SEPTEMBER 30, 2012 (OCTOBER 2012):THAT’S NOT A 1965 FORD ECONOLINE VAN-THAT’S A 1965 FORD FALCON TRAVEL WAGON

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1965 Ford Econoline vans are about as rare as a good reason to wear Beatle boots in 2012, but this Ford van is even rarer than a typical Ford van from that era.

 

It is actually a Ford Falcon Travel Wagon and it was a camper van from the Blue Oval boys in ’65.

 

 

Kevin Jones kicked tires on the VW Westphalia camper vans for quite awhile before he settled on a Ford Falcon project van. The Volkswagen vans were pricey and Kevin wanted to stay within a realistic budget on his choice.

 

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His wife wanted something a little different if they chose to get a camper van and the Falcon certainly answered the bell in that department. Kevin was aware of the van but he was also aware of that the Falcon needed a lot of work.

 

In fact, it took 4 years and a donor Econoline van to put this camper back on the campground circuit. The right side of the Falcon had a lot of lead in it from a past misadventure among other things that were in need of repair on the van.

 

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The previous owner was a shoemaker who had parked the van for quite awhile before Kevin bought it and began its road to recovery.

 

The van is mostly true to the original; however it now sports Celica front seats to replace the original seats that Kevin described were like “sitting on a lawn chair”. This van is part of an active summer camping program for Kevin and his family, so it has a very practical life, despite its rarity.

 

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The Falcon has some unique features, including a step that moves into position when the rear door is opened for entry or exit. It also has a roof that raises and offers extra space for camping. Be advised to move out of the way when Kevin drops the roof for travel because it falls much faster than Enron stock did when the bad news came out about that investment.

 

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It also has a 110-volt electrical outlet that was likely ahead of its time in camper van world back in 1965.

 

The Falcon is equipped with a factory 200 cubic inch six and a three on the tree manual transmission. Kevin and his family run down the highway at around 50-55 mph, so the travel plan does not include too many speeding tickets along the way to the next campground.

 

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Their trip through the Rocky Mountains meant an even more leisurely 30-40 mph pace on the steeper grades in the Rogers Pass, but an unhurried pace is a better way to enjoy the scenery along the way. The Joneses have put about 10,000 miles on the van since its restoration and have enjoyed every minute of the experience.

 

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These days it has gotten even harder to keep up with the Joneses because it is hard to find a rare Ford Falcon Travel Wagon in 2012. Kevin Jones and his family got one of the few models that are even left and they put in the hard work to put it back on the road.

 

Now it is a summer of fun and the open road for the Joneses and their unique and practical collector vehicle.

Jim Sutherland

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