge of really, really good non-59 conversions? In past years they weren't too dialed in but the latest things I've seen going on here are just awesome efforts by people with a good eye for lining fins up.
Obviously, just like with everything else, it needs to be completely restored...but all of the pieces are here and actually in very good shape.
The trim looks nice when it's on doesn't it? I needed the same upper-fin trim for the passenger side and managed to find one of the two pieces already.
More photos will follow, probably much more so after next week when mburkit, jackdoud, and ChapterMasterTu'Shan accompany me out to L.A., Lake Elsinore, and San Diego...CAN. NOT. WAIT.
Well, I’ve been home for about 24 hours and I’m already bored. I guess that’s not surprising given how in-freaking-credible my California vacation turned out. All in all, I’d say we accomplished more than any of us could have imagined, and certainly more than I think any other Ghostbusters fans have. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of non-GB awesomeness, but overall this trip was a GB fan’s dream. Here’s a brief recollection…
Saturday morning we headed out to the Philly airport and soon enough we were on our way to the west coast.
After landing in Los Angeles, we headed south for Lake Elsinore. For those of you who don’t know, my Miller Meteor is in Lake Elsinore, CA as we speak. We navigated through some annoying traffic to get there, but it was well worth the trip.
We were greeted very pleasantly and I had a chance to meet Roger, the gifted custom car mastermind who is converting my car from a 1960 to a 1959. He was super cool just as I knew he would be. After a few seconds of introductions it was time…TIME TO SEE MY CAR. Now, I should say that I purchased the car over 2 years prior to this point and never had actually seen it in person…yes, I have plenty of pictures, but they do not do it justice. Needless to say, I was absolutely blown away by the car…it is SO FREAKING AWESOME. The car is a huge badass. We took photos, stared at it in awe for a while, and then met some of Roger’s guests (they were having a hearse club meeting). I also got to meet the guy I bought the car from, which I’m glad for. Everyone at this party was really, really cool. All in all, we ended up hanging out for a few hours and having a great time.
Sunday consisted of us wandering around downtown San Diego briefly before making our way to the San Diego Zoo, where we spent much of the day.
On Monday, we woke up early to head back to Los Angeles. On the way, we stopped to get some MAPLE BACON DONUTS at a place called Donut Touch and they were awesome.
When we got back to L.A., we hit up Apex Electronics, a place where many people in the GB community believe a lot of the parts used on the proton packs (and possibly the Ecto) were obtained. The place was a mess and very disappointing…it was essentially impossible to find anything that my buddies were specifically looking for. We did manage to find a few things including ribbon cable used on the GBII packs and then split.
Next we headed to Sony Pictures for the studio back-lot tour.
The tour was pretty cool but became epic when we got to see the real Ecto-1, which, frustrating to us, was sitting out in the open where it could exposed to the elements (more rust ain’t no big thing?).
We only had about 2 minutes with the car which wasn’t nearly enough for me – the Ecto was something I needed to see, and see in great detail. Our tour guide let us take some photos but we found ourselves walking away to continue the tour while wishing we could stay behind with the car. I was bummed…
The tour finished and we ended up hanging out in the Sony lobby where they have 2 proton packs from GBII (one a hero and the other a semi-hero). Matt and I talked about how we might be able to get permission to go back out to the car, and I let Matt go to work sweet-talking Sony employees. He talked to a few people including security, Sony Archives, and we even went back to our tour guide (who said he couldn’t take us back). A Sony employee overheard us talking to our tour guide and came out to us and asked if some of the pictures they had of the car were what we needed (which they weren’t). I could tell that she wanted to help us out but she walked back into her office for a few minutes (I was disappointed). A few minutes went by as we were discussing the rest of our day’s plans and the woman re-emerged and said that she would take us over to the car so that we could have some intimate time with the Ecto. I, of course, was excited beyond what words can explain.
We got out to the car and it was time for some dynamite pictures. We got reference shots of everything I needed…I pretty much told Jack and Matt what I needed and the pictures were taken…you name it, I got it, with scale reference. I even got permission to sit in the car (an experience I will never forget).
After our time with the car, we made our way back to the main lobby of the studio, where “thanks” and business cards were exchanged.
Tuesday, we woke up and headed to the Prop Store for a pre-arranged appointment there to check out what they had laying around…some pretty cool stuff, but most of what was for sale was well out of our price range.
