Classic Auto Mall
6180 Morgantown Road
1974 Ford Econoline Van
No single vehicle better represents the good times and easy-living lifestyle of the 1970s better than does a custom van. The personalized van covered all the bases. It was part muscle car, part apartment on wheels, and, of course, part art canvas, serving as a very groovy way to express oneself. It gave dudes and dudettes with long, feathered hair, bell bottoms, and an affinity for going topless a place to hang out with friends, take on camping adventures, or just cruise paved landscapes such as Woodward Avenue or Van Nuys Boulevard. (Thx to Car and Driver for aid in this intro!)
As we say at Classic Auto Mall you never know what is coming through the door next, and when this consignment showed up, I had to turn my head and look twice to truly believe what my wandering eyes were beholding. Harkening back to the era of free love, hippies and the beautiful people, we have a 1974 Customized Ford Econoline Van AND not only is it the quintessential love machine, it has a mere ...wait for it...873 miles clocked on it. You have to ask yourself who has the forethought to buy a new van, spend thousands of dollars on it for a shaggy, airbrushed, side piped customization, and not experience the open road, drug culture, music festival wild lifestyle? Only right here for the taking at Classic Auto Mall. Driving that train, high on cocaine...
Let me just start by saying this is an eye candy, bell bottom wearing chick magnet that is totally rust free, has laser straight steel panels, well minded gaps, a perfect front grille that has not even seen a bug hit it, and now all bathed in factory black. Oh, but this is only the beginning! Let's throw on a porthole bubble window on each side, airbrush some groovy graphics of fading in and out flames, and have them confined to a wide stripe like graphic that runs around the body and ascends into the rear bubble portholes. For the large area of black canvas remaining on either side how about an airbrushed scene with mountains in the background and a cavern rim edge and some haunting trees and encircling vultures. All warm tones and just a beautiful work of the 1970's are worthy of gracing a black velvet canvas as well, to hang over my polyester covered bottle green couch, but I digress. This van sports some nifty side pipes all chromed and nice, and of course 15-inch Cragar mag styled wheels, polished big rig side view mirrors and immaculate chromed bumpers. Original badging is all there, and nicely preserved showroom condition window trimmings abound all around. I'll be right there; I'm tying my platform shoes.
A swing of any door takes us back to 1974 shag-alicious heaven that covers nearly every square inch of the interior. Light gray extra-long shag material is peppered throughout with some black and is as clean as the day it was installed. A rear platform bed is now installed and is covered with...shag! In the center is a black formica cabinet that houses a mini fridge and has open space to its left, (rear facing), side. Mounted to this cabinet and the ceiling are dual red, white and blue plastic ornaments for some extra kick to this overwhelming visual interior palette. Speaking of overwhelming, in front are 2 captain's chairs seen with wide houndstooth inserts in black and white broadcloth, with nice perfect black smooth vinyl bolsters. These have armrests and the passenger chair swivels. Upfront the original dash is painted in a contrasting butterscotch paint and is truly all original. This is fronted with the original steering wheel, also in butterscotch. The center of the dash has been customized with an AM/FM/8 track tape player and oval speaker. Below the dash on the passenger side is a high output heater. All this sits between you guessed it, black and white shag carpet covered door panels. Insert Jimi Hendrix National Anthem rendition from Woodstock, and let's breathe it all in. Just 1970s beautiful.
Under the small front hood is a perfectly preserved lineup of intake, radiator, battery, horn, and wiper motor. Hidden behind this is a 302ci V8 that is fed by a single 2-barrel carburetor. The transmission is a 3-speed manual version and throws power to the back through a Ford 9-inch rear axle. All factory looking with just a very slight patina. Flower power!
Beautifully preserved with a smidgeon of surface rust, but certainly all unremarkable. Front independent coil spring suspension is noted, and on back leaf springs. Power drums bring this time capsule to a stop efficiently.
With such low mileage we've respected this and only started the van. It fired right up and had a nice gurgle to the side piped exhaust.
Harkening back to my high school days of yore which were smack dab in the center of this craze, I would have killed for a van like this. This one is a rolling crib tha
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