Spring Special: 1965 Ford Econoline Pickup

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We have featured quite a few of these somewhat unusual cab-over Ford pickups over the years, but I’m not sure if we’ve ever had one this nice show up. Nice find, Jim S.! The truck’s momentary resting point is Newton, New Jersey, and it’s up for sale here on eBay, where the buy it now is a somewhat steep $10,995, but lower offers are being welcomed, and only the seller knows what it will actually take to bring this beauty home.

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This “Spring Special” truck is one of only about 2,500 produced between May and July 1965. A rather large list of special features, including the Poppy Red paint, wide side strip, additional cab windows and chrome bumpers were added for only $251.90 dealer cost. Like most packages, the intent was to spur sales of the vehicle type.

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I don’t know how desirable that particular package makes the Econoline, but I do know this is a very useful vehicle that looks like it’s been pretty well taken care of. The seller points out one spot of rust in the front lower fender but says that other than the one spot it’s free of filler. Considering how often we see these very rusted, I’d say that’s a pretty rare truck!

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If anything, the inside looks better than the outside, with nice upholstery (anyone know if it’s the original type?) and a good looking steering wheel and dash. That’s a three-on-the-tree shifter you see as well. Simple and reliable, but I’m not too sure about the ergonomics. Have any readers spent a lot of time behind the wheel of one of these?

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Other than the difficulty getting to it, we’re looking at simplicity in the engine compartment as well. I’m not sure if this is the 170 or 240 cubic inch version of the inline six-cylinder engine but either one should be both reliable and economical. You’ll note I did not say powerful! My question to you is this–what do you think this Spring Special is worth?

 

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Comments

  1. z1rider

    Not the best angle for the shot of the engine but I’m pretty sure it’s the 170, not 240.

    Like 1
  2. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Z1, Thanks!

  3. Mike H. Mike H

    Seller has been intermittently having this truck on offer for about the last six months. Not sure whether the price is too high or if the right person just isn’t seeing it. . . Personally, I think it’s the former. I like any and all of the FC type trucks, the Jeep FC-170 is high on my list with the Falcon/Econoline trucks a close second, but this one just seems a little steep for what it is.

    Regardless of how well this one was restored their construction inevitably leads to rust and rot under pretty much all conditions, and while this one looks pretty good today I’m sure that its previous sins will bleed through in short order.

    I’d probably be a buyer for this thing at about $8k.

  4. Charles

    Neat ride! But the spare tire is begging to be stolen!

  5. JimP44

    rarity has always been a key for me and this model there weren’t to many made.Then comes condition and value.This looks like it would take 9 to 10 k to make a nice truck out of it,then its value would be 15 to 17k.Having said this I would be a player at 3k…

  6. Rick

    I always liked the similar vintage Dodge A-100 a lot better that either the Econoline or the Jeep FCs. That said, one of my buddies had an early 60s Econoline van, he used to me drive it when I was 15 years old (before I had my driver’s icense!) anyhow it had a 4-on-the-tree (a column shifted Dagenham 4 speed)

  7. Joe Howell

    I used to ride the rails in one of those Fords converted to run on railroad tracks. I had a 68 Chevy short wheel base van. You could tune up or work on the the engine on a rainy day and stay dry. Stone simple vehicles.

  8. Cattoo CattooButt Member

    I love it even though it isn’t a A-100 which are preferred over the ford but I’d own any of the FC vehicles. I have a seen better days 1969 short wheel base van for many years and absolutely love these machines.

