“This vehicle was designed for the sole purpose of having a good time,” the Fort Wayne, Indiana, seller says in the ad. “Fun paint job that shows well. Fun interior that is functional and comfortable. Fun sound system.
“This thing is ready for the beach, concert, tailgate or whatever else requires a good time.”
From its slotted custom wheels to its porthole side windows, the Econoline was transformed retro-style from its original purpose as a handy work truck into road-trip wheels for a hippie/surfer/rock ‘n roller on the move.
The van is equipped with its original Heavy Duty package, powered by the sturdy 240cid inline-6 engine and 3-speed column-shift manual transmission. A Ford 9-inch rear has been added, as well as dual exhausts, which appear to exit through triple side-mount tips on either side.
This was the first generation for Econoline, which debuted in 1960 to chase after the success of the Volkswagen microbus. Although its cab-forward configuration emulated that of the rear-engine VW, the Ford’s engine was located behind the front axle inside a compartment between the front seats, providing more space in the cargo area.
The chassis and drivetrain were borrowed from the compact Falcon, with 6-cylinder engines that generated considerably more power than the flat-4 in the VW. Young drivers were quick to notice the possibilities, and custom vans became emblematic of the go-go era.
Along with similar small vans from Dodge and Chevy, Econoline party vans were commons sights in the ’60s and ’70s. In cartoon form, the most famous of the them all was the Scooby Do Mystery Machine.
The interior of the van has been finished for partying, including a pair of rear-facing bucket seats and, oddly, twin electric fans. The upholstery, paneling and carpet work look to have been professionally done.
The custom van is priced at a modest $16,000. And as the seller notes, it comes with a few extras.
“The VANIMAL vanity plate from Hawaii and the plus-size Hula girl on the dash can stay with the van,” the seller says. “It wouldn’t be right to separate them.”
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.