Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Three-fer Wednesday Econoline Edition

E-Sharp, E-Flat, & E-Busted
I realized I forgot to make good on Two-fer Tuesday yesterday, so here's a Three-fer instead! What is surprising to me is that the only other time I had 3 of the same generation make & model of vehicle featured in a single post it was the Ford Falcon Van, which in 1969 became the models below.
Early one rainy morning I was pleased to come across this little toughy:
 This is a 1971-1974 Ford Econoline 200 "Super Van". The grill was different pre-'71. The 200 designation refers to the amount this van is able to haul (I believe 3/4 ton, which would mean the 100 was good for a 1/2, and the 300 was the 1-ton).
I also suspect that this is a very rare and seriously capable Quadravan due to it's ride height and skid-plate/brush-guard bumper. The Quadravans were converted to 4-wheel-drive when new by a now-defunct company called Pathfinder. The only identification I've seen would be a painted "Quadravan" name under the Econoline script which, if it was once on this example, has long been painted over.
That lockable door placed above the rear wheel has my curiousity! I love how insignificant the rear bumper is compared to the front as if to say "Don't worry, we will never encounter terrain we can't conquer".
The Super Van was actually the name of a promotional vehicle built by Ford in the UK where they basically put their frumpy Transit Van body on a racing GT-40 chassis, allowing it to reach 150mph in the process. I guess it was cool enough for the U.S. versions to get a shout-out!
This is in obviously great shape overall. The tough wheels and tires look great, as does the exhaust popping out the side in front of the rear wheels in a very hot-rod way. Taking this thing deep into the woods or desert on a camping trip would be a blast if you could stomach the notoriously awful Quadravan gas mileage (around 10mpg if you're lucky!).

On to a more pedestrian version of the E-Series:
Look at this happy little school bus wannabe!
Here we have another E-Series of the same era, this one known boringly as the Window Van. What did you think they'd call it?
With it's period-correct Wagon Wheels and plain white painted bumper this thing looks ready for no-frills people hauling. In fact many of these were used as school buses in rural communities which would make sense of that Kraft Singles color. If that was it's history I'd be surprised if the grill wasn't originally painted white like the bumper.
The elevated portions of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway are fertile ground for classics. I have many shots with this setting for future posts.

On to a weather-beaten vagabond of an E-Series:
Oh yeah! I encountered .FACELIFE. on an early morning stroll recently keeping property values in check on a Greenpoint block. This thing is totally rad.
Econoline-200- badge still present after a hard partying life on the road!
This is the sort of camper conversion/mini-RV you see littering the streets below Potrero Hill in San Francisco or along the Emeryville/Oakland/Berkeley border with folks beating property taxes. I almost bought one of these once to move across country in once but decided on a 15-year newer Ford Van instead.
*Those hubcaps are the correct era and company but I'm prety sure they started life on a full-size Ford LTD, hopefully in Frank Cannon-edition brown (though mounted on those red wheels they might've been on the car Lois Lane was covered with rubble in during the Superman I earthquake).
These vans officially attract Wagon Wheels like no other. Who knows how many Burning Man festivals or Dead Shows this thing has witnessed in it's 40+ years?
Bear prints and bird tracks cover this side, and why not? With the bed built in to that raised section of fiberglass roof you too can toss all your belongings, friends, and hitchhikers inside and live the dream!

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