Rare 1977 Ford Econoline Chateau 460 4×4 Van

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“Designed for Vankind” was the motto Ford used to promote its Econoline vans in the 1970s. The Econoline had its roots in the 1960s when Ford first introduced the mid-engined layout to cater to commercial users. By the 1970s the engine had been moved up front, allowing for the design evolution that the market demanded, including V8 power, improved suspension, a heavy-duty frame, and – most important – plenty of creature comforts. “Vankind” could take advantage of carpeted interiors, captain’s chairs, courtesy light switches, a full-featured radio, and even cruise control. Three trim packages – with “Chateau” at the top – a couple of dozen payload options, several engine choices, and two transmissions could keep you pondering the dealer brochures through dinnertime. For a few adventure-seekers, tooling down the highway just wasn’t enough; sand, snow, and rocks were in the vacation plans. Enter Pathfinder Equipment Company, in San Gabriel, California. Pathfinder was the master of the 4WD conversion, delivering completed “Quadravans” back to dealers. Here on eBay is a very clean 1977 Ford Econoline 250 4X4 Pathfinder conversion with Chateau trim, bid to $14,700. This van is located in Spokane, Washington. Only two owners from new, it has racked up over 160,000 miles but still starts on the button.

The Econoline shared the body-on-frame construction and drivelines of the F-series pickups starting in 1975. This van is based on the F-250, with a 460 V8 big block, C6 automatic, Dana transfer case, and a 750 AFB Carter electric choke carburetor. The motor was “freshened” about 30,000 miles ago, and the alternator, radiator, heater core, tires, and brakes are new. Belts and hoses have been replaced, and the van was just tuned. A video showing the van running is included in the listing. Fortunately, someone ticked the “auxiliary fuel tank” box, because these vans will manage only about 10 mph with a tailwind. The listing includes two underside photos, showing minor seeping around the differentials.

The interior includes four captain’s chairs upholstered in vinyl. The rear seats are as spiffy as the fronts, and dig that carpet! Atmospheric! The gauge set shows some wear, but the remainder of the dash is quite nice. The stereo and speakers are new, as is the windshield.

The van’s paint is recent, and those rear windows flip open. The license plate emphasizes that this is a serious vehicle with plenty of presence. Overall, the long-time second owners seemed to have cared meticulously for this lucky van. With all that space in the rear, a new owner could equip this as a camper; haul motorcycles or bikes galore; use it for hunting; or you can be like this guy and paint an eagle on it …. the possibilities seem endless so long as you can put up with the gas mileage.

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  1. angliagt angliagtMember

    Nice clean-looking van.I always thought these 4WD ones
    looked cool.

    Like 10
  2. Terrry

    This is such a big shag wagon you could hold an orgy with a hot tub.

    Like 8
  3. Rw

    It’s cool.

    Like 4
  4. Bud Lee

    I saw one of these in UPS garb in the 70’s. Cookie cutter wheels and dog dish caps. I thought it looked very easy to roll over. It and this one are the only ones I ever seen. All others were 2WD.

    Like 3
  5. SirRaoulDuke

    The ad says it has “duel fuel tanks”. For the love of God, don’t shoot the fuel tanks.

    Like 9
    • B Wallace

      If Dennis Weaver bought it they would come in handy trying to stay in front of ratty looking Peterbilts without stopping for gas where they might try to crash into you.

      Like 3
      • CATHOUSE

        You must have been watching MeTV tonight as they showed that movie. Of course I had to watch it too.

        Like 3
      • Cowboy

        That explains the “duel” fuel tanks.

        Like 0
  6. Timothy PearnMember

    In my experience, You could not get the Chateau trim unless it was a Club Wagon window van. You could buy a conversion van prep package with ac, power windows and cruise etc., but stripped inside with no windows.

    Like 0
  7. pwtiger

    Only 10 mph? I’m sure that you meant mpg, I think that number might be optimistic but I would love to have a 4wd van

    Like 4
  8. Dan Ready

    Sorry but the van and truck never shared the same frame. Van frame is about 5″ wider than the truck frame. Information from me a person who owns 7 Ford vans from 1980 to 1991.

    Like 0
    • Tbone

      That’s a lot of shaggin wagons. You have my respect, sir.

      Like 3
  9. MoparMike

    I think 10 mpg is pretty optimistic for this 460 powered beast. I have a 360 powered Pathfinder Dodge VanCharger that bested 11 on a road trip but usually around 9 mpg.

    Like 0
  10. Chris Cornetto

    OMG! I knew someone back in the early 80s that had a blue one of these. You talk about tight spaces to work on anything. His did 7 to 8 mpg and that was it. Needless to say my 64 Impala convertible took us out more than the van unless well….teenagers lol. Thank the stars schoolbusses ran on gas and weren’t fenced or watched long ago. It’s a neat one and there are likely few left in that condition with that package.

    Like 0
  11. Mark McLeod

    Were the right rear doors a slider, or doubles??

    Like 0
    • Michelle RandAuthor

      I think the rear doors were barn doors.

      Like 0
  12. Frank R

    Not sure if it was this exact Van but I saw a Yamaha Racing 4WD Van just like this in New Fairfield CT just a few months ago.
    I would love to own one of these.

    Like 0
  13. randy

    I’ve got a blue ’75 E150 with 3 on the tree I need to get running.

    Like 1

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