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Movie Motors: Ghostbusters – The Ectomobile

Posted in Movie Motors by Wheels Near U Team on the January 25th, 2008

This week in our series entitled Movie Motors we take a look back to 1984 and the original Ghostbusters Film. Over this series we have seen a wide variety of movie motors, from the multiple generations of the batmobile last week to the mustang muscle car from Bullitt and this week we see the fictional car (similarly named to the batmobile) – The Ectomobile.

The Ectomobile made its first appearence in the original Ghostbusters film, released in 1984. The film is a sci-fi-comedy based around the lives of 3 New York parapsychologists who have intentions to be ghost busters (ghost exterminators.) It starred famous names such as Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver and more. Doing fairly well in the Box office the film grossed around $230,000,000 in the US and $50,000,000 in the rest of the world, making it real competition for films of its time.

Ghost Busters

The vehicle from the movie was named the “Ectomobile“, a mixture of ectoplasm and automobile that fitted well with the film. The Ectomobile played a relatively small role in Ghostbusters but it still remains a movie motor. With a 325 bhp 6.4 litre v8, the rear-wheel drive ectomobile was fairly large – as well as this ghoul of an engine it also had a fair few modifications over a standard car.

Tail fins adorned the back of the car making this medical vehicle seem half way between an ambulance and a batmobile, and the flashing lights, strobes and sirens all added to the emergency angle of this medical motor. The Ectomobile also boasted a huge set of roof fittings which provided helpful ladders to the three parapsychologists when they needed them.

Ghost Busters - Movie Motors

Probably the best medical movie motor ever, the Ectomobile was the ultimate trade off between work and superhero status – perhaps representative of the stars themselves in the film!

Want to see more movie motors? why not view our Movie Motors Gallery or visit the Movie Motors Section of our blog!

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Movie Motors: Batman’s Batmobile

Posted in Movie Motors by Wheels Near U Team on the January 19th, 2008

Batmobile on Movie Motors

Last week we featured the Mini as the star of both the original and the remade versions of the Italian Job as part of our Motoring Movie Series. The Mini was a great feature to the film, shown to use their size as an advantage to allude capture. The mini is also an everyday car, making the film realistic and engaging. This week we are looking at something far more fantastic and original – Batmans car – The Batmobile.

Original Batmobile

Like the Mini, the batmobile has had many many models over the decades. It started out in cartoon form in the late nineteen thirties where his car is described as a “specially built high-powered auto“. The car appears to have been modelled on the 1937 Ford Coupe with a stretched out bonnet, this becomes almost a batman trademark in later versions.

The Batmobile continued to live on through comics, where in 1941 it was featured as a bright red convertible with a roof arrangement that hinted at bat-wings. Accoding to the comic it was however “so fast that bystanders cannot believe their eyes. “. By spring of the same year the batmobile had found a much more recognisable form, the long bonnet of the original bat-car was the same, however this car was streamlined with a tall fin and a Gothic looking bat head on the very front of it. This was the first appearance of a black bat car – something most people associate with batmans bat-wheels.

1960s Batmobile

This batcar stuck for around 20 years in various similar forms, taking part in all sorts of bat adventures and points even seeming doomed – for example The Joker forces batman to drive off a cliff into a ravine, obliterating the batmobile, this however doesn’t stop the fabled car which appears strait away again in the next story. By 1964 the series was considered to be old hat and the creators decided for a change. Opting for a new style of cartoon, DC Comics redesigned the characters and cars – this is the first introduction of the yellow oval/bat symbol used from then on.

The next incarnation of batman’s ride was his ‘discreet’ batmobile of the mid-seventies which appeared completely like an average car except to distinguish the car a black bat image was shown on the bonnet. This average appearance did not last long for batman who swiftly returned to unconventional styling and a black car in the 80’s.

Batmobile 1980s

Tim Burton directed the 1989 Batman film, which brought the cartoon character to the dark and twisted, art-deco style city of Gotham. In this film batman had a set of wheels which reflected the city, with a long, sleek design similar to the first batmobiles in the cartoons, yet with a Burton Spin. It reflected the past generations of batmobiles while introducing a new racing modern edge. It is considered to be styled based on the Porsche 962 and similar cars from the time.

