What do you get when you combine the Back to the Future DeLorean, The Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters, the Jet car from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, and KITT from Knight Rider? Science fiction novelist Ernest Cline calls it the Ecto88. Cline completed his dream vehicle in 2011, but recently released a video just in time for “Back to the Future Day” on October 21, 2015.
“What if Doctor Emmett Brown and Dr. Buckaroo Banzai collaborated with Knight Industries to create a unique trans-dimensional time vehicle for the Ghostbusters?” Cline asks on his website. He explains that his love for 80s movies inspired him to create something to capture his devotion. And since he only had room for one car in his garage, he combined the inventions of his favorite sci-fi inventors into a single Frankencar. He tells people he created the car to help promote his first novel Ready Player One, but in reality, he was just geeking out.
The car features a Flux Capacitor linked to an Oscillation Overthruster, allowing the vehicle to “travel through time AND solid matter, to conduct paranormal eliminations in all time periods and parallel dimensions.” Onboard A.I. from Knight Indusries controls all vehicle functions, and a flip-out touchscreen controls navigation, lighting, and the onboard 80s music and film library.
A PKE (Psychokinetic Energy) meter, Proton Pack, Ecto Goggles and ghost traps means this car ain’t afraid of no … you know what.
GBS caught up with Cline a few weeks ago, and found his car in the shop getting a tune-up and an official KITT scanner installed under the bumper. He is considering installing an Ecto-1 style light bar on the roof, and replacing and/or turbocharging the stock motor.
Purists may scoff at Cline’s mashup of classic films and television shows, but Cline has received positive reactions everywhere he goes. What the protagonist in his novel set out to do, Cline has now done in real life. And since then, an audiobook of the novel has been released featuring Wil Wheaton as the narrator. In March, Steven Spielberg signed on to direct a film adaptation of Ready Player One.