Show Quality: 1979 Ford Econoline

This 1979 Ford Econoline van has been sitting for around 15-20 years, but the seller promises that when it’s cleaned up, she’ll shine like a show truck. He might not be pulling our legs, as the paint does look pretty decent under all that dust. And the custom striping is pretty much a requirement for any 70s or 80s slice of “vantastic” culture. The interior is fully decked-out as you would expect for one of these old-school vans, and the seller promises the price will go up as he gets around to cleaning it up. Find the Econoline here on craigslist for $8,000.

While some vans from this era are almost done up to the point of absurdity with spoilers, fender flares, and more, this Econoline is more tastefully modified with a custom spare tire cover that matches the old-school decals. The running boards are a period-correct accessory, and the aftermarket wheels have the appropriate offset for sticking outside of the fenders just right. The chrome bumpers still shine up nicely, and the multiple side windows tell you that this is a van with room to party inside. The seller confirms the van has just 106,000 miles and that he bought it with a mere 65K on the clock.

Given it’s a six-cylinder model, you know this engine has a long way to go before it needs serious repair. Now, on the other hand, it won’t ever sound nearly as burly as an eight-cylinder Econoline would, but it will likely be far less costly to bring back to life after sitting for over a decade. The interior is fully decked out in the way any conversion van should be, with wall-to-wall carpeting and super thick captain’s chairs that look like they could keep you comfortable even after you rupture a disc in your back. Custom tables and a rear bench that likely folds out into a bed (or could be removed to make one) complete the cabin.

The Econoline has plenty of fake wood trim that still looks pretty good, with lots of room for a cold drink or two. The seller notes he lost interest in the Econoline after getting into motorcycles, and now that he’s approaching his 70s, it’s time for someone else to enjoy it. I do believe this Econoline could come back to life without a serious rebuild and these are already dirt-cheap vehicles to maintain. Parts are plentiful and hardly expensive to buy, so you likely wouldn’t be at any risk of being upside down on a classic Econoline like this. Take it to the track, take it to Sturgis – no matter where you go, it will be a crowd-pleaser. Thanks to Barn Finds reader T.J. for the find.


  1. Chris

    Nice old Ford van! Reminds me of my dad and his older generation custom Ford van that he had back in the late 70s.

    Like 1
  2. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    These rolling hunks of iron were really quite the high end van in there day, not so much now. Mini vans came along and SUV’s to put these out of fashion, but they had some really nice features, like very comfortable seating for everyone, some had ice makers and or mini refrigerators and stoves with coffee pots and even a small sink. They were great for camping or long trips. Most had V8 engines that could roll with highway speeds at ease, the 6 although plenty of engine was a little more sluggish. Usually they had A/C front and rear, power steering and brakes. It’s really hard for me to think in terms of 15-20 years ago still being in the 21 century, boy how time flies, or maybe I’ve just lived to long. Anyway great van here, someone will have fun.

    God Bless America

    Like 3
  3. Headturner

    By the time this rolled out of the conversion shop, the van craze was already going away and these family vans were taking over the showrooms. No true vanner would want all those windows that let people see what is going on inside. It’s almost impossible to find replacements for those aftermarket windows, too. It may clean up nice, but it’s nothing special.

    Like 4
  4. lbperry

    You’re trying to sell a vehicle and rather than pull it out and clean it up and then take pics, you tell how good it’ll look if you did. C’mon Man!


    @ Headturner. Very true. This is a family wagon. No true vanner would want it. My concern is not how it shines up but the mechanicals and the interior sitting for 30 years. Mice mold etc.

    Like 2
  6. Matt

    I’d be willing to go at most 3 grand on it but someone will end up buying it for 8. Its amazing what EVERYTHING is bringing again now. I’m going to put up my 80 triumph TR7 ragtop next week and put some stupid number on it and see what it leaves for. Oh yea it runs! Lol

    Like 1
  7. Gary

    Put this on BaT after getting it running and a doing a good cleaning and i’d bet it will hit 20k. The market is looney these days.

  8. Melton Mooney

    20 Quatloos for the Pioneer cassette deck.

  9. BO

    If the seller thinks it has show quality paint why would he not clean it for the photos? It looks like a mouldy mouse nest in the pics.

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