As with most super-heros batmans car featured an array of gadgets, ranging from twin retractable automatic machine guns to a Cocoon feature that shells the car in armour plated metal, very handy on the dark streets of Gotham. The car was powered by a Jet Turbine the car ran on a special high octane (97%) petrol and paraffin mixture and actually worked for the film. So much so that the fuel it burnt was so expensive that only a max of a 15 second run for the most used shot of the vehicle.

Batmobile Film

For the next two batman films (Batman Forever and Batman & Robin) the bat-mobile largely maintained its stylised black appearance while adding features such as self levelling hubcaps that always showed the bat emblem correctly, two seats and a rear view mirror. The car had new tricks to, such as a re-routable jet exhaust and car grappling hooks that combined let the car drive vertically up walls.

Lamorghini Reventon

Most recently batman starred in Batman Begins (2005) where the rocket shape batmobile of previous escapades is dropped in favour of a more stylised tank link design. More similar to Frank Millers version of batman (named “The Dark Night Returns”.) The production designer of the film described this batmobile as “a cross between a Lamborghini and a Hummer”. This quote was only reinforced when lamboghini recently announced its extreme hyper car the Reventon. The car features sharp stealth-plane like looks similar to the batmobile from Batman Begins.

Batmans Car – The Batmobile – undeniably a movie motor that will go down in history as one of the most famous. Thousands of replica models exist in the world, modelled on many of the multiple generation bat vehicle – which was your favourite bat-mobile?

This look at the Batmobile has been part of our series finding some of the best movie motors of the world. To read more just visit the movie motors section of our blog or visit our Motoring Gallery!


Movie Motors: The Mini – Italian Job

Posted in Movie Motors by Wheels Near U Team on the January 11th, 2008

The Italian Job

This week we look at the somewhat iconic film that inspired a generation of mini drivers worldwide. Introducing The Italian Job, originally released in 1969 starring Michael Caine, Benny Hill, Noël Coward and Margaret Blye (amongst others.) The film was also re-done in 2003 featuring a new cast of Mark Wahlberg, Jason Stratham, Edward Norton and Donald Sutherland (amongst others.)

The Italian Job

The premise to the film is that Charlie Croker, a British character played by Michael Caine has just been released from prison and finds his way into arranging a ‘big job’ in which he and his group of criminals plan to steal $4 of gold. The gold is arriving in Italy from China, which makes Italy the set for the majority of the film. As the job is abroad and of such a large scale Charlie is force to seek finance for the operation, and in search of this he breaks into prison and arranges this with a British Gangster named Mr Bridger.

The Italian Job 2003 Minis

With finance for his new plan Charlie then set’s about creating a clever plan to distract the authorities in Turin, Italy which includes manipulation of traffic control and the use of three mini’s driven by raiders with gold in the boot. They use the size of the mini in lots of clever ways to evade capture and all the cars feature in an exceptional car chase sequence through streets, sewers, rivers, highways and the cars even get chased over rooftops!

The Italian Job 1969 Minis

The film features iconic Mini’s painted with union jacks on the roof’s as well as an etype which is shown in the introduction driving around the windy roads of Italy, only to enter a tunnel and crash into a Digger at the other end. Full of vehicles, cockney Micheal Caine and well directed, The original Italian Job film was and still is considered to be a great watch.

The Italian Job Theme Park Ride

The more recent version did well too, it takes the previous films plot and modernises it slightly, swapping Turin Italy for Los Angeles America as well as replacing the cast with a range of newer actors. The mini’s remain, as do the car chases and the good directing. Another excellent film, that perhaps doesn’t achieve quite as much as the original. Both Italian Jobs are great films and feature the mini at its most well known – making it a definite movie motor.

To see some great images from the Italian Job films see our Movie Motors Gallery. Or to read more perhaps view some of the other movie motors series:


The Italian Job Trivia: The car chase in the original ‘Italian Job’ was voted the 17th coolest movie moment of all time by Empire magazine.

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