By on March 4, 2020

No, despite appearances, we haven’t taken complete leave of our senses. At least not until our road tester starts telling us in excruciating detail about how he wants to see the Genesis reunion later this year.

On the pickup truck side of Ford’s showroom, the cheapest way into a rig powered by the burly 7.3-liter V8 is via an Ace of Base F-250. That vehicle bears a price of $33,705 plus $2,045 for the hairy-chested eight-pot. The E-Series starts at just $33,265 … and carries the 7.3L as standard equipment.

Yes, there is the small matter of there not being any sheet metal aft of the driver’s compartment. Surely you’re handy with the welder and a pair of tin snips, right?

Joking aside, it’s telling that the E-Series (née Econoline) is no longer offered as a panel van, indicating that the Glass House has gone all-in on the Transit as their option for commercial van customers. Note well: the E-Series isn’t worthy of the brand’s 10-speed automatic, making do with a six-cog box. The mighty 7.3L V8 still makes 468 lb-ft of torque but is detuned slightly to 350 horsepower compared to the Super Duty’s 430 ponies.

 

Surprisingly, the bean counters at Ford looked under some couch cushions and found a bit of change to give the E-Series its first interior restyle since the Jurassic era. Its steering wheel is now taken from a modern F-150 and not a truck from the ‘90s. Those all-important gauges are F-150-sourced as well, bringing a modern look to a rig that’s used the same dials for eons. Two other observations: those HVAC controls are the same ones found in my father’s 1995 Aerostar and that radio (you can’t call it infotainment) seems to show up in precisely zero other North American Ford products.

Air conditioning is standard equipment, which is a good thing because so are vinyl bucket seats. The floor is covered in hose-it-out material, as well. Perhaps surprisingly, one will find a tilt/telescope steering wheel (no cruise, though) and a pair of USB ports. That chrome bumper shown above is optional, too.

Are we odd for profiling this half-a-van in today’s Ace of Base? Are all the F1 teams sulky at Ferrari right now? Does our editor love Fox-bodied Mustangs? The answer to all these questions is a resounding “yes.” However, it amuses your author greatly that the lowly E-Series packs a 7.3L V8 as standard kit … even if it’s a bit breezy around back.

[Images: Ford]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments and feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and priced in American Dollars. Your dealer may sell for less.

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56 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2021 Ford E-Series Cutaway...”


  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    Should make for awesome burnouts.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Two tangentially-related comments:

    a) As the often-designated driver for extended family members who tend to move a lot (U-Haul), I say this with no sarcasm: Ford does a nice job with their large trucks.

    b) A guy who drives vehicles across the country from dealer to dealer took a chassis cab F-650 across several states and said it was impossible to even drink coffee for all the bumping and jostling (due to no weight on the frame rails).

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      b) It’s much easier to have a drink on a rough road with a straw, but the biodegradable ones that the gas stations and 7-11s and such usually give out now melt in a hot drink. One more entry on the now volumes long list of why all Democrats should be shot.

      • 0 avatar
        MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

        We were in a Ruby Tuesday the other day and got 4 drinks (she had water and wine, I had diet Coke and a Mai Tai) and ZERO straws. When I asked, the waiter said as of Feb. straws are “by request” only. I said well I am requesting, screw the turtles :)

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Wegmans has those paper straws, the first I ever seen, I shouldn’t have to taste the straw with my drink, disgusting. Otherwise everywhere else is courteous enough to provide plastic straws.

          Needing to “request” a straw sounds worse than restaurants that don’t automatically provide everyone water when you sit down before you order your drinks. Level of service in this country seems to be taking a dip.

          • 0 avatar
            forward_look

            Here in NY, we will now have to buy plastic bags to put garbage in, instead of getting them with our groceries. This is the land of Cuomo and AOC. Both coasts are infected with Democrats.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        My God man…I am a Republican but the fact that there is a patch of Garbage the size of Texas in the Pacific, largely made of plastic like your darned straws is a blight on humanity. Is it really that big of a freaking deal to maybe make the world a little bit cleaner?

        I know, I know…”Muh Freedoms”, well my copy of the Constitution doesn’t mention plastic straws any more than abortion or the phrase “church and state” so suck it up.

        • 0 avatar
          Ol Shel

          They’re furious!

          About straws!

          One of them even called for the death of all Democrats because of his disappointment…over straws!

          They need to take a long hard look at themselves.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Oh give it a rest my straws aren’t ending up in the ocean. Go talk to India and China if using plastic straws is keeping you up at night.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            No, I won’t go talk to India and China. I am an American. I don’t care what India and China are doing. Maybe we should provide some leadership for a change. Furthermore, as a Republican I believe in local government and states rights rather than just parroting the words when it is my cause the voters are supporting. California voted for the representatives that passed the straw ban. If they hate it they could vote them out. Isn’t representative government grand?

