Junkyard Find: 1972 Ford Econoline 300 Camper Van

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1972 ford econoline 300 camper van

After 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.

This is the big, industrial-strength one-ton version of the early front-engined Econoline.

Built in Long Beach by the now-long-defunct (as far as I know) Sierra Vans.

The 1998 newspapers indicate a van that sat for quite a while.

However, the 2005 calendar on the stove might mean more recent habitation. Perhaps the newspapers were serving as insulation. It’s a shame to see a perfectly good propane stove go to waste— a little scrubbing and it will be 19% less disgusting than it is now!

RVs in junkyards manage to combine lots of sharp edges with the smell of human feces. Yucko! Since this is in California, chances are that dozens of black widows (and maybe a rattlesnake or two) await as well. Normally I’d stay far away from this thing, but journalists have to face danger now and then.

In 1980, Ford stuck millions of these decals on the dashes of automatic-transmission-equipped vehicles, in hopes of warding off future lawsuits in the infamous “park-to-reverse” fiasco. If they’d been made to recall all the affected vehicles, it would have involved at least 23 million cars and trucks.

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  • Superdessucke Superdessucke on Dec 03, 2014

    I bet if I dig deep enough, I can find a 2005 mortgage on this thing for $90,000. It is now in foreclosure, needless to say.

    • Firestorm 500 Firestorm 500 on Dec 03, 2014

      It looks like it has already been through a couple of tornadoes, and God knows what else. Might have been a storm chasers' van at one time.

  • Bickel84 Bickel84 on Dec 03, 2014

    Hmm, wonder how all that graffiti got on there? Maybe it was abandoned somewhere?

  • Akear The Prius outsells all GM EVs combined, which is really not saying much.
  • Akear The sad truth is the only vehicle FCA sold that broke the 200,000 sales barrier was the 200. I rented one and found it impressive. It is certainly better than the Renegade. At this point I would buy a used 200 over a Renegade. Who in their right mind would buy a Renegade?
  • Akear I just realized 80% of these EV vehicles producers are going to be liquidated within the next five years. It is not possible to survive by selling only 3000 vehicles a year. This reminds me of the dot.com bust of the late 90s and early 2000s. Those who don't learn from history repeat it.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic I drove a rental Renegade a few years back. Felt the engine (TIgerShark) was ready was ready to pop out from under the hood. Very crude!! Sole purpose was CAFE offsets. Also drove a V6 Cherokee which was very nice and currently out of production. Should be able to scoop up one at a fair deal.🚗🚗🚗
  • Inside Looking Out This is actually the answer to the question I asked not that long ago.