Ford introduced the Ford Econoline models in 1961 to lock horns with its air-cooled Chevy Corvair Sportvan and Volkswagen microbus competitors.
The Blue Oval boys offered two small water-cooled front engine inline six- cylinder choices in its Econolines.
The platform for the newcomer was the Ford Falcon compact car, still also a relative newcomer in 1961 after a 1960 debut.
The Ford van was a smart choice for tradesmen because of its size and accessibility in the rear quarters. The water-cooled engine was probably a better choice for any prospective buyers that lived in wintry climates.
The idea of a winter behind the wheel of a Corvair or VW van was likely a winter survival game, unless the was equipped with the somewhat dangerous gas heater option.
So Ford made a lot of friends with its first generation Econolines. The line included a pickup option that offered a flat-nosed hybrid of a conventional pickup.
This beautiful 1961 Econoline was a stock restoration of the original vehicle. Most hot-rodders would agree that Econolines were sometimes the base for some serious muscle to replace the modest factory sixes.
Fittingly, this Econoline was an eye-catcher because it was true to its original school. Darcy Paladen (its owner) clearly saw no need to morph it into a fire-breathing street monster under his watch and, for that, we applaud him.
He has preserved a unique part of Ford’s history from the 60s when a tradesman used them as part of his tool box.
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