Retired Workhorse: Well-Preserved 1962 Ford Econoline

Cars that have been well-preserved and are in good, unrestored condition are a neat thing all of their own. That being said, preserved work vehicles are something else. Most work trucks and vans saw abuse on a regular basis, and were retired when it was no longer feasible to keep repairing them. To see faded writing on the side of an old truck in a junkyard or in a field is exciting in its own right, but to see a nicely preserved work van in such good condition as this 1962 Ford Econoline is something of a rarity, especially wearing what is very likely its original graphics. This van is clean, cool, running and driving and ready for a new home. Find it here on eBay in Delaware with bidding at $10,200 and reserve not met. 

Because it is a work van, it is very stripped and minimalist. Compared even to more modern work vans, the amount of paint on the floor and doors of this 1962 Econoline is impressive. This suggests perhaps this van did not see a lot of rough service. It is equipped with a 3-speed column-shift manual, a heater, and a foldaway passenger seat. The folding passenger seat is pretty cool, and speaks to the intended purpose of this van: hauling and work. I can imagine an electrician driving this Ford around in the 1960s, the back stocked with tools, fixtures, and spare parts. While this could be a neat light-duty parts hauler for a car enthusiast, it could also be a good starting place for a custom van build, though some may say custom vans have been done enough as it is. Regardless, this Econoline is in great driver condition and ready for use.

Under the doghouse is what is probably a 144 cubic inch inline 6-cylinder engine. The seller doesn’t specify what engine it is other than being a 6-cylinder, but since this is a second-year model Econoline the 144 is most likely. The dash is minimal and empty, with only the necessities. Under the dash is a heater box and heater control unit, which was surely a welcome amenity for whoever was driving this van during the winter. The lack of door panels speaks for the stripped down options on this Econoline, if you aren’t already convinced. I love it, it’s easy to clean and it is just an honest work vehicle.

With access from the back and sides, the Ford Econoline was the go-to choice of work vans since its inception in 1961. This well-preserved example is running, rust-free, and mostly original. The odometer says 37,000 but the seller does not state if it is 37,000 or 137,000. Either way, this is likely one of the nicest unrestored Econolines of this vintage. This would be a great parts runner. Would you use it?

Fast Finds


  1. Michael

    Always loved these vans, and that is my last name on the side!

  2. angliagt

    That lettering doesn’t look faded to me,
    it looks like someone redid it recently.
    Original lettering looks much cooler.

    • MorganW Morgan Winter Member

      I was thinking the same thing…


      Cool old panel!

    • angliagt

      The ’60 Chevy Apache (above) was mine once,
      & the lettering was original,painted on years after the truck
      was new.It was kept in a shed,so almost no rust.And it only
      had 5100 miles on it when I bought it!
      Since it was about 20 feet long,I sold it,as I had no
      indoor storage for it in the Winter,& was way too nice to let sit
      out in the rain,& rust away.

  3. boxdin

    Very Nice already high dollar at 10,200.

  4. Fred W.

    Agree- original lettering has a certain look and that an’t it. They may have gone over the lettering with new paint, a mistake. Or they turned a regular van into a “work van” to increase interest.

  5. LAB3

    Sorry, it may belong to a business but nobody did any serious work out of this thing. What makes more sense to me is someone bought a nice old van and put lettering on it then parked it out in front of the shop as a rolling billboard.

  6. MIkeG

    Should be used as a movie prop.

  7. grant

    My thoughts exactly. Phone numbers haven’t used that format at all in my lifetime (I’m 42, yikes) so likely someone found a nice old stripper van and jazzed it up a little with some period correct graphics. One would think the phone number would be updated when direct dial came along. I could be wrong but what company is going to carefully store and preserve an apparently seldom used work vehicle? Pretty much none.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      From 1920 to 1977, my family owned an electrical contracting business. My Uncle Ray kept one of the trucks, a 1970 C10 longbed radio,A/C delete truck when we shut down the business. It was used primarily for light material loads to job sites. Once in a while it would haul a gang box or two. My uncle is now 92 and still has the truck and has taken excellent care of it all these years. We used crude magnetic signs on our equipment back then as we were a non-union company and the unions back then would steal or destroy equipment marked with any non-union company’s name or logo. I saw it about 2 months ago during a visit and it has about 86,000 miles on it.

  8. jimbunte jimbunte Member

    Those would be the most amazingly preserved original graphics circa 1961 I’ve ever seen. Likely: re-creations from the original hand-lettering from the period. Either way, what a great Econoline!

    Sidenote: I have been re-watching “The Invaders” with Roy Thinnes on YouTube (“A Quinn Martin Production!”) and they used Ford vehicles 1967-68; there are a ton of Econolines throughout the background sequences and a few hero vehicles too.

  9. DrinkinGasoline

    Lettering debate aside, this is a very nice Econoline ! As a side note, up here in N.E.Ohio, that telephone number exchange format was used until 1970-ish.