We left the Prop Store with the intent of going to Universal Studios Hollywood but plans would change drastically. I had emailed the Sony Employee who helped us the day before to sincerely thank them for letting us see the Ecto up close and had stated that if there was any way we could get access to the hero proton pack we would love to come back. Well, while in the car, I got a call from Sony, and, wouldn’t you know it, they made arrangements for Sony Archives to come unlock the glass and move the pack so that we could see it. We made our way back to Sony and about 10 minutes later, the archives employee came walking up with our Sony friend from the day before. We ended up getting to see the pack without the glass display getting in our way. When it was all said and done, we got everything we had ever desired at Sony…none of which we would have been possible if it wasn’t for the extremely nice and accommodating Sony Employee going out of their way to make it all happen…exclusive access to Ghostbusters history…a dream come true.
We then left Sony . Next on our list: Fire Station #23 (where the interior shots of the firehouse were filmed in the movie), the Millennium Biltmore hotel (Sedgewick Hotel where Slimer gets busted), and the L.A. public library (where the library basement/librarian ghost scenes were filmed).
First up was the library. We walked into this place and had no idea where we were really trying to find. We asked around and ended up getting hooked up with a librarian named Kenny who had actually worked at the library all of these years; he was the only person left from the days of Ghostbusters filming or so it seemed. He escorted us to a part of the library that was off-limits to the general public to show us around. Unfortunately, the area of the library where “GET HER!” (one of my favorite scenes) was filmed had been destroyed by a fire in 1986 and remodeled. We had apparently been in the same area that the library basement scenes were filmed and that alone was awesome (I doubt any other GB fans can say the same), but it would have been cool to see some of the old bookshelves and such. We found out that most of the shelves had been moved to another location before the fire, but after the fire they were not retrieved and it remains unknown if the storage location still has them. We did make a point to walk through some of the book stacks in the vicinity of “Rat Alley” (the coined nickname of the area of the library where filming took place), and there was some symmetrical book-stacking courtesy of Jack and Matt (there are pictures to prove this).
After the library we headed to the Biltmore Hotel and man, was it cool.
We located the entrance that the guys used during the first call scene when Peter yells “Hey, anybody see a ghost?”
We found what we are pretty certain was the ballroom where Slimer got his ass kicked, though the room has changed quite a bit since filming days.
The elevators are spot on to what they were back in 1983 when the movie was filmed and the damn things only go to floor 11 (Slimer was terrorizing the 12th floor if you forgot).
We left the hotel and headed to our car in order to get over to the firehouse (we didn’t walk because the area that the firehouse is located in is not the type of area you want to walk through). We found the firehouse and unfortunately couldn’t get in because it was boarded up… a few photos were shot of those who were brave enough to get out of the car (not T.J. or myself) and we headed out on our way…
. . . to Venice Beach.
Wednesday began with us taking a trip to an aerospace junkyard called Norton Sales. This place had a lot of cool stuff but really nothing that was of use to us. Still, we met a really cool older gentleman who was an aerospace whiz and we left a list of some things we’d been looking for…hopefully we’ll hear something from them as they said they’d be looking into these things for us.
Next it was time for our trip to Universal Studios Hollywood.
We hit the important rides and got to see the actual DeLorean time machine from ‘Back to the Future’. It was really, really cool to see the car.
After all the rides, we decided it was time for Universal’s backlot tour. The tour wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as “real” as Sony’s. We did see some cool backlot sets, a phony ‘Jaws’ attraction, and a 1961 Cadillac hearse (very cool) just sitting on the back lot.
That Evening, we decided to head up to the Griffith Observatory. On our ascent to the observatory I said: “we really need to find the tunnel from ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ and ‘Back to the Future Part II’”. Amazingly, the tunnel came up literally right after I said it. We had no idea it was on the way to the observatory, but it was really cool to drive through. It definitely isn’t as long as it is portrayed when Eddie is approaching Toon Town in Roger Rabbit or when Marty is trying to recover the sports almanac from Biff in BTTF II, but hey, it’s still just as awesome.
We got up to the observatory and hung out for a while.
