Steve’s New Econoline Project

Econoline-pickup-front

Reader Steve L. sent in some photos of his most recent acquisition. Here is the description in his own words: To go along with the 68 Torino GT I posted, this is my other toy I picked up last month. It was sitting at a shop with two other 60’s Econoline vans. My friend bought the vans and I bought the pick-up. Previous owner had put new tires, brake cylinders, and sorted out the fuel system. Put a new starter and battery in it and drove it home. Needs a clutch, new grill and sorting the lights out but it will be a solid driver. Mostly surface rust, this should be an easy restoration. With a 6 Cylinder with a 3 speed it should get fair gas mileage too! Gave $1100 for it!!!

As-found

Econoline-pickup-side

Econoline-pickup-rear

Econoline-pickup-bed

Please keep us updated on your progress Steve!

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Comments

  1. Alan

    Great find, Steve, and the quick addition of the wheels immediately give it a killer look for a driver. Shame on me for thinking this, but my brain just keeps imagining a big V-8 sitting behind the cab. Oh why can’t I leave well-enough alone? Unfortunately, the other part of me is reminded why this oh-so efficient design fell out of favor: Cab occupants were the first to arrive at the scene of an accident. So please be extra careful when you drive it….

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    • tom

      along with any flat front vehicle VW bus,Ford Ecoline,Chevy.Dodge…but all cool in my book!

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    • jim s

      is this what you were thinking!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPpU5azjCB8

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      • Jim-Bob

        I have seen that video before and it is indeed terrifying! However, I have also read in later years that ADAC did that test with the bed loaded down with concrete and heavy building materials to see what would happen, so it is not necessarily indicative of what would happen in most circumstances.

        As for forward control van stories, I have only driven one once, and that was enough. A neighbor let me use his 1973 Westy to drive to the hardware store and I found it terrifying! Now, I normally drive a 1991 Geo Metro, so it’s not like I am some sort of wuss that only drives 5 star frontal crash test rated vehicles. However, that van scared the crap out of me because not only was I the crumple zone, but it didn’t handle, brake or accelerate well either. My choices for evasive maneuvering were quite a bit more limited than in a 3 cylinder Metro.

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      • Don Andreina

        Hey Jim-Bob, did the Westy have a pop top? The one I drove I’d always get home and find that the top had popped without me knowing.

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      • Jim-Bob

        Yep, it sure does! He still has it, although I don’t think he has used it in years. He just got it painted a few months ago, and I was over there helping him to nitpick the less than perfect work the shop did. We also did a pan off resto of a ’66 Bug about 12 years ago. He has a few interesting cars and we help each other with the others projects. His economy car is a 1973 Fiat 850 that he got for free from a junkyard owner he used to do work for. We did a lot of work on that one too. It’s funny that with all the drug activity and poverty in my neighborhood I happen to live 2 doors down from one of the only car people.

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    • Rolly Doucet

      Alan, you’re thinking the same thing I am…….Wheelstander!

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    • Dave Jacobus

      Does anyone remember the 60,s econoline race van called the HAIRY GREEK ? It was owned and driven by Angie Karamacedes? (SP) and ran in the ne states mainly at Island dragway in Great Meadows NJ and Raceway Park in Englishtown NJ it was powered by a nasty Mid mounted 440 Mopar tunnel ram etc etc. He got tierd of that and put a stupid fast 500 inch Hemi in it. never could get a full run with it . Its tourqe would break tailshafts like balsa wood.even an easy pass it ran low 10,s OMG the good old days.

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      • Alan

        http://www.hackettstownlife.com/forum/130431

        The Hairy Greek is mentioned in the forum conversation, October ’10.
        From what I gather, there is some question as to whether it was a van, or a pickup, or a van converted to a pickup?

        Nostalgia drags are a big thing in some areas…

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      • michael hatzimihalis

        Hi folks the Hairy Greek (Angelo Kariotakis) started with an econoline van in the 60’s then he campaigned an econoline pickup also a 60″ model then went to a mazda pickup then a vega and now he reconstructed the econoline pickup again. The new truck as all the old models he ran is also called the Hairy Greek. Although he is very sick hopes to race the Hairy Greek again. again

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  2. Robert J

    Rad ride…Dig it!
    The Torque Thrust style wheels bring it up to the level where you will be enthusiastic about turning a wrench on it. I either paint my cars or give them new wheels when they come home…for inspiration.

