Published: 16:02, 25 November 2021
| Updated: 16:03, 25 November 2021
A teacher who has spent the last decade renovating a replica of the iconic car which starred in the original version of Ghostbusters has been waiting patiently for the release of the latest film.
And last Saturday his wait was over when he travelled to a West End cinema to watch the movie which has been delayed four times because of Covid.
Having seen all three versions of the American supernatural comedy, from the age of six, Ross Hutchinson was not disappointed with Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
The 43-year-old took his two young children to the cinema locally last Thursday on the day it came out before going up to London to see it with a friend for a second viewing.
Ross has been painstakingly restoring the Cadillac hearse he and his brother Ryde had shipped over from Florida and had hoped to finish the project before the film came out.
But lockdown put pay to that ambition and the car has spent much of the last couple of years sat under tarpaulin, languishing on a driveway on a housing estate in Twydall.
It's now back on track and could be ready in the next few weeks after undergoing extensive work at SCH Coachworks on Medway City Estate.
He's already had interest from the UK and Europe from organisations and businesses which want to hire it out for events.
And there's even talk of it being used as a hearse for a Medway funeral directors.
Ross and his younger brother shared a love of old cars and films and had a collection of vintage vehicles between them.
Fittingly, when tragedy struck and Ryde was killed in a car accident at the age of 18, the family were determined to get the vehicle roadworthy to carry his coffin to the funeral.
But to get the Ecto-1 in tip-top condition has proved challenging with Ross relying on the goodwill of local companies, which are recovering from the effects of the pandemic.
The special needs teacher, who lives in Gillingham, said: "For obvious reasons, I was delighted to see the iconic Ecto-1 getting plenty of screen time, even if this is yet another film where restoring a ‘59 Cadillac is portrayed as something that can be achieved in an afternoon, as opposed to the years that it’s taken me."
He added: "All in all, the film was a hit with the whole family, true to the original, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a quirky, fun-packed comedy, that manages to deliver some genuine jumps and scares, as well as a few unexpected tugs on the heart strings."