DEARBORN, MI - To commemorate 50 years since the E-Series' debut in 1961, Ford announced it will offer a special 50th anniversary edition, available as an XLT model, the van's premium package.
The anniversary edition features unique blue metallic exterior paint, specially embroidered "Econoline" front seatbacks and unique "Econoline 50 Years" badging on the left-rear cargo door.
E-Series debuted as the Econoline in 1961, designed for commercial customers. Three body styles were available - pickup, delivery van, and station bus. The pickup delivered up to 30 mpg and carried a three-quarter-ton payload in a big 7-foot box. The van offered 204 cubic feet of cargo space - up to 57 cubic feet more than competitors - and had double doors at the side and rear for easy loading. The station bus, with twice the interior room of the biggest station wagon of the day, was designed to accommodate up to eight passengers when fitted with two optional bench seats as well as the standard driver and passenger buckets, according to Ford.
A few highlights of the E-Series' history include:
1961: Econoline is introduced for commercial customers with three body styles: 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 mid-year.
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 MOTOR TREND Truck of the Year.
1995: Econoline attained leadership in 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 V-6 engine offered along with the 6.8L V-10.
2001: E-Series name debuts in Ford literature.
2005: Powertrain options now include V-8, 6.0LPower Stroke V-8 turbo diesel and V-10.
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.