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Go Surfing Like It's the 1960s Again with This Ford Falcon Club Wagon Van

The Ford E-Series is arguably one of the most iconic full-size vans built in the U.S., but we often forget that the nameplate came to life as a much smaller hauler based on a compact car. I'm talking about the Econoline, produced from 1960 to 1967 on the same platform as the Ford Falcon.
1964 Ford Econoline Falcon Club Wagon 16 photos
Photo: mitjes3/eBay
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Developed as a competitor for the Volkswagen Type 2, also known as the Transporter or Microbus, the Econoline had a wheelbase of only 90 inches (2,286 mm). That's 15.5 inches (394 mm) shorter than the second-gen van and a whopping 48 inches (1,219 mm) shorter than the final E-Series. To accommodate such a short wheelbase, Ford went with a front-mid-engined layout with the powerplant mounted behind the front axle.

While not as spacious and powerful as the more recent E-Series vans, the Econoline was a hit in the 1960s. And more than 50 years later since it was discontinued, the compact van is slowly but surely becoming a collector's item.

Which brings me to this cool, 1964 Club Wagon survivor. Described as an original, drivable vehicle, this van is almost a perfect time capsule. Sure, the paint has seen better days, but it looks impressively good considering that it's the same layer applied from the factory. What's more, the body and the frame appear to be absolutely rust-free.

And now that it has faded away, that shade of blue is just perfect for a 1960s surf van. Just load it up, crank "Surfin' USA" by the Beach Boys to 11, and you're all set.

So how does it look on the inside? Well, it's a nicely maintained vehicle, down to the bright blue upholstery. The front seats have been redone in the correct color, while the rear seats are original. Apparently, this van was used to haul a dirtbike for many years so the rear seats were kept in storage.

As for what motivates this rig, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is that the van no longer features its original engine. The good news is that it comes with a 289-cubic-inch V8. If you know your Econolines, you're aware that the first-gen van didn't get a V8. Ford offered a range of inline-six engines in this Falcon-based hauler and a V8 didn't appear in the lineup until the second-gen version broke cover in 1968.

But while it might not be all-original under the "hood," this Club Wagon boasts a notable improvement in the oomph department. There's no word as to how powerful the 289 is, but it definitely packs a much bigger punch than the initial 144-cubic-inch (2.4-liter) inline-six, rated at only 85 horses.

On top of that, the swap looks really clean. The V8 mates to an automatic transmission and a recently installed nine-inch rear end. The van also comes with new fuel and brake lines, new shocks at all four corners, and new tires.

The seller says that the van runs and drives great, but warns that it will need head gaskets since it "started to burn water at a very fast rate." On the other hand, there are no signs of water in the oil, so the issue may be between an exhaust or intake port.

While it needs a bit of work under the shell and the exterior won't win you any beauty awards, it's a really cool Econoline survivor that still has a long life ahead. If you're in the market for a rust-free, first-gen hauler like this, it's being auctioned off by eBay seller "mitjes3" as we speak. The no-reserve auction is already at $9,000 with more than four days to go, so be prepared for this van to change hands for more than $10,000.
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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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