A film-lover has created his own Ghostbuster’s car out of a 1960s Cadillac – and now he uses it as a hearse.
Paul Harbourne, 57, bought a rare Miller-Meteor and turned it into a perfect replica of Ecto-1 – the famous vehicle from the Ghostbusters films.
The father-of-five from Dudley, West Midlands, spent two years and £50,000 renovating the rare vehicle he found on eBay and started using it for weddings, parties and events.
But recently the classic car fanatic has found himself using the popular car – that comes complete with costumes, music and lights – as a funeral car.
Paul, who also works in security, said: “We had someone ring up about a funeral and I was quite surprised. By pure chance, we had made the seats in the rear of the car capable of folding down meaning we had a platform for the coffin to lay on.
“We were sceptical about doing it at first because we didn’t know if it would be appropriate but a lot of people would rather have a celebration of life rather than a traditional funeral with a black car.
“A lot of the time, the person who’s funeral it is was a fan of ghostbusters and their family want them to have something they would have loved.”
The car, which seats six people and was originally used as an ambulance in America, can be hired for £360 an hour to transport the coffin to and from the service.
Paul continued: “We had actually been booked to attend a couple’s wedding but he passed away before the wedding could take place so we took him to the funeral instead.
“After doing the first one, it just led on to more and it seems more and more people are stepping away from the traditional funeral. We wear our Ghostbusters costumes, play the music and transport the coffin to and from the service”.
Paul, and his business partner Tim Jordan, renovated the rare hearse by covering the car in white emulsion, adding on the famous Ghostbusters logo and even fitting mock ghost-capturing equipment onto the vehicle.
Only 2,000 Cadillac Miller-Meteors were produced during a four-year period in the late 1950s and early 1960s, meaning they are hard to come by.
Paul added: “I was an engineer so I had the skill base to restore the car. The Ghostbusters car has its own special house made for it on the grounds of my home.
“The first time I did a funeral, I wasn’t worried at all because I wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t appropriate. It’s just like having anyone else in the back of the car.
“I’m concentrating on the driving so I never feel uncomfortable. In terms of supplying the family something to take their mind off the funeral slightly, I think it does that.
“It’s important to give someone the send-off with what they would want. The car used to be an ambulance so there must have been a fair few dead people in it before – it did 20 years’ service in America.”