Featured listing: Rocket Van – 1962 Ford Econoline Van

Vans were the cool, counter-culture wheels long before marketing departments coined the words "Sport Utility".

Ford Econoline
1962 Ford Econoline

This ClassicCars.com Marketplace featured listing is a 1962 Ford Econoline Van for sale in Los Angeles, California. It’s more than a car, it’s almost a cult.

The times were a changing. In 1962, the public’s conservative ideals were shifting. Perhaps this was going on long before then, but it became more visible in the early 60s. Certainly, the 1962 Ford Econoline Van is an expression of that movement, but it wasn’t the only point of reference. 

Ford Econoline
1962 Ford Econoline

Yes, a new generation was taking root. And, vans owners had their own culture. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that in 1962 the Philips Corporation in the Netherlands invented the first audio cassette tape. Coincidentally, in the same year, Taco Bell began business in Downey, California. And, John Glenn rocketed into space and orbited the world in his tin can. If NASA could pull that off, it only makes sense that Americans could survive life on earth in our own tin cans – the 1962 Ford Econoline Van. 

The first-gen Econoline hit the road in 1961 and the formula was the same in the following year. This was a cabover front axle design. This could be best described as extreme cab-forward. This is similar in many ways to the VW Microbus layout. The major difference is, the Ford has the engine mid-mounted just aft of the front seats. The advantage over the Volkswagen was a lower, flat load floor. This truly improved functionality. 

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Ford Econoline
Ford Econoline interior

When the 1962 Ford Econoline went on sale, the only engine choice was an inline-6, and the standard 144 cubic-inch, Falcon Six only managed 85 horsepower. The choices eventually ranged from a 2.4, 2.8, to a 3.9-liter. Transmissions were the 3 or 4-speed manuals, or the 3-speed Cruise-O-Matic automatic. These powertrain options existed from 1961-1967. At the time, no 8-cylinder motors were available. 

This was not exactly an enthusiast’s dream, as this had solid axles from and rear and leaf springs controlling each corner. This was built for functionality in a utilitarian sense. 

Ford Econoline
1962 Ford Econoline

This particular ’62 green-machine is a project vehicle that needs some attention spent on the body and interior. This certainly has potential in the hands of a motivated owner.

This 1962 Ford Econoline Van has been modified to right the wrongs of the original machine. This comes complete with a Chevrolet 383 cubic-inch Stroker engine, Compcam rods, an Edelbrock 650 carburetor, and a B+M 350 turbo 3 speed transmission. Getting the power to the pavement are new Bridgestone tires and chromed Cragar wheels. 

With these upgrades, this van should just about fly, albeit a bit lower than John Glenn’s ride. Nevertheless, buckle up!

To view the listing on ClassicCars.com, click here

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