https://www.instagram.com/snakeandcrocodilecomic/ - Snake and Crocodile webcomic. They’re occasional Ghostbusters!
I suspect what happened is that someone assumed the whole sniffer was red, based on how it looked after years of deterioration in the California sun:
When the second restoration came around in 2009, a lot of the incorrectly painted elements were assumed to be how they had originally been, and were copied over when the car was refurbished. Here's Ecto-1's roof rack before it had been fixed up:
It's frustrating that despite the fact Ecto-1 was on the receiving end of a decent restoration effort, pretty obvious mistakes were made or kept.
Sniffer box changes again to a weathered white and a slightly taller box on the 2020 cars...I suspect it was a stylistic nod to the ubiquitous illustration of the Ectomobile used in books, stickers and various products back in the '80s:
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