In early April 2011 I come across some of the components for the roof rack of the Ecto...A-6 oxygen tanks, a Federal Propello-Ray Model 19, and also a pair of the correct whip antenna model. These items all arrive at my house and my dad is PISSED over the massive amount of stuff. For weeks I had this all in his living room...funny as hell.
April 10, 2011 (as if it were destiny after getting some of the parts recently before) I get a text message from Matt saying there's a 1960 Miller Meteor Landau Hearse for sale in Orange, CA for a very reasonable price. As soon as I got the message I checked out the listing on Craigslist and called the seller. The guy selling the car was super cool and very much into hearses so I was worried he would balk at me if I told him I wanted to convert it into an Ecto, but I went against my instinct and actually told him this. Thankfully he didn't turn me down. I claimed the car a few hours later. My dad's reaction: "I knew you were going to have an Ecto-1 at some point...where are you going to put it?"
Now, I am a bit of a perfectionist, and of course it bugged me that this car was a hearse and the wrong year, but the body was in too good of shape (minimal rust...literally just surface rust) and I couldn't pass it up...I just hadn't figured out what I was going to do to convert it to what I wanted. I had talked with Matt about converting it into an ambulance (absolutely necessary) and joked about converting it to a 1959...well, it's being done. The guy I purchased the car from hooked me into a guy who does amazing work on older cars (custom work...he has won awards for what he's done) out there in California. He agreed to make my project his top priority at this time and has been tweaking things already. The rear window slots have been cut...
After weeks of endless searching, I found a guy in Wisconsin who had the rear curved windows and window trim that I needed from a 1961 Miller Meteor and he delivered everything to me personally by driving here to Pennsylvania(what a guy). I then had the joyful experience of taking these parts apart (he literally cut the sides of his parts car off and I had to find a way to get the window trim separated without damaging them. I spent an entire weekend doing this with my dad and numerous headaches but it worked.
The guy I purchased the car from sourced all of the 1959 parts I needed (rear quarter panels, front fenders, front grille/bumper, and rear bumper) to make the conversion to a 1959 (those pics are yet to come). This took months to come up with because quality 1959 parts are the hardest Cadillac parts to find it seems...wow.
The car has recently been sand-blasted and the 1959 parts are soon to follow before being modded onto the body of the 1960 (which is the exact same)...
The interior of the car will have to be completely custom done. I have tracked down some rear jump seats from a 1959 Miller Meteor in Florida (a car used by the March of Dimes actually) and am still on the hunt for a 1959 front seat.
Here's a shot of them removing the engine before they removed the glass and prepped the car for sand blasting.
I'll be replacing the engine with something newer and more powerful than what was in the car and I'm also going to be replacing the brakes.
At this point I also have other parts including two Force 4 XL lightbars, the C5GB siren with accurate base (which I had to track down because I have never seen the particular base actually attached to a C5GB other than the one on the car), the deck lights, accurate Unity S6 spotlight and blue lens (not a bulb painted blue like the restored Ecto...the real lens like on the original car) and some other odds and ends.
Updates will follow, of course. This is going to take quite some time because I want it to be close to perfect. It won't be exact because my car has rear suicide doors (which I could have changed but did not want to) but so far so good...an EXTREMELY expensive.
Check out my Aliens M56 Smartgun build: http://forum.alienslegacy.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14382