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The Ford E series (also known as the Ford Econoline and Ford Club Wagon throughout various stages of its production) is a range of full-size produced since 1960. Introduced for the 1961 model year as the replacement for the Ford F-Series panel van, four generations of the model line have been produced. With a 59-year production run, the E-Series has a remarkable longevity. From 1961 to 2005, Ford assembled the model line at Lorain Assembly in Lorain, Ohio; subsequent assembly has been located at Ohio Assembly (Avon, Ohio).
The first generation of the Ford Econoline made its debut on September 21, 1960 and was produced until 1967. Introduced for the 1961 model year as a cargo van, pickup truck, and a passenger van (Station Bus/Club Wagon), the Econoline began development based on design sketches that were dated 1957.
Introduced as part of the Econoline model line for 1961, the Ford Econoline pickup truck was based upon the cargo van. Sharing the forward-control configuration of the Chevrolet Corvair pickup, through its mid-engine chassis, the Econoline pickup truck saw no engine intrusion into the cargo bed. Although, in 1965 with the offering of the larger 240 cubic-inch engine there was a slight intrusion into the cargo bed providing clearance for the larger transmission bellhousing. The Econoline pickup was offered in two window configurations: 3 windows and 5 windows with windows in the rear cab corners to provide better visibility. Early in 1965 the pickup was offered as a Spring Special with a special trim package. While far shorter than an F-100, the pickup was configured with a seven-foot long cargo bed.
The Econoline pickup was only produced during the first generation of production, ending production after the 1967 model year. In 1961, Ford projected the pickup leading the van in sales; however, buyer preferences weighed heavily towards the van configuration. The pickup accounted for only ten percent of 1961 Econoline production