Bargain Ghostbuster Project? 1959 Cadillac Ambulance

It is sometimes funny how life imitates art. In the 1984 blockbuster film Ghostbusters, Dan Aykroyd buys a 1959 Cadillac ambulance for the title characters to drive. He states the car needs a bunch of work, but he paid “only $4,800” which seemed like a complete mistake back then. Fast forward thirty five years and that same car would be a bargain today. This car can be found here on eBay with a current bid over $20,000 which is about $8,000 in 1984 dollars! Located in Carmel, Indiana the ad doesn’t have any information about the car’s history but based on the rust, it’s probably been stored outside or driven during all seasons. Check out this cool ride and you might just have a Ghostbuster replica project on your plate!

The interior of the car looks fairly stock and the ad states there is no damage to the original dash pad. Speaking of the dash, don’t these cars have a great looking one? The gauge cluster is centered for the driver and it has a great shape. When combined with the simple yet classy steering wheel, you have a timeless look.

The rear portion of the ambulance almost has a vintage camper feel. There’s a jump seat for the EMT along with storage cabinets and a large flat floor. I’m not sure what the new owner will do with it, but this much space certainly leaves open a lot of possibilities.¬† The rear of the car also features the really cool bullet tail lights that made the 1959 model year so special!

The big displacement Cadillac V8’s didn’t start showing up until the mid-1960s. The ad doesn’t say what engine this ambulance has, but it is most likely a 390. The engine is said to turn over, but other than that, there are no details. What do you think of this car? Are you a bidder at $20,000+?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    “Who would I call”? Probably several scrap yards for the current price of metal.

    11
  2. Chris

    I agree I have a 72 Olds wagon non Vista Cruiser asking 4900 or b.o. runs & drives but needs work listed on craigslist & getting nothing but tire kickers with no money this is up to 20K & doesnt run yikes good luck to the next owner.

  3. 00sniper

    This car will pass 30K easily and most likely go overseas. Not many of these left.

  4. Maestro1 Member

    For fun buy it, make it nice, install a second and maybe third seat in it and use it as a station wagon. Strange and wonderful, but not at this price.

    • James

      My parents had an old Buick ambulance when I was a kid in the 80s. We called it “The Meatwagon”. My uncle bought it and got first place at the demo derby.

  5. Mark

    Many are going to be surprised at what it ends up selling for. There is a huge interest in Hollywood replicas and the base cars to create them are not only hard to find but expensive. Try finding a “Bluesmobile” 74- 75 Dodge Monoco sedan. Nearly impossible. This thing is going to be turned into a Ghost Busters car….you can bank on it.

    18
    • local_sheriff

      Definately true – it’s amazing it hasn’t been made into some Ghostbusters clone already. The 59 in ambulance livery is way overpriced, but we can somehow thank the movie for its popularity. Some 5-6 years back most non-winged( less popular) ambulances could be had fairly cheaply

    • Don Foote

      While I admire it, I feel these have been overpriced for decades.

  6. dave brennan

    1974 i paid 300 for a spotless 60. Sold it for 800 six months later to an elderly couple looking for a big wagon! Can’t see 20000 for this unless there’s 19,750 in the glove compartment!

    13
    • Miguel

      dave, you have to keep in mind that this is the exact model that was used for the movie, which makes it much more valuable than other body styles.

  7. Rex Kahrs Member

    I wonder if Mr. Hill is bidding on this car. You know, S.Hill.

    • Brakeservo

      He’s active on so many eBay and B.A.T. auctions, sometimes pretty easy to see!

  8. Alexander

    This is the right year, but a totally different coachbuilder of ambulance bodies. Miguel, you probably know the difference!!???

    Still, this would be a good badass professional car rat rod.

    • Miguel

      Alexander, this is exactly the model used for the movie. I didn’t think there were any more out there.

  9. don

    Man this thing is rough ! Every body panel rotted out as well as the floors ; who knows how bad structurally this thing is. It looks like another purchase from an old junkyard for massive profit – The bidding is over 25G and the reserve still isn’t met ? If it weren’t for that movie, this car would be stripped for the ambulance parts and crushed !

    • Dave

      What, it needs some suspension work and shocks, brakes, brake pads, lining, steering box, transmission, rear end…

  10. Dovi65

    This gem deserves much better than to be carved into yet another Ghostbusters clone. Granted, the market for ‘stock’ professional cars [ambulance, hearse…] is small, but hopefully someone out there will save it from a Hollywood movie set. I’d love to have it as a station wagon, but at $20K, it’s a bit too steep for my bank

  11. Tyler

    Trolling the caddy pro-car purists with that headline!

    This seems to be the holy grail of caddy hearse enthusiasts. This will probably sell for $30k+.

  12. Johnmloghry

    Needs and deserves a nice restoration, but the initial investment is to high. Drop the price sell the car.
    God bless America

  13. doug edwards

    I have a 58 Pontiac hearse. A local funeral director says that if I can get it into mint shape, I can rent it to funeral homes.

    • Bill McCoskey

      Doug,

      I’ve had several vintage hearses; Cadillac and Packard, even had a 1958 Superior high-roof Pontiac ambulance [ex-Navy]. As someone who also had a vintage limousine service, I tried to interest the funeral industry in the Washington & Baltimore areas, but had NO interest from the funeral homes.

      Problem with what he told you is multi-level;

      1. New hearses are VERY expensive, and Funeral Homes need to rent out their hearses [and matching limousines for family members] to pay for them.

