By Matt Brickman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When Dustin Waterhouse is driving down the street, you’re going to notice.

“When we first built it, it was just for the shock value,” Waterhouse said.

“It” is Waterhouse’s home-built Ectomobile, the vehicle made famous by the Ghostbusters movies.

If you live in the northern suburbs, you might have seen Waterhouse headed to birthday parties, parades or even weddings. And a couple days a week, he drops the kids off at school in style.

Andrew Currier is a parent at the school that Waterhouse’s children attend. He first noticed the Ghostbusters mobile a couple of weeks ago.

“It was like, ‘Sweet, somebody has a lot of time on their hands,'” Currier said.

Waterhouse has been behind the wheel of “Ecto-1” for about five years, when he and some friends decided to fix up a rusted out old station wagon.

“It was one of those points in life where I just needed something therapeutic,” Waterhouse said. “I’ve always been creative with building stuff, and we had the costumes already. We thought it’d be fun to do a car.”

He’s since added to the fleet an upgraded “Ecto-2” with all the bells and whistles you’d expect. He has proton packs, a ghost trap, even a giant inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

With all his toys, Waterhouse gets a lot of attention when he’s driving down the road.

“The fact that we’re driving around and we were like celebrities – I mean, people just waving and cheering and smiling and chasing us down – that was a surprise,” Waterhouse said.

And while all the praise, including a stamp of approval after meeting two of the original Ghostbusters Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson, is great, Waterhouse’s greatest satisfaction comes from the hard work he and his friends put in while building the Ectomobiles.

“These are cars that initially nobody wanted, and we turned it into something everybody is taking pictures of, or chasing down the street,” Waterhouse said. “It’s kind of like the ugly duckling turning into a swan.”

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