Monday, October 17, 2011

Van Of The Day: October 17, 2011

Today's car of the day is Ertl's 1977 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

Opening doors on a van- got to love it!  This one has some front end damge- I'm hoping it isn't metal fatigue.

The E-Series was redesigned in 1975 with more ergonomic controls and a full frame, allowing it to be used as a truck chassis. This was the beginning of four wheel drive conversions for the van. The nose now had a proper hood, very close to the length used today. This bodystyle continued through 1991. In 1979 the front grille and headlights were facelifted and square headlights were incorporated. In 1983, Ford's "Blue Oval" logo was integrated into the front grille. Van conversions became a popular alternative to sparse factory passenger accommodations.

The basic appearance of the front end of this van was replicated for the Ford Ranger and its SUV offspring the Ford Bronco II.

A 1980 Econoline was the vehicle that accompanied, and provided accommodation for, Terry Fox when he undertook his Marathon of Hope across Canada. After providing transportation for other owners in its later life, from London, Ontario to a rock band based in Vancouver, British Columbia, it was recovered and restored by Ford Motor Company of Canada in 2008 and turned over to the Terry Fox Foundation to assist in further fund-raising activities.

Ford intends to replace the E-Series by 2014 with a global version of the fourth generation Transit platform developed by Ford of Europe. The Transit has been the E-Series' equivalent in Europe since 1965 and competes with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

It is not known if the North American versions of the Transit will be equipped with turbodiesel power which makes up the vast majority of European sales. In order to introduce American buyers to Ford's Euro-vans, the company began importing the mechanically unrelated Transit Connect range for the 2010 model year.

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