  10. tasker

    I had the good fortune of having one of these as my first vehicle….what a blast! pricey for sure but it’s all in what someone is willing to pay….

  11. Howard A Member

    Technically, these were called Falcon Econolines. Some had that on the back door.
    There’s no doubt in my mind, this is the real deal. The lettering may have been freshened up, but these were just city vans, and sat at job sites all day, with maybe an errand. There’s no way this would look like this with 134K. Terrible rusters, amazing to see one like this at all.

    • Ed P

      The area around the lower rear door hinges usually rusted on gen 1 econolines. Must have been fixed.

    • Miguel

      Howard, correct me if I am wrong, but I thought the Falcon Econolines were the passenger vans and the regular Econolines were the work vans.

      There was also the extended version which I think carried the Falcon name.

      • boxdin

        And in the middle was the “display van” which had windows on the right side and rear doors only. Left side remained a panel. Fav of the phone cos.

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Miguel, I think you are right. I’ve never seen a panel van ( or pickup) that had “Falcon” on the back. I do know, the Falcon name was dropped altogether in late ’68 for 2nd gen Econolines. I bet this “Mercury” Econoline is a rare bird.


    I love these 1st Gen Econoline’s, hope it does well, looks like a solid one for sure, love the graphics and history.

  13. jw454

    I recall these being used extensively doing everything from delivering flowers to phone company use. They were everywhere making the city work. Nice to see a good one.

    • Ed P

      I can testify that the phone companies bought these by the thousands.

  14. Ulm210

    In a deep baritone voice: “Hudson three two seven hundred”

    • Kenny

      WOW; I remember that number. You must be from the Chicago area, I seem to remember it being a carpet cleaning company. For so many years on local Chicago television, a carpet & upholstery cleaning company called Boushelle would advertise, using the catchy jingle of their phone number, “Hudson 3-2-700!” to stick in the minds of viewers. Here is a classic commercial from January 1993. or how about 588-23-hundred EMPIRE !!! The Ford dealers would use these for parts chasers too. BTW, The signs on side and back of those vans were lettered with ” ONE-SHOT” oil-based lettering enamel. That oil based paint never faded and etched itself into the original factory paint job. So that could very well be the original sign. I was a pinstriper and sign painter in the 80’s. That was the sign painter’s paint of professionals.

  15. Michael Dawson

    In 1975, my dad bought a 1964 Econoline van just like this one that was — get this — formerly an electrician’s van with white lettering down the side. Ours was blue, and stripped, just like this one. He paid $150 for it, and it had fairly rusty sheetmetal on the outer rocker panels. Full of wooden bins and storage in back, my dad removed those and substituted aluminum-frame cots, a curtain behind the front seats, and (horrors!) jigsawed holes to install aluminum crank-out camper windows in the cargo doors. We drove this thing all over Indiana (no A/C, and my seat was on the hard, hot, metal engine cover. In the middle of the “conversion van” era, this Econoline was kind of laughable. We named her “Hazel” and had it for quite an number of years. (Wish I had a photo handy!)

  16. Stu

    I called Conway Electrical Service again at EA-8-2139 because they never showed up to install a light. They told me that they did come in 1962, but no one answered the door.

  17. Bob C.

    Could be a 170 six banger, a lot came equipped with them.

  18. TR

    Auction just ended $14,100 reserve unmet. Cool van

  19. JW

    I had a 63 Econoline with a 6 banger and three on the tree in 1969. I bought it from a laundry who used it for their maintenance man to go on parts runs. I paid $150 for it and it burned more oil than gas but it never failed me for over a year then I sold it for $200. Mine was a dark green and I learned how to drive a stick on a hill at a stoplight without rolling back in to the car behind me with it..

  20. craig sibert

    Nice van but loud as sin these things echo inside like crazy,and very spartan inside had a dodge tradesman 100 .this would be good advertisement for your business however like truly nolan does an eye catcher albeit expensive one.

  21. Joe Howell

    I love it, I had the short wheelbase Chevy equivalent. One thing for sure in a frontal crash you were close to the action :( Unless they got some carpet on the floors and some insulation in the walls it was like rolling down the road in steel beer can. My guess is it was stored indoors when not on the job, a common practice when valuable tools and materials are kept in a vehicle. In my neck of the woods until well into the 80’s on my local exchange, GE-2- xxxx you could call other GE-2 numbers by just dialing 2-xxxx. First time my city born wife saw me dialing only 5 numbers to call my brother she said “what are doing, you can’t do that” :)

  22. chad

    ‘vintAGEvans’ is a good site for the true, correct info.
    They’ve helped me a a good bit over the yrs.
    I like the ‘8 door’ econo (’60 – ’65) w/250 i6 transplanted in.
    C 1 or 2 over on ‘ford6’ as well…

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