While browsing the archives, I noticed that I had a few old vans to post. So, this week is going to be Big Three Vintage Vans week.
Second in this week's Big Three Vintage Vans feature is this 1963 Ford Falcon Club Wagon. Much like the previous Dodge A108, the Falcon Club Wagon is effectively a station wagon whose driver happens to sit on top of the front axle instead of behind it. Buyers could still order an array of miserly-to-punchy six-cylinder engines and have a fully appointed interior. The Club Wagon was even set apart from the much truckier-sounding Econoline by its Falcon nameplate, in case you couldn't tell this was a station wagon!
Still, no matter how the copywriters classified it, this is a van. Like the Dodge, it uses dual "barn doors" on the passenger side for rear passengers and cargo to enter and exit. Note the complete lack of passenger doors on the driver side. Why waste money on doors when everyone knows you don't let your children out into traffic? Note also the stylish bits on this van that one rarely sees on cheaper, more plebian cargo vans, like that big bright deluxe spear trim on the sides, and the cool Falcon script badging. All you got on a Dodge was block letters except for the "Dodge" script on the front doors. Another feature of note is that this Club Wagon only has two rows of seats. What luxury! Whoever sits back there has limousine-grade stretch room. Or else someone took out a row at some point, because Wikipedia says it should have three.
Like many old vans, even this relatively plush Falcon has been kicked around a lot. It has character in every dent, paint patch and rust spot. The paint has faded massively in most places, but it appears to have once been code E Viking Blue. It also looks as though someone may have added a white lower body accent, which has been partially covered by grey primer.
I don't pretend to be a huge fan of the styling of early Econolines, however I can still appreciate their impact on history. The Econoline is still in production today in the form of the Ford E-Series, made possible by Ford's ability to undercut the competition in pricing, even by as little as $100 per truck. It was shown back in the day, that in the world of fleet sales, a small saving like that added up quickly when purchasing multiple trucks. Buy 25 vans, and it was like getting one free compared to spending the same amount on a competitor's vans. Now that's being smart.