1965 Ford Econoline – East Coaster of the Day
Ford introduced the Econoline, the first generation of E-series vans, in 1961. The E-Series continued until 2014 when it was replaced by Ford Transit vans.
The first generation, of which this tangerine beauty is a member, was ahead of its time in some key design elements that would be adopted by other manufacturers. Its mid-engine configuration and cabover design, like the Volkswagen Bus, made its way into Chevrolet’s Van and Dodge’s A100.
Ford also built pickup truck and passenger van variants.
The first generation (1961-1967) was built on the Ford Falcon platform but with a solid front axle and solid rear axle suspension with leaf springs for all four wheels. The Falcon was Ford’s foray into the compact car segment, of course, so the wheelbase of the Econoline was the shortest wheelbase on a Ford since 1908!
This Lamborghini tangerine dream van is not a trailer queen. It’s a heavy-duty ‘Drifter’ as the license plate reads.
In 1965, this van would have been powered by either a 170 cubic-inch inline six-cylinder that made 101 horsepower or a 240 cubic-inch straight-six, making 150 horsepower.
But this baby gets its 232-horsepower grunt from Ford’s 5.0-litre H.O. (high output) V8 engine mated to a C4 transmission. With a nine-inch rear end and air-ride suspension, it begs to be driven.
But it also would be just as much at home in a parking lot, hosting the ultimate tailgate party with its 1200 watts of sound. Sleepover in the funky interior is optional.