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Econoline 1st Generation History

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uante

Number of posts : 1193
Location : Tempe, Arizona
Age : 55
Registration date : 2014-01-26

Econoline 1st Generation History

Post by uante on Thu May 11, 2017 7:58 pm

I read this outline of Ford Econoline's History on Mac's Auto Parts. I thought it was pretty good and that it would be a good start to a thread about Historical Data.

Also handy is this link to Econoline Production Numbers. There's other info there as well on VIN/Codes etc.
http://econolineid.com/production.shtml


The History of the 1961-67 Econoline


Introduced in the fall of 1960 as a 1961 model, the Econoline was unlike any truck previously offered by Ford. Mechanically based on Fords compact Falcon line, the flat nosed Econoline was a light duty work truck that featured unibody construction and an engine located between and behind the seats of a mini cab-over design.

As the name implied, the Econoline, combining a lightweight design with a gas saving 6-cylinder engine, was an economical vehicle to operate. A 144 CID 6-cylinder engine was standard in the early models, graduating to 170 CID and 240 CID six-cylinders in later production years. A three-speed manual transmission was also standard for the early years of production, with an automatic transmission eventually added as an option.

With a design that strived to be both compact and yet provide ample cargo space, the Econoline had some inherent weaknesses. Handling was an issue as the combination of the cab-over design and engine location created a disproportionate balance of weight over the front of the vehicle. To compensate for this uneven balance, Ford fit a 165 lb weight over the rear wheels, but it did little to improve handling or the lack of traction to the rear tires. Despite its design flaws, the first generation Econoline would remain virtually unchanged from its introduction through 1967.

The 1961 Econoline was offered in three body styles, Pickup, Delivery Van, and Station Bus. For 1962, Ford reclassified the Station Bus was as a passenger car and offered it as part of the Falcon line. The Econoline Pickup and Delivery Van continued to be offered.

By 1963, the Econoline Pickup increased its rated payload capacity and offered an optional custom cab. The 1963 Econoline Van added standard dual outside rearview mirrors, heavier roof rails, as well as an optional 8-door version of the van. The Station Bus continued in the Falcon line.

For 1964, a new model, the Panel Van, joined the Econoline family. The new addition was basically a standard van without the side cargo doors. The 1964 Econoline Pickup offered an optional heavy-duty package, as well as an upgraded cab interior with color-keyed seat trim, cab headliner, and locking glove box door. The 1964 Van offered a heavy-duty package and left hand cargo doors as options.

In 1965, the Econoline series was again expanded to include the Supervan, which featured an 18-inch body extension. The 1965 Van sported stronger, more massive bumpers, a lower, more comfortable driver's seat, an integral package tray, and a more efficient heater. The rear of the 1965 Econoline Van, Station Bus, and Club Wagon were quickly distinguished from previous models by their rear cargo door-mounted license plate bracket and lamp.

In 1966, the Econoline-based family of Club Wagons was broadened, and the interior trim scheme was improved.
1967 would be the final year of production for the first generation Econoline. New features for the year included a dual brake master cylinder, padded sun visors, 2 speed wipers, and back-up lamps.
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Marq

Number of posts : 29
Location : Romeo, MI
Age : 60
Registration date : 2017-04-09

Re: Econoline 1st Generation History

Post by Marq on Fri May 12, 2017 5:04 am

New owner so this helps. Saw a Falcon van on eBay and was confused about name but now realize that it's a passenger version vs the cargo and pickup.
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uante

Number of posts : 1193
Location : Tempe, Arizona
Age : 55
Registration date : 2014-01-26

Re: Econoline 1st Generation History

Post by uante on Sat May 13, 2017 10:29 am

Does anyone know if/when the rear reflectors were added as an option? Here's a 63 or 64 with rear reflectors. If they were a Ford and not a dealer option, anyone know where to get any?


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Barnabas
Vintage-Vans Listings Manager
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Number of posts : 1918
Location : Raleigh, NC
Age : 57
Registration date : 2011-01-16

Re: Econoline 1st Generation History

Post by Barnabas on Sun May 14, 2017 8:07 am

Those reflectors were an option. Many military Econolines had them
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uante

Number of posts : 1193
Location : Tempe, Arizona
Age : 55
Registration date : 2014-01-26

Re: Econoline 1st Generation History

Post by uante on Sun May 14, 2017 8:46 am

The van in the picture must have been a special order vehicle...it had several "options" apparently. Those reflectors, pop out rear windows and white steering wheel with horn "Bar". Who knows what else...paint maybe. Were chrome bumpers standard or an option?
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Seth G
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Re: Econoline 1st Generation History

Post by Seth G on Sun May 14, 2017 9:11 am

My '64 has those. They are standard trailer reflectors. They are still available today at autoparts stores. You can get them in red or amber. I don't know which color the originals were. Mine had red ones when I got the van and I replaced them with amber ones.

https://www.amazon.com/Amber-Trailer-Reflex-Reflectors-Aluminum/dp/B01LXJC9NS/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1494778198&sr=8-4&keywords=3%22+trailer+reflectors

Here are my econoid results:
http://econolineid.com/vehicle.php?vin=E14SH559531
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Barnabas
Vintage-Vans Listings Manager
Vintage-Vans Listings Manager

Number of posts : 1918
Location : Raleigh, NC
Age : 57
Registration date : 2011-01-16

Re: Econoline 1st Generation History

Post by Barnabas on Thu May 18, 2017 4:30 am

uante wrote:The van in the picture must have been a special order vehicle...it had several "options" apparently. Those reflectors, pop out rear windows and white steering wheel with horn "Bar". Who knows what else...paint maybe. Were chrome bumpers standard or an option?

Chrome bumpers were an option. Usually on the people movers rather than the cargo vans.

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