Sunday, May 29, 2011

Van Of The Day: May 29, 2011

Today's car of the day is Matchbox's 1999 Ford Econoline.

The Ford E-Series, formerly known as the Econoline or Club Wagon, is a line of full-size vans (both cargo and passenger) and truck chassis from the Ford Motor Company. The E-Series is related to the Ford F-Series line of pickup trucks. The line was introduced in 1961 as a compact van and its descendants are still produced today. The Econoline is manufactured solely at Ford's Ohio Assembly plant in Avon Lake, Ohio—after the closure of the Lorain, Ohio plant in December 2005 and the consolidation of all production at Avon Lake.

As of 2009, the E-Series and the 2010 model year Ford Transit Connect compact MPV, which had its debut at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show on February 11, 2009 are the only vans in the Ford lineup in North America.

The Ford E-Series currently holds 79.6% of the full-size van market in the United States with 168,722 sales in the United States in 2007. It has been the best selling American full-sized van for 30 years (since 1980).

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Ford Econoline

Full size vans are fairly rare in small scale.  Johnny Lightning did some Boogie Vans from the '70s and a '90s GMC, Matchbox has this one and the '79 Chevy, Hot Wheels has a late '70s Econoline called the Baja Breaker, Yat Ming has a Bedford they later turned into an Econoline, Summer and Welly have Bedfords, and Majorette and Kingstar both did '80s Econolines.  Those are the ones that jump to mind immediately, though I know there are more.  But aside from the van craze of the '70s, not many newer vans exist in this scale.

The redesigned 1992 E-Series was available with a 4.9 L inline six, 5.0, 5.8, and 7.5 liter V8 engines, or a 7.3 L Power Stroke diesel V8. The consumer-oriented Chateau Club Wagon version was Motor Trend magazine's Truck of the Year for 1992. The design was smoother and more aerodynamic, and the vans no longer wore taillight lenses that had been shared with Ford's F-Series trucks from 1973 to 1979.
With this body style, Ford dominated the market for 15 passenger vans once created by Dodge. It was favored by churches, but the high heavy-duty body became notorious for rollover incidents due to the high center of gravity and the weight of 15 adults. For this reason it is recommended that only trained drivers drive these vehicles and that nothing be carried on the roof of such vehicles. In recent years, some insurance carriers have required that the four-passenger seat in the last row be removed, reducing passenger capacity to 11. (For further information on this topic, see Rollover Safety.)

The only visible exterior change for 1995 was the deletion of the amber turn signals in the tail lights, used from 1992–1994. Models from Canada are ultimately renamed as E-Series, however the Econoline name continued until 2000 for the United States.

The 1997 Econoline received an updated front end with a new grille that featured an oval cutout and new lower front bumper trim. Also new was an ergonomic dashboard layout containing dual airbags. Also introduced at this time were the new line of Triton V8 engines to replace the Windsors and the 460. The new lineup of engines featured a 4.2 L Essex V6, 4.6 L and 5.4 L Triton V8s, and a 6.8 L Triton V10. The 7.3 L diesel continued unchanged.

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