Former Eastern Airlines Van: 1965 Ford Econoline

This 1965 Ford Econoline is hiding out in the woods of Georgia, and the listing reads very similar to the ones I’ve created for the cars and trucks in my friend’s collection. It’s an affirmation of sorts that you have to respond to a lot of dumb questions when trying to sell a project, and this seller does a bang-up job of addressing exactly what you’re getting with this van. Trees will need to be cut down and winches are a must, but the Ford is sporting some cool vibes given its original affiliation with Eastern Airlines when new. Find it here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of just $1,431 and the option to make a best offer.

The years’ worth of tree and plant debris and old-school Georgia plates give you some clue as to how long it’s been sitting, but the seller doesn’t shy away from the fact that restoring this Econoline will be a major undertaking. It had retired from serving a local airport – figure either Chattanooga or Atlanta – before becoming the utility van for a local HVAC company. While the lettering for that company is still visible on the front doors, other eBay photos show you can still see the classic Eastern Airlines logo going down the sides of the van. I love details like that, but it may be tall order to try and preserve them.

The seller pulls no punches that he’s not going to clean up the van or see if the engine will turn over – he’s taking the approach that for the low price, the potential for the motor to be a boat anchor is just a risk the seller will have to accept. I’m fine with this, as I’d rather sell something cheap with everyone feeling OK about it, even if the engine is a dog, than trying to squeeze a few extra bucks out of the transaction and have buyers be disappointed. The seller does offer to clean out the left-over equipment from the van’s HVAC servicing days if the next owner doesn’t want to collect that sweet, sweet scrap metal money.

There’s other clues to the van’s past, like this gauge / counter still featuring the Eastern Airlines logo. The Econoline has been sitting for quite some time, with the registration last being renewed in 1983. The seller resides in a mountainous region of Georgia and will need some time to drag it out and down to where it can be loaded. As he notes, the photos show red Georgia clay underneath the van, which as I’ve found on my friend’s property, does not mean the bottom is swiss cheese – most of the time, it can just be power-washed off the frame. I love the airline decor – does the decor alone make you want to save this van?

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  1. Jim ODonnell

    Nice find Jeff! I used to fly Eastern regularly right up to their ignominious end – it’s sad but fitting finding one of their old vehicles abandoned and in this condition.

    Like 4
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I don’t have much to say about the van, other than it is about what you would expect from a vehicle which has been sitting in the woods for 30+ years. But I did get a chuckle out of reading the ebay ad. The seller is very forthright with the info he wants to impart. Quite a bit of detail about how things should and will play out. But (in my opinion) he does it without being obnoxious.

    So, kudos to the seller. If this was on craigslist it would say “1965 Econoline, been parked for a long time, needs restored.”

    Like 6
    • IkeyHeyman

      You can add: “No lowballers, I know what I got!”

      Like 6
  3. hatofpork

    Free spiders…

    Like 2
  4. Doc

    Let it rest in pieces..

    Like 1
  5. Howard A Member

    Neat find only because most of these became tool sheds out back. This is too fried, but a treasure trove of parts for someone with a nice one. Sitting in the dirt that long, I can almost guarantee the stubs that hold the motor, are probably wasted. I got a van like this, actually kind of rare, a double side door,( double doors on each side) for free, got it home, and realized, the stubs had rusted and the motor was laying on the front axle. Never did get it going. They aren’t the best to drive, downright dangerous, really, but they are around.

    Like 4
  6. Joe w

    I love vans.

    But wouldn’t touch this if you gave it to me. RIP old van

    Like 1
  7. Gaspumpchas

    With all the leaves and pine needles on the roof, its gotta be toast. Better look at it close. Shame on the seller for making no effort. Guess it takes all kinds. one thing about these- if you get into a front end collision, you will be first on the scene. Good luck.

    Like 2
  8. Chebby Staff

    Or you could just make some Eastern stencils and put them on a van that hasn’t become a lace doily.

  9. JeffinAr

    I bought the van, surprisingly it is still solid.doors and rear corners are bad,so they will need replaced or major repair. but floors and underneath are in great shape. sometimes it pays to take a gamble. the seller is a awesome guy too. glad I had the chance to talk to him. the Eastern van will be back on the road again, just wanted to let anyone know that was curious about the van . it now lives in Arkansas

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