            I am a Trump voter and long time Republican. Know what, I hate single use plastic crap. Why do I want a straw or salad bowl I use for one meal to be on this planet longer than I will be. You don’t have to agree but quit thinking it is some sort of Liberal conspiracy to deny you some imagined right…It is just people giving a rip about the planet in most cases and this constant drone about everything being about libs trying to take your freedoms is moronic. Their are fights worth having, but a 2 cent piece of plastic that you will use once so you can down your whatever spiced chai latte while driving your 7.3L Van is not that fight.

            Tell you what, how about you go look at India or China since you are so freaking fond of third world suspensions on your trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “Their are fights worth having, but a 2 cent piece of plastic that you will use once”

            I won’t have meltdown over it but a plastic straw ban actually impacts my life more than an AR-15 ban or any abortion law or a lot of things that people get very passionate about. I think it’s an issue that actually could sway my vote.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I got it Ajla…not everyone cares so much and that’s fine. I just get tired of people making every little thing an assault on their freedoms. At the end of the day it is just different priorities generally on something like this and at least in California the ban was passed by elected officials, not bureaucrats so I have zero problems with it.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “At the end of the day it is just different priorities generally”

            Yes, I agree. I’d much prefer to use a plastic straw at diners and restaurants because I find the current alternatives are unpalatable. However, if my state/county wanted to do something like subsidize solar panels or EVs I would likely be in support of it.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I didn’t make this about politics so concern trolling me doesn’t exactly help your case. You’re literally talking about a straw, of all the things someone could get upset about, a straw is the hill your going to die on?

            The straws at my house end up melted down in a 55 gallon drum with the rest of my garbage, and I feel confident with the large number of landfills within 100 miles of me that anything from local restaurants can safely break down in the ground.

            One would think with your affinity for tiny compliance engines that anything coming out of China and India would be big news to you.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            LOL…tiny compliance engines, whatever dude. Some of us enjoy our cars actually changing directions. Given your afinity for suspensions design from the early part of the 20th century I’m sure that doesn’t bother you though. Now don’t you need to go watch Lawrence Welk and Barney Miller reruns there gramps?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            “ Now don’t you need to go watch Lawrence Welk and Barney Miller reruns there gramps?”

            First I have no idea what these are, they sound like defunct department store names from the 80s. Second I prefer to make my turns in this century, and that’s not going to happen using 3rd world technology engineered for the poor peasants stuck with high displacement taxes in those 2nd and 3rd world countries.

            You clearly don’t have much of an argument to make if the best you got is attacking me on a tried and true suspension design whilst getting your panties in a knot over straws.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “California voted for the representatives that passed the straw ban.”

            Please. California, as most of the rest of the country by now, had the entire third world forced upon them as cheap labor and dependent votes for their social betters. They voted against it the entire time until they were so outnumbered that it didn’t matter anymore.

  • avatar
    warrant242

    Can a consumer off the street order one of these to ship to their local dealer? Or are they only sold to box truck builders?

    Asking for a friend.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I think you have to have a fleet ID number (FIN) to be able to order these. the cab has no rear wall; they’re shipped with plastic sheeting taped over the back of the cab.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yes anybody can buy one. Some Ford dealers even stock them. Cars.com shows several new ones ranging from 2019-2021 I’m betting many of the 21 are on order but there are real pictures of some on real lots. Find your local Ford dealer that stocks 450’s to 850’s and you might find one on their lot. If not they are used to ordering such a vehicle.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Just grab some 2x4s and plywood and build yourself your own bolt-on bed. You could even get a bit technical, buy some hinges, build a tailgate, maybe a folding step ladder. Some stain and polyurethane to class up your custom wooden bed. Probably be an improvement over the appearance of most trucks.

    Joking aside, I am envisioning building a “Tinyhouse” as seen on HGTV right on the frame of that rig and travelling the country.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    the van version of E-series was canceled years ago.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Tempting but I’m sure Ford discourages splicing a back section of a junk van, especially passenger vans. Wood screws come to mind. No doubt the wheelbases won’t jive. Straight E-vans are unibody anyway, and there’s a hump in the cutaway’s frame.

    I’m not sure regulars buyers, even if actual “Fleet”, can drive one away. I think Ford will only release them to official/legit upfitters and U-Haul, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      Not all dealers will handle them, either. The only E-series listed in my area are all at one dealer, and they have a ton in “inventory.” Meaning, they’re all special ordered.

    • 0 avatar
      ScarecrowRepair

      I wonder if lack of taillights and license plate makes it even legal to drive one of these off a lot.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The last of the E-Series vans were BOF construction. I have an 09 and much of that dash is the same as in mine which was the first year of that dash.