  9. Cattoo CattooButt Member

    *1969 Chevy

  10. John G.

    My Dad bought a 1965 Falcon Deluxe Club Wagon. My mother was not very impressed when Dad and I brought it home. Neither was I. I wanted the black ’67 Country Sedan. Dad said, “Lorraine, go drive that car.” Mom’s test drive was, at most, 500 feet. When she got out, she simply said “Okay”. It was a very well optioned car with full two tone vinyl interior, padded dash, deluxe steering, third row seat, radio, auxiliary rear heater which worked great, chrome left and right mirrors, chrome bumpers, bright body side molding, white walls, 240 six with 3 speed shift on the column. It was definitely, no stripper. Compared to today’s cars, that interior was absolutely beautiful. You’ll find an exact example in the 1965 Ford Station Wagon brochure. Ford built 2259 of these Deluxe Club Wagons.

    The steering wheel in this Econoline Pickup is the optional Deluxe wheel. I’m surprised the special package did not include the padded dash, which though simple, really dressed up the dash. The owner’s pictures do not show much of the interior. The color of the instrument panel on our bus matched the dash. I would have thought that the interior of the Spring Special could have included pleated vinyl seats and door panels, but for the lack of a padded dash, it probably didn’t. I”ll bet you could have ordered it.

    I spent a lot of time behind the wheel of that bus and I would think that driving this pickup would be very similar to it.. It was quite comfortable with the steering wheel position being just right to rest your forearms on. Visibility was excellent as well as maneuverability.The 240 six and the 170 were like night and day. The 240 was much more powerful and the drive train was geared higher for a higher, much quieter cruising speed. I’m thankful that ours had the manual three speed transmission. I’m sure, that like our bus, this Econoline can go just about anywhere. The height is ideal. I remember hauling fence posts down a road through the woods of a farm to mend fences. But, on regular roads, attempting to drive that bus over 60 mph was dangerous as it would sway violently. I’ll bet this pickup would do the same.

    I did a valve job on that 240 six in the rain. I removed the passenger seat along with the engine surround making for very comfortable working conditions.

    Sorry to go on so. I’m just trying to convey what I think owning this pickup would be like.To sum up this Econoline pickup, in my opinion, we have here a tough, easy to work on, versatile, large load carrying, go practically anywhere, fun to drive vehicle with a very different look. And, if this pickup has the 240 six, it is a very capable workhorse and daily driver.

    Nearly fifty years after Dad bought that Club Wagon, I showed Mom a picture of a ’67 Country Sedan just like the one I wanted Dad to buy. I said to her, “You’d probably have preferred to have the wagon.” To my surprise, she said, “Why, I really liked that bus.” And she liked very few of the cars Dad bought. So, if my 5’1″ 120 pound mother liked driving an Econoline, then it’s got to be an enjoyable driving experience.

    Like 1
  11. John G.

    Here’s the picture from the 1965 Ford Wagon brochure. Our Deluxe Club Wagon was exactly like this.

  12. Dolphin Member

    The only thing I can say is, it ain’t beautiful but it sure is PRACTICAL.

  13. Rick Borstein

    I have one of these and really straight examples go for 15K or over. Mine is being resto-modded currently. Here’s a pick of me prior to restoration.

    Like 2
  14. Steve

    I certainly don’t see those high backs as original. They block the rear side window view.
    I have a 240 with a C-4 in mine with an original 9″ rear end and is said to be a Heavy Duty model. I love my little truck, but I only start it once or twice a year.

  15. Steve

    My econoline

    Like 1
    • BMW/Tundra Guy

      Since you don’t use it, why not sell it? To someone on this site? Bet you would get a fair deal and no hassle compared to the rest of the selling sites!?!?

  16. another Bob

    Back in the 1970s I saw a 60 mph head on collision between one of these and a station wagon.
    It was not pretty.
    I don’t think I could ever muster the courage to drive one
    of these after seeing that.

  17. Trainmaster

    The Custom Equipment Package included the rear quarter windows, white steering wheel, horn ring, dual horns, front bright turn signal lamp doors (frames), arm rests, Fibreglas insulation behind the cardboard firewall, perforated Masonite headliner, color matched vinyl floor mat printed with a photo of carpeting, and vinyl seats with woven plastic seating surfaces.

    The original seats were more ornate than the ones shown.

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