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E-Series Van Turns 50 Years Young

September 20th, 2010

Fifty years of continuous production for any model is enough by itself to celebrate. But when you add in the fact that the Ford E-Series has been America’s best-selling full-size van for 31 consecutive years, it’s cause for an extra-large celebration. The E-Series 2011 product lineup includes a commemorative 50th anniversary edition with a full suite of Ford-exclusive, state-of-the-art technologies like Ford Work Solutions™, SYNC® voice-activated communications and entertainment system and a Navigation System with HD Radio™.

Econoline was introduced for the 1961 model year as a commercial vehicle in three bodystyles. The Club Wagon line soon followed, designed for customers looking for a personal-use vehicle and light towing. Since the time, the E-Series line has thrived as Ford offered product variations to meet specific customer needs.

Here, a few highlights from E-Series’ storied history:

1961: Econoline is introduced for commercial customers with three bodystyles: Delivery Van, Pickup and Station Bus

1962: Club Wagon introduced as passenger and load-carrying vehicle with light towing capabilities

1963: Seat belts introduced as an option

1965: SuperVan (extended, bustle-back model) introduced midyear

1968: Second-generation Econoline vans available in three series: E-100, E-200 and E-300 (air conditioning offered for the first time)

1971: Econoline Parcel Delivery Van added to lineup

1975: Third-generation Econoline debuts with body-on-frame construction, higher gross vehicle weight ratings, improved interior package and wider selection of engines. This design was offered in the same basic configuration for the next 17 years

1976: Factory-customized, youth-oriented Cruising Van debuts with mod paint schemes, carpeted interior and porthole panel windows

1978: Econoline chassis cab model debuts

1981: Higher payloads appear on most models

1983: Super Wagon reintroduced to lineup

1987: E-250 eight-passenger Club Wagon added

1992: Fourth-generation introduced – Van and Club Wagon; Chateau Wagon is named truck of the year by Motor Trend magazine

1995: Econoline attained leadership in virtually every aspect of the full-size van market with 48 percent share of its segment, 33 percent of the van conversion market, 90 percent of the Class C motor home conversion market, 40 percent of the parcel delivery van market (Econoline chassis), 90 percent of the ambulance market (Econoline commercial cutaway chassis) and 39 percent of the passenger van market (Club Wagon)

1997: New standard V6 engine offered along with the 6.8-liter V10

2001: E-Series name debuts in Ford literature, along with the E-150 Traveler van targeted for families

2005: Powertrain options now include V8, 6.0-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbo diesel and V10

2006: Last E-Series model produced at Lorain Assembly Plant in Ohio

2007: First E-Series model produced at Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake

2008:E-Series debuts as strictly a commercial vehicle; features best-in-class capability, an improved chassis for better durability and handling, cargo security technologies and the return of the diesel engine option

2011: E-Series, America’s best-selling van for 31 years, celebrates its 50th anniversary by offering premium Ford-exclusive technology like SYNC® voice-activated communications and entertainment system and industry-exclusive Ford Work Solutions™. E-Series vans are available in E-150, E-250 Super Duty and E-350 Super Duty regular and extended-length configurations. Wagons are available in E-150 and E-350 Super Duty regular and E-350 Super Duty extended-length configurations


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