Cab-Over: 1965 Econoline Pickup

econoline

This cab-over Ford Econoline pickup is an unusual sight, especially in running condition, although there is an issue. Listed here on eBay where the bidding is at $3,500 without a reserve, the truck has spent the last several years in Taylor, Arkansas. Parts availability is good, and the rust along the rockers can be dealt with this patch panel. A little tougher problem is the lack of first gear, although the seller has been driving it around in second and third. While it’s not original by any means, it does look like a pretty solid truck to putter around in. I wonder if the 165-pound weight Ford had to fit over the rear axle to give it traction is still there? Let us know if you have one of these cab-overs!

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Comments

  1. Doug M. (West) Member

    First time I recall seeing the deluxe side trim. That together with the wheels makes a really nice looking rig!

    Like 1
  2. Bobsmyuncle

    That seems like an incredible deal. I don’t know the going rate of these but if it was local I’d rake a close look.

    Like 1
    • Ron Y.

      This is a great price considering what they want for any car built in the 60s these days. That straight six is the same engine that was in my folks Merc. Comet Station wagon. Good engine. I had a three on the tree Studebaker with the same type of transmission. Being non synco- mesh the brass syncros need to be replaced not to mention a gear or two. All and all that is a great find.

  3. rich

    I have a 61 and have had it since 1975 a rust free California car. Not stock big wheels and tires 8’s and 10’s flared rear wheel wells and took out the back window on a three window cab.
    Fun rig used it to tow my race car all over the country in the late 70’s early 80’s. Need to get it out from the back of the shop and start driving it again as it sure is a head turner

    • John

      You actually towed something with a vehicle with that short wheelbase and marginal brakes?

      • rich

        yes, towed my Formula C car on a open trailer up and down the west coast. Even towed it back east when we moved then back. But when I had to tow a Trans Am Mustang now that was hairy for sure.

  4. JW

    Had one of these back in the early 80’s, got it for $100 because the kingpins were froze up, a little heat and they came unstuck. It was going to be a father son project. I was going to pull the 6 and install a built V8 and tranny in the bed directly to the rear axle but a 9 inch, wanted to pop wheelies with. But sadly I sold it to buy my first house. Mine didn’t have the fancy trim on the side but same color.

  5. z1rider

    Ever see a motorcyclist do a stoppie? That’s what that 165 pound weight was for. It of course would also aid in traction but it was for safety reasons, an actual safety recall.

  6. pontiactivist

    I love these things. My neighbors widow has a yellow one modified in the basement along with an early 50’s dodge truck and a bunch of old motorcycles. I also know of a dodge and a vw pick up like this. Never see these around here. Very few of the vans anymore either. I know of a van that has side doors on both sides. That’s an oddity now a days. Have a Chevy van in my garage now. Always thought it would be cool to do a Chevy version that the factory never made.

  7. OttoNobedder

    Nice example of the 5-window version with extra trim. I had a ’65 like this with the ‘big’ 6-240.
    Of course, it came out and a 289 fit very easily( the 240 has same bell housing and flywheel) Shoulda’ never sold it, but got interested in British stuff.
    The red example with the 170(terrible engine-it only has 3 main bearings!)looks nicely preserved. That 3-speed trans was junk even back in the day, so I’m not surprised it’s toast. Same case as a Falcon/Comet, but the rear housing has a ‘hanger’ to support it(no cross-member)

  8. Howard A Member

    While this is a good looking truck, make no mistake, these were pretty miserable vehicles, and I mean all the “cab-over” pickups, not just Ford. They rode funky (usually sacked out front springs), hard steering, extremely hard to work on, hot in the summer (sitting next to the engine), and as with any cab-over, in a rear end crash, you are the 1st one on the scene. HA, z1rider ( love the Kaw z1, btw) a stoppie. Like this? http://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Ford-Econoline-braking-tip.png

    • Howard A Member

      Oh, ran out of time to edit. One might consider putting an automatic in this, as the 3 speed is already shot. These had terrible column shifting mechanisms, with like 4 foot shifting rods that would always bind up (when worn) and another bad spot on these, I had an Econoline van, that the stubs that come off the frame that hold the motor up, rusted through, and the motor fell onto the front axle.( not while driving, got it for nothing and found the rusted motor mounts later and junked it) For nostalgia though, you can’t beat it.

  9. JW

    Howard as a ex owner of one of these I would own another in a heartbeat. What some consider miserable handling and uncomfortable others enjoyed the simplicity of them. I not only grew up with musclecar era I also was in on the ground floor of the pickup truck movement when they were farm trucks / construction vehicles / Wheel Standers and 4×4 off road utility vehicles not family vehicles of the mainstream. I had a 2010 Ford quad cab 4×4 and it was comfy but never took it off road as if it broke I couldn’t fix it to get home but on the other hand I’ve had a 65 econoline pickup / 63 econoline van / 68 chevy 4×4 / 76 ford 4×4 / 78 ford 4×4 and a 73 & 80 ford broncos which I could take anywhere and if they broke which rarely happened I could fix it quickly to get it home for a complete repair. I sure miss the days of simplicity in our vehicles.

  10. RickyM

    Nice looking truck – pretty cool. Love the colour and wheels. Nice find.

  11. Cattoo CattooButt Member

    I love these things and would own it or several others so readily one wouldn’t have to ask me if I wanted it. I have a 1969 Chevy van I’ve had since 1994. Unfortunately it got flipped on its passenger side and hasn’t been quite her old self since then. 327 4v and 3 on the tree baby! Would love a straight body one to put my running gear and power plant/transmission in.

  12. John

    Just picked up one of these. Was considering the advisability of towing a teardrop trailer. Had thought of rejiggering the rear suspension and moving the axle back a foot.

    Like 1
  13. rich

    Put a little weight in back, good brakes and don’t think it will go 100mph and you should be fine. They towed with the van all the time.

  14. Otto Nobedder

    1965 was the first year with 10″ brakes(same as Mustang/Fairlane/Comet/Falcon V8) It was a huge improvement over the wimpy 9″ brakes. Same with the rear axle.

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