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  3. paul

    Yes apart from being the crash dummy, these are very cool & this one is very good indeed, I have a friend who has a Corvair Greenbrier, same forward control configuration & I drove a Dodge delivery van back in those days, I used to burn my arm on the metal engine cover every once in awhile.

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  4. D T

    Toyota 4wheel drive axels,thats just how I think

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    • Bill Decker

      STOP thinking.

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  5. Wayne Norman

    I had a 64 Econoline Club Wagon as a much younger person. Gold shag carpet, bumpers made of lumber and an American Flag on the roof. Wish I could turn back the hands of time……..

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  6. paul

    Oh & $1100, in a heart beat, very well bought!

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  7. MikeH

    I love it. I’ll bet it’s really good in the ice. Wonder what the f/r weight ratio is.

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    • Alan

      “…. I’ll bet it’s really good in the ice.”

      Bwahahahahaha! Good one! That is where the Corvair forward control models had it over the front-engined ones. Dang it… Must be some long undisturbed grey-matter neurons which keep popping up images of that V-8 installation, and the front wheels off of the ground…. Heckuva ride from way up front!

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  8. larry

    My cousin had one of these back in the early 70’s, we put a small block ford in it, pretty simple conversion, if I remember correctly. I’d say you got a great buy, hope you enjoy it.

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  9. Carlos

    A high school friend had one of these trucks. His dad passed it down to him as his first car. It had a camper shell on it that fit like it was made for the truck. I don’t recall ever seeing another Econoline truck with a camper/shell. Anyone out there got photos of one with the right shell?

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  10. rich

    I have a 61 I’ve had since 74. Nice find, but unless you got a tailgate with it good luck finding a nice one. Plan on anther grand just that alone. As for gas mileage don’t look for more the 15 that six is pushing a brick though the air. A lite brick but still a brick. Also have a Corvair Greenbrier much better to drive. But then the Ford is sure fun in the rain or on dirt real tail happy 🙂 but then I like to drive sideways

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  11. alan

    there is a nice econoline on trademe.co.nz its worth a look

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  12. Don Andreina

    I love these forward control things, regardless of maker. However, having driven a VW Kombi around Sydney, I still can’t come to terms with driver proximity to vehicle (or obstacle) ahead. Nice find, Steve.

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  13. Charles

    I remember those things as a kid in the 60’s. Haven’t seen one in years. Looks Good! Have loads of fun with it…

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  14. Steve Y.

    My first job after I got my drivers license in NY in ’67 was driving a well, very well, used Econoline delivery van for a florist on Long Island. It was a kick I remember to this day. It’s just fun to drive. Have a ball and I look forward to hearing about your progress

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  15. yanmarley

    Great find – I had the same truck about 1991 with a 454 /turbo 400/9″ sitting back of where the old 6 cylinder was, world’s shortest drive shaft. It was a blast to drive however didn’t keep it long. Good smoke shows and fair handling. After many VW vans, A-100 vans and the Econoline you kinda get immune to the whole worrying about driver proximity thing. Enjoy the drive.

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  16. ted

    I Remember I knew a guy who had one of these trucks and if Im thinking right there was a side door on the bed like a loading ramp? does anyone recall this model?

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    • jim s

      search this site under corvair rampside.

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  17. ninja3000

    $1100 and you drove it home? You just got Babe Ruth-ed with the Lucky Stick!

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  18. ted

    I did look and Corvair had the ramp side door wouldn’t it been nice if Ford had one too

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    • Alan

      Doesn’t preclude an industrious sort from installing one…. (grin)

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  19. Lee

    A terrific little find! These are nifty rigs and the Torque Thrust rims look fetching!

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  20. Matt

    You need to get Steve in contact with my dad. He’s got one of these thats nearly complete and would make an excellent donor.

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