By on February 3, 2016

00 - 1970 Ford Econoline van in California junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

The Ford Econoline went from having a forward-control/mid-engine layout to sporting a stubby hood with the engine moved a bit forward for the 1968 through 1974 model years. Every time I see one of these vans in a wrecking yard, it has been so thoroughly used up that I feel compelled to break out my camera; so far in this series we have seen this ’70 cargo van, this ’70 passenger van, this STD-laden ’71 custom, and this extraordinarily biohazardous-looking ’72 camper (plus there’s this grainy black-and-white Econoline photo I shot in 1991, this full-on Southern California custom found in northern Sweden, and this time-capsule Denver customized ’74).

Today, we have this beat-to-hell-and-beyond California passenger-van-turned-work-truck. (Read More…)

By on June 5, 2015

12 - 1970 Ford Econoline Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The second-generation Ford Econoline van abandoned the forward-control layout of its mid-engined predecessor and was a big sales success. I still see these vans in junkyards (in fact, I found one in Sweden last year), but I tend to photograph only the most hantavirus-laden campers, attractively weathered window vans, or Chlamydia-enhanced customs. I saw this workhorse cargo Econoline (the technical term, coined by angry neighbors, for a featureless Detroit van with no windows is “Molester Van” or “Free Candy Van”) in a Denver yard recently, and it seemed like a good time to shoot this worn-out piece of van history. (Read More…)

By on December 2, 2014

24 - 1972 Ford Econoline Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAfter yesterday’s 1972 Mercury Junkyard Find, it makes sense— in some circles— to stick with model-year 1972 vehicles this week. With that in mind, here’s a very biohazardous second-gen Ford Econoline that I braved without benefit of a space suit. I’m pretty sure I didn’t catch hantavirus, scabies, or dioxin poisoning, but it’s still too early to know for sure. (Read More…)

By on November 6, 2012

Dodge stuck with the forward-control/mid-engine van design through the 1970 model year (at which point their Tradesman gained a hood), but Ford moved the Econoline’s engine forward starting with the 1968s. For 1968 through 1974, the Econoline had this extremely short snout, with the engine just barely in front of the driver. You don’t see many of this generation of Econoline these days, so I photographed this one when I spotted it in a California self-serve yard a couple of months ago. (Read More…)

By on November 24, 2011

I’m back in California to visit the family, which means I also get to visit my favorite East Bay self-service junkyards. I was hoping to find a Dodge A100 to donate some parts for my A100 Hell Project; instead, I found this Econoline to serve as possible customizing inspiration. (Read More…)

By on September 1, 2011

More than two decades before I owned a Dodge A100, I admired the boxy mid-engined cargo haulers and enjoyed photographing them. Here’s a shot from the parking lot of a now-defunct self-service junkyard in Hayward, California, circa 1991; this is Half Price Day and these are customers’ vehicles. Yes, it’s a Dodge A100 and an early front-engine Ford Econoline. (Read More…)

By on July 21, 2011


It just does my heart good to see a suburban Denver neighborhood in which there’s no meddlesome HOA to tell a man he can’t have a vintage customized Econoline on the street and a Mustang drag racer in the driveway. (Read More…)

By on November 25, 2010

Back when two major self-service junkyard chains were locked in throat-slicing competition for the Northern California market, Thanksgiving Day always featured the sacred Junkyard Half Price Day Sale. Alas, Pick Your Part has pulled up stakes— which means that Pick-N-Pull has spurious “15% off all door panels” sales instead of the real deal— but in honor of the memory of Half Price Day we bring you some junkyard goodness from Denver. (Read More…)

By on September 25, 2010

This Econoline caught my eye for a number of reasons. These old bread boxes are getting scarce, even in Eugene. And this is one of the extended-body SuperVans, no less. But that’s not all; it has a trick in its hat. Watch this: (Read More…)

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