Hooniverse Van-Tastic Weekend – The Second Generation Snub-Nose Econoline

The 1968 Ford Econoline revolutionized van design by moving the engine all the way to the front under a short hood. This was also the first time in which the Econoline was available with a V-8, and other options from power assisted steering, to Air Conditioning. This is the template that the others used to redesign their a few years later. This version of the Ford E-Series was in production between 1968 and 1974. The question is this: Does the second generation Ford Econoline have what it takes to become a blue chip collectible?

Our first classic snub nosed Econoline is this 1969 Supervan. According to the listing:

Our pride and joy surf van is now up for sale, a 1969 Ford E100 Econoline Super Van. It has a 302 V8, auto transmission and runs strong. The body is in amazing condition, like an Arizona desert car. As “rust free” as you’ll find anywhere. This was a fire department’s vehicle and was well taken care of and garage kept. When we stripped the 20+ year old paint, there were no rust holes except for 1 spot on the pull out step. Check the jams in the doors. We gave her a new life with a fun fresh Ford Wintergreen green paint job. Photos don’t do it justice. This “SuperVan” was Ford’s E100 supersize option which gave you a larger wheelbase and 4500lb load capacity. Perfect to load all the gear you and your friends need to take to the beach. Right now the cargo area is a blank canvas and we have lots of ideas for customization (hot/cold showers, generator, bamboo floors, wood surf racks, etc).

This van shows only 97,000 miles and is offered for $7,500. Is this van worth the money? See the AutoTrader Classics listing here.

The next van is a bit on the rough side. This is a 1972 model, wearing the only revision this generation would wear, a different grill. According to the listing:

V8 – 302 Manual Transmissions, 4 Speed on the Floor, California Van – No Rust, Private Seller. Has not been started or driven in years. Mileage Unknown, Needs Restoration. Purchased from original owners family.

So what would a rough, non running, 2nd generation be worth? Well, it is currently stalled at $311, with 2 days left. Do you think this van is worth it? See the listing here.

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  1. Mad_Hungarian Avatar

    IMO, this generation of Econoline has all the nose a van needs. Everything that has been done since then eats away at the fundamental reason for designing vans in the first place — to create a maneuverable forward control vehicle that has maximum carrying capacity in minimum length. If we didn't want that, we could have stuck with sedan deliveries and panel trucks.

  2. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    Second van yes, First van no. That is all.

    1. Gary Avatar

      I remember when it was around 1967 that I rode shot gun in a older delivery van as a summer job . The heat was really bad so the driver popped off the engine cover clips to open the cover and get air across the engine to prevent over heating.
      But the heat was now blown into the van and there were not push-out rear windows on top of the sun heating up the body shell.
      It was odd at first to not see a long nose on a vehicle and sit beside the engine which was a 6 cylinder. Often on the way back with no load during a turn coming out of 1st gear one of the tire would break traction and squeal from the weight being shifted to one side . from what I remember it was a street with a smooth surface and we turned a shape left to get on it so I’m guessing the drivers side wheel slipped and it wasn’t a sure-grip differential .

  3. Cossy Avatar

    My father used to own one of these, virtually identical to the second one on the outside except for the spoiler and the paint color. His was a very seventies shade of orange, and sported a hi-fi and a bed in the back. I like to think a lot of these vans had that sort of treatment.

  4. west_coaster Avatar

    A former neighbor of mine, who in his laters years has become a die-hard Honda guy, always said that this generation of Ford van was one of the most perfect vehicles he's ever owned.
    He had one for his business back in the day, with a 302 and a three-on-the-tree manual. He told me he put over 300,000 miles on it and not once did it ever let him down. He said it was still going strong when he sold it in the late '80s to buy a new Astro van, which he ended up being much less happy with, especially when it came to reliability.

  5. paul Avatar

    These vans look best with a rack-trailer full of canoes at a campground. ( the early model)
    The Latter model has the right mags but needs some Frazetta murals all over.
    They are becoming collectable and custom van shows are getting bigger.

  6. Van Sarockin Avatar
    Van Sarockin

    Second van is fairly priced and you can do a lot with it, so long as it doesn't have to be a perfect original. First van is too much money for too much wear, though still in nice shape.

  7. Bob Avatar

    The red 1972 used to be mine until 1982. If anyone can tell me what has happened to it, I would like to know.

  8. Doug Avatar

    This week I just purchased a 1969 E 200 3/4 ton shorty, kind of a different combo, with a 302, 3 on the tree and has the side display van doors. Seems to be all there and all original including the front seats. Does still have black diamond tuck and roll on the walls and ceiling from back in the day.