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Ghostbusters designer reveals ECTO-1’s crazy origin and what it almost looked like

The 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters has been accompanied by all sorts of talk about a third film for the franchise and a re-release of the 1984 comedy in theaters, as well as more than a few Ghostbusters-themed features in various media. One particularly fascinating angle on the film’s legacy is a recent episode of the web video series Beyond the Marquee which featured an interview with designer Stephen Dane, who not only crafted the Ghostbusters’ iconic car ECTO-1, but also designed the proton packs and ghost traps used by the team in the film.

During the interview (which you can watch below), Dane explains why the ECTO-1 almost didn’t make it to the screen, and shares some of the early concept designs for the vehicle. He also talks a bit about the elements he didn’t get to include in the design of the vehicle due to time constraints.

Related: Who is on Bill Murray’s short-list for an all-female Ghostbusters?

At one point in the segment, Dane describes himself as a creator of “visual bull” as he explains where some of the various odds and ends attached to the ECTO-1 originated — including a few surprising, off-the-shelf additions to the vehicle that have become part of its iconic look.

In the end, it’s hard to argue with Dane’s classification of the vehicle as a cultural touchstone, given its instantly recognizable status 30 years after it rolled onto the screen.