Matt and Jack took some amazing pictures and each of us got to view Saturn through a high-powered telescope (very cool). We explored the area a bit too as part of ‘The Rocketeer’ was also filmed here and that too is one of our favorite movies. On the way back down we stopped at a place called House of Pies. This place had AWESOME pie. We ramped up a $52 bill just from ordering pies.
On Thursday, after we ate, we headed out from LA to head south along the coast for what would be one of the best parts of our trip…
We traversed the highway south and met up with someone amazing: Michael Gross, the producer of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II! He is also the mastermind behind the Ghostbusters logo in case you didn’t know that already. Mr. Gross was really, really cool…we picked him up at his little place on the beach and headed for a sushi place about 5 minutes away. At lunch we got to hear all kinds of great stories…how he became a legitimate movie producer in all but 3 weeks after moving to Hollywood, how he became the personal designer for John Lennon and Yoko Ono, how Bill Murray came to fame and changed significantly over the years, to trivial pursuit matches between Harold Ramis and other movie-star geniuses. It was such a cool experience…I can’t even describe it all here because there’s too much to write.
We spent 2.5 hours eating and talking and then headed back to Mr. Gross’s place, where he showed us scrapbooks from his lifetime.
In these books he had all sorts of clippings and pictures…some very neat Ghostbusters stuff, but just awesome stuff overall. He has definitely led a very interesting life and we enjoyed him opening it up to us. We got his autograph, talked a bit more, admired a lamp that he has in his possession (a Statue of Liberty piece as seen in Peter Venkman’s apartment in GBII), and had to say farewell.
It really sucked having to go, but we’ll always have awesome stories from the 3.5 hours we spent with him; hopefully we’ll cross paths with him again.
From there we headed onto Route 74 and headed back to Lake Elsinore to say goodbye to Roger (the guy working on my Ecto) and my car. Route 74 is an amazingly scenic drive. There are a lot of twists and turns on this road without guard-rails which was a little nerve wracking, but we had a few spots to pull over and take some incredible pictures.
We made it to Lake Elsinore to see Roger and the car and spent about 30 minutes overall just appreciating what he has done to the car so far and we thanked him for having us to the hearse club meeting on our first day in California (which, again, was awesome). We said goodbye and headed back to L.A.
Friday morning we headed to downtown L.A. one last time to check out one last landmark: the Bradbury Building.
This building has been seen in many movies, but most importantly it was seen in ‘Blade Runner’.
We got to go inside and take some pictures and Matt was very happy about this.
After our visit to the Bradbury Building we got some breakfast, dropped off our car and got to the airport.
We got up in the air and eventually landed safe and sound; bringing us to the conclusion of what was an absolutely EPIC trip.
Also, The House of Pies was a block or so away from Ambrose Street.I cannot assume that whoever named the street, or built the house of pies knew of, or perhaps were prophesied of my greatness....But I WILL say, It is well documented that i DO like pie.
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Wish we could have warned you about Apex, they have newer owners and everything there is now considered a movie prop and is getting liquidated on EBay
Next time we'll have ya take a tour in the EE-1A and hit up some of the other surplus places.
Thanks for sharing your photos!
So freaking awesome...I'm missing California so much already.
Anyway, the restoration continues. Now, those of you who know me know that I hate half-assing things, which is why I'm making sure I review everything with the super-awesome bodywork guy I have working on my baby. I said from the start that I don't just want to graft things on and paint the car - I want the thing rust-free...which means the insides of things need to be addressed too. Well, the insides of the rear quarters HAVE been addressed...
This is how they used to look:
Obviously, that's not going to be good enough for me...I don't want that rusting through, so Roger has been taking care of business beautifully (as he has every single little detail I have asked him to)...
And now the insides are coated and rust-free...SWEET:
They are being fully welded on this week...more pictures will follow once I get them.
Also, a few other pictures to share:
Ecto-1 labels courtesy of my buddy Martin from Canada (drcaron).
These are pretty sweet.
Also, I have found a vintage 1959 Cadillac horn ring (these are a BITCH to find and an even bigger bitch to find complete)...
Yes, the horn ring cost me a lot but it could've cost me a couple hundred more than I spent...so I'm pretty happy. I am so freaking broke it's ridiculous. I wouldn't be surprised if nobody else ever fully funds their own legit Ecto build (I don't know how I have been able to on a medicine resident's salary...this must be my destiny).
The journey continues...
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