      Sportsmobile will build you a “Classic” out of a SRW E-350 for ~75k* and it looks a lot like the last of the real thing and I’m certain that The side and rear doors as well as the glass are standard replacement items even if the shell is steel reinforced fiberglass.

      https://sportsmobile.com/sportsmobile-4×4/

      * plus $21k if you want 4×4 and $45-50K for the interior. Throw in a couple of options and call it $150K.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    So they’re either an E-350 (single or dual rear wheels), or E-450 (DRW only). Their Web site lists two 7.3l offerings – “Premium” (runs on premium fuel?) with no hp rating, but 468 ft-lb of torque, or “Economy-Tune” with 300hp and 425 ft-lb.

    https://www.ford.com/commercial-trucks/e-series-cutaway/?gnav=header-all-vehicles

    Within 100 miles of me (DFW area) there’s 53 matches in dealer inventory, all 2019 models with 6.2l V8 or 6.8l V10 engines. No 2021s yet.

  • avatar
    forward_look

    I had a retired telephone repair truck for a while. It was an E200 with an inline six 3 speed on the stalk, with windows on the starboard side. It was interesting to be able to tweak the carburetor as I was driving.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      Sears used to use those 68-74 Econolines with the windows on the passenger side and the panel on drivers side. Some ended up as customized vans during the peak 70’s custom van era.

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    I don’t see how this gets Ace of Base when for less money you can get a Transit cutaway which is a lot less antideluvian…

  • avatar
    SSJeep

    This is a great starting point for a custom camper or van/pickup hybrid.

    Yes, you can get these at dealers – not all dealers stock chassis cabs, but the commercial certified Ford dealers do. You can walk in and buy one today.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    These would absolutely slaughter Transit sales if Ford brought back the full length vans.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      And yet when they introduced the Transit Ford van sales jumped about 30% overnight, and have stayed at the higher level. Most of the jump was at the expense of GM, which still sells this style of product. The buyers don’t all want what you want.

    • 0 avatar
      C5 is Alive

      The market has spoken. The Econoline/E-Series was good – and Ford deserves credit for how good the 1992 redesign was, and how far it evolved – but the full-size Transit really is substantially better across the board for nearly any comparable mission, lack of V8 not withstanding.

      • 0 avatar
        Charliej

        Some people feel that their masculinity is damaged if they don’t have the largest engine available. Actually, if you are trying to increase your masculinity by buying a vehicle with a big V8, you have no masculinity at all. A big V8 does not help.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “but the full-size Transit really is substantially better across the board”

        If that were true, we wouldn’t be commenting on an article about the 2021 Ford E-Series.

        Ford wouldn’t have to dedicate a factory to building the E-Series

        Ford wouldn’t have to have many dedicated parts/publications/etc on the E-Series.

        The Transit was an exercise in complete shortsightedness. Giving us a vehicle that can’t do everything the vehicle it replaces does.

        And the Transit needs drive shaft bearings every 30K miles. Engineered Ford proud I guess.

      • 0 avatar
        MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

        “the full-size Transit really is substantially better across the board”

        …I have some experience driving both, a few company vans that were late 90s E-series, and a couple newer fullsize rental Transits over the past couple years. The new ones drive SO MUCH BETTER it’s not even funny. Yes even being the Mustang V6. Those older E-series seemed like prehistoric relics when driven back-to-back with similar-age GM vans. The Fords drove terribly in every respect, from ride and handling to noise levels. Not to mention much worse MPG. I’d choose an Express any day over one of those. But the Transits are pretty decent.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “The Transit was an exercise in complete shortsightedness.”

    Only a fanboy or someone demonstration a complete “lack of knowledge or information” would say this.

    The Transit is the number one selling van in the USA. It is also the best selling van in the EU and has been for a long time.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I wish this blog platform had an ignore list or some other way to mute trolls like EBFlex and akear. I’m tired of seeing their copypasta nonsense all the time.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        I take vacations from this site for the reasons you mention. Methinks it’s time for another.

        I took a vacation from the Evening News and 60 Minutes…back in 1988..the krap spewed in those places was simply awful. Haven’t been back!

        I am pretty darn close to boycotting all popular culture/media…I am already half-way there. I might go through my stacks of old Reader’s Digests instead. Certainly better content! For all the technical innovation in our contemporary world, we have these great distribution technologies…but the content being transmitted is often deeply unworthwhile.

        That said, kudos to TTAC staff, who, from my perspective, do a great job.

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    Am I the only one who cringes when an author uses “kit” in place of “equipment” in the same way I cringe when a mommy blogger says “hubby” ??

  • avatar
    forward_look

    I have several relatives who live in the People’s Democratic Republic of California and this is a subject best not brought up in conversation.

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