      2. Funeral Home directors have a real fear of a vintage hearse breaking down during a funeral. They rarely allow a vintage hearse unless the deceased, or the family, insist on one.

      3. Most people who DO want a vintage hearse for a specific funeral, already know a car club member who has a hearse they can use.

      4. The cost of commercial hearse insurance and hearse commercial license plates is quite high, and those costs alone will likely be more than you will ever make each year.

      5. Funeral homes pride themselves on providing perfection during funerals, and they will insist on a perfect, or near perfect hearse, for them to even consider using one.

      If you want to allow your hearse to be used for funerals of antique car collectors in your area, let the clubs know. Offer your car out of kindness, but don’t charge. Keep in mind EVERY antique car insurance policy forbids using a vehicle in a commercial activity, especially if you are to be paid.

      Chances are the family will insist on giving you a token financial gift in an envelope [that’s ok], but your satisfaction in providing that service is priceless!

    • Roger

      Doug, when I was a kid a local funeral home had a ’58 Pontiac hearse, have never seen one since then.

  14. Ralph

    “If you’re see the grass…..looking through the floor….Who ya gonna call?”

    Scrapbusters!!

    “An invisible frame and a blown out head……”

    Who ya gonna call?

    Scrapbusters!!!!!

    “Its gonna get towed…..from your neighborhood….

    Who ya gonna call?

    Scrapbusters!!!!!

    “If you’ve got rust baby…..freaky rust baby…..I think you better call….”

    Scrapbusters!!!!!

    14
  15. Richard Hines

    I am not a collector, nor a rich guy who just buys cars, but this vehicle’s design
    is the epitome of a mid century to rocket age transition. I know a good portion of the steel is gone (but replaceable), but there is so much other beautiful art to this (I’d love to call it a car) vehicle, I think restoration would be worth the investment.
    R

  16. theGasHole

    Easy guys. This will be bought as a “business expense” for a suddenly formed LLC, restored again as a “business expense” for said LLC, then leased out/rented for promos, etc. and the new owner will be cash flow positive.

  17. Bill McCoskey

    Dash padding not damaged? Look at the center of the top of the dash, see the 2 holes? The larger hole is for all the wiring going to the missing switch box [a rectangular grey box, usually with 4 to 6 switches], used for electrical ambulance accessories like the siren, center roof light, roof tunnel lights, rear interior lights, etc.

  18. Stevieg Member

    Hey Miguel, you knew Robert Hedges back when he found the real Ecto1 in a barn. I didn’t. Is this close? I know it is the year, obviously a Cadillac. You & I both know this is an ambulance & the real one was a hearse modified to look like an ambulance, but is this the same coach builder? I honestly don’t know. Who is the coach builder for this one & for Ecto1?

    • Ralph

      From what I’ve read and seen photos of, the original Ecto1 was an ex LA County Ambulance, painted orange originally, bought for $600 or maybe less around 1983, it may have been at Cadillac Corner in California.

    • Miguel

      Yes Steve, I knew him, but I think he found the car for the second movie.

      As for this car, it is the exact coach company and model that the original car was made from.

      Miller Meteor Limo combination.

      There are a lot of people that know what this car is, as the bidding shows.

  19. Garrett

    Anyone who is talking about scrap and this car has no idea what they are looking at. These are 60+ years old, floor rot is extremely common in any 59-60 Cadillac or other GM. They have not been over priced, they are ridiculously rare, and the values have just kept going up. More people want one of these now than 20 years ago. I have been looking for years for any 59 hearse or ambulance, by any coachbuilder. This is a Miller Metor Futura, the exact model used in Ghostbusters. And it’s a true ambulance, not a hearse, not a combination car. As they say, Go find another one!

    • Ralph

      So you bought it then right?

  20. Stevieg Member

    Miguel, he actually told me the story long before the second movie ever came out. But considering who we are talking about, was it true or a load of crap? You know how Robert is lol. A person can believe about 2/3 of what he says. The other 1/3? Well, usually there is alcohol involved lol. Thanks Miguel.

  21. Jack Hammer

    Ok, ok. Now I understand why Porsche Speedsters are so valuable: Paul Newman’s movie Harper!

  22. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Apr 29, 2019 , 9:00PM
    Winning bid:US $40,101.00
    [ 59 bids ]

  23. Eldo man

    This car sold for $40,101. That’s what it’s worth, plain and simple. I get a kick out of all the “experts” who insist they know the value, or in their opinion is just scrap metal. One mans gold… as the saying goes. I remember the people that thought I’d lost it in 1985 when I paid $8250 for a nice 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz. Who’s laughing now, Bunkie? As the saying goes, if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all. Good luck to the new owner!

  24. Dan

    I live in Indianapolis and have seen this car in Carmel Ind quite a few times it has not ran in many years about 16 because of transmission issues from slipping the guy over revved it and spun a rod bearing it was on Craigslist about 8 yrs ago for around $1,200
    And it still has the original 390 and has very rusty floors and the rear section of the frame in front of the back wheels is shot where it starts curving to the wheel wells

  25. Jack Hammer

    Eldo man nailed the reason for the differences of opinion on this vehicle. The concept of “value” is nebulous. As I said earlier, this rare gem is a piece of art, and personally, I don’t feel that any connection to a 45 year old movie is good for its future. Treat this vehicle as it it. A rolling sculpture. Screw the movie roll. Just like Newman’s Speedster in Harper.

  26. Saul

    Check your math. I’m not a pop culture nerd, but I’m pretty sure Ghostbusters did not get released in 1974. Perhaps you’re thinking of American Graffiti?

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