1972 Ford E100: Southwestern Bell

1972 Ford E100 Van

Growing up with parents that owned their own small service business, I grew up around Econoline vans. As a matter of fact some of my fondest childhood memories are of working on a similar E100 with my father. I still remember how blown away I was by the removable engine compartment cover and the access it offered to the engine. This example was used by the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company to install phone lines, but has been out of service for a long time. The seller claims it is highly original, but is going to need lots of work. I’m just not sure whether I would want to keep it in its original color scheme or paint it to look the Mystery Machine! Find this E100 here on eBay in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. So what would you do with this old work van?


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  1. phoneman91

    I drove an E100 just like this back in the 1970’s in Texas and Missouri when working for SWBT. These pictures bring back a lot of memories. This vehicle could be the actual same vehicle that I drove . But the vehicle was gutless-there were some steep rural driveways that I almost couldn’t climb because of the high first gear of the three- on- the tree and the 3.00 to one final gear ratio and the 5300 pound loaded weight of the vehicle. The spotlight on the roof means that this van was an exchange repairman’s vehicle.

  2. phoneman91

    This E100 vehicle also had the best three speed on the tree linkage. And had sychro first gear. Very smooth when new and even when there was high mileage on the vehicle. The Dodge vans had the worst linkage and the Chevrolets also had good linkage.

    The phone company made a mistake when ordering 1/2 E100s-even for exchange installation . They all should have been 3/4 tons. The E100s were all overloaded with all of the supplies in the back.

    • boxdin

      Its 1973, my buddies and I are sitting in the drive up liquor window (remember those) in my brand new B200 short Dodge van when I go to shift, put in the clutch and wham pedal straight to floor. The linkage bent elbow snapped right at the 90* bend.

  3. Chris

    The roommate in college had one of these. Great for moving junk from one place to another. Lousy as a daily driver.

  4. Mike d

    might be OK for a nostalgia show, would not put a ton of $$ in it tho! would keep the sun baked look either paint or switch the wheels .. or use it to sell parts . you don’t see any of these around today ( especially here in the northeast) would most likely attract a lot of attention.

  5. Paul B

    These things used to be everywhere, and now they’re nowhere. I’m just glad there are a few around to save so we can remember the streetscape. I had one, a window work van with six-banger, three on the tree and those amazing Twin I-beams! Tough little van, though I had to replace valve seals and this version of the Econoline, including mine, was a bit rust-prone in rust-belt areas. The only Ford I ever owned (not counting the V4 engines in my Saabs).

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