1961 Ford Econoline Pickup
1961 Ford Econoline Pickup
Introduced in the fall of 1960 as a 1961 model, the Econoline was unlike any truck previously offered by Ford. Mechanically based on Ford's compact Falcon line, the flat nosed Econoline was a light duty work truck that featured unibody construction and an engine located between and behind the seats of a “mini cab-over” design. As the name implied, the Econoline, combining a lightweight design with a gas saving 6-cylinder engine, was an economical vehicle to operate.
For consignment a wonderful first edition example of the Econoline pickup truck. With its cab over front design, and long bed, along with a fuel efficient engine, it became THE van for the former Bell Telephone Company who had literally thousands of them in their fleet, and they became synonymous with the phone company and the millions of service calls and installations throughout the 1960's.
This one is definitely one to phone home about as it comes to us in excellent condition, with some slight areas of rust bubbling in the paint, body filled areas, and a few cracks in said filler, but overall is in nice condition. With its main body bathed in Monte Carlo Red and topped on the cab with a hint of Corinthian white paint which remains good save for the aforementioned frowns. The truck takes on an unbalanced look, with its front heavy cab and light rear cargo bed, and frankly Ford struggled with this throughout its design years. It was certainly drivable, however needed some extra rear ballast in bad road conditions. The design is interesting as it seems as though the Corvair designers (of course they didn't) had their hands in this as well, because it definitely takes on that look in the front and rear lights setup. A Corinthian white bumper simple and straight is seen on the front and rear, and in between is a solid ribbed body matching painted truck bed. This is complete with a spare tire mounted high up on the passengers wheel well and rear tailgate. Another very cool feature that may ring a bell with you collectors and enthusiasts is the 5 window wrap around cab setup which is certainly unique to this early design. 14-inch Keystone 5 spoke wheels in white adorn each corner and are wrapped in thin all weather tires.
911 what's your emergency? Well not exactly but draped in fire engine red dual bucket vinyl textured seats flank the engine covering in the center, and such begins a nicely appointed but utilitarian interior. This truck has its original body exterior matching dash, complete with all original gauges and knobs, and a big box that is centrally located between the driver and passenger which is on the floor under the dash and utilized as the heater. The original steering wheel is fronting this dash, and a textured rubber floor covering floods the floors and a small storage space behind the seats. Atop is a particle board painted in textured white and it is nice and solid. Door panels are metal and have a beautiful contour with the front wheel well and body.
“Talk” about centrally located the engine is literally located within reach of the driver and passenger. It retains its original patina and appears unrestored. This dials up as a 144ci Inline 6-cylinder and delivers power to a 3-speed manual that the consigner states are original. Power is not off the hook but certainly plenty to get around and carry lots of cargo.
As we pick up this truck, we note some corrosion and surface rust, but body rockers are real clean, and there is nothing that would cause us to call in any problems. Leaf spring suspension is all around, and drum brakes are on all 4 corners.
We were certainly busy when entering this truck with all the various controls working, but we wanted to test them, then it fired up and we were off to the test track. The feeling much like driving the VW bus where the roads and windshield are right there so you want to stay clear of any oncoming traffic as well as any rear-ending action or you will be quickly out of service. However, it handles beautifully, we did not experience the front end heaviness, and it does have a nice turning radius. A good cruiser with great panoramic visibility.
Overall a rare example of the early Econoline, with decent paint, in decent condition, and well running. A very neat design not oft seen, and a great cargo bed all steel. There is noticing in our mind about this Econ-O-Line as Ford called it and is so badged on the steering wheel, and all in all we had no questions unanswered and were satisfied with our connection.
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special interest automobile showroom, featuring over 600 vehicles for sale with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.
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