By BobShields
I've been dreaming of building an ecto 1 for the past year or so when I saw an ad for a 1964 cadillac hearse. Now I'm 18, and just graduating highschool. Money isn't an issue here, but I want to know what the community thinks of this project. I was wondering if you guys had any tips for checking out this vehicle. The seller claims to have it running, but he's never driven it, so I don't really know the state of the vehicle excluding the pictures.
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By Kingpin
You should definitely see it in person, and not automatically take the seller's word as gospel, given how old the car is. See it in person, and either liaise with them to organise someone who can drive it, or bring someone with you who can give it a test drive.

Do you have much experience with cars? If not, I'd definitely recommend someone who knows a thing about them - ideally, someone who has experience with old cars, but I appreciate this isn't always possible.
By xandman
Ive been in some deepwater when it comes to cars, plain and simple sellers will lie and older cares will come with problems from age,upkeep, and such. Most ecto projects are either "garage/trailer queens" that only are driven on special occasions or constant project cars.

Is it neat? yes
is it practical? no
Will there be "issues" in a build? yes

If i was your age again and I had the money for an automotive build I would get something more practical with an element of fun like a WRX or something but it boils down to its your money and you can do whatever you want with it
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By Demon Vice Commander
Even if the car "runs", that simply means that the engine will start up and can presumably be driven some short distance; there is very likely a laundry list of repairs that need done to keep the car running well and safely. Right now my GB partner and I are converting a 1966 MM classic limo into the St. Louis Ecto, which is proving to be quite the undertaking (but doable - with enough time and resources).

Aside from getting the base car in serviceable condition, you also have the huge expense and fabrication required in building the roof rack frame, sourcing lightbars/beacons, and wiring the whole thing up. Since you're wanting to build on a classic car, I presume that you'll want to use either accurate or nearly-accurate vintage parts (i.e. no party beacons or soda bottle air tanks).
By BobShields
It's going to be a massive project, I know. I don't think the owner is trying to con me in any way, he's outright said he's never driven it. I think actually turning it into an ecto is the easy part, we have an array of metal working tools at the shop at home. The hard part I think will be making it run, and the hardest part I think will be making it run well. I'm not going to make a 100% replica, but I don't want to do a crummy job either.
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By ccv66
I bought a classic car when I was 16, it was running and was still a money pit. Had access to a shop, $500,000 worth tools, job with no expenses and a ton of family mechanics and the car was a pain in the ass. It's worth it when it's what you want. So make sure it's exactly what you want before you put all this time and money in it. Don't buy if you really want a different model / year..

What ever you think it will cost to restore it just go ahead and triple that number. Wouldn't even mess with the motor, just go spend $2-3 grand on a crate motor.

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