CC Outtake: Ford Econoline Travel Wagon – The American Westfalia Camper

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These old Econolines are rare enough but this “Travel Wagon” version seems even more so. It was parked on the very end of a grocery store parking lot in Spartanburg SC and was displaying an antique car tag. I wasn’t sure if it was for sale or if it belonged to a worker at the grocery store.

As we were leaving, I saw a gentleman who looked like a college professor with an impressive gray beard and a buggy with two cases of Icehouse. I told my wife that I bet that was the owner.  Sure enough, he pushed the buggy all the way across the lot to the van. I don’t know if he parked at the end of the lot to avoid parking lot damage or car nuts, like myself, from checking it out or striking up conversations. I can understand this as my ’65 Belvedere gets a lot of attention but I’m not an overly social person.

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Anyway, the van looked to be original. There is a severe case of rust on the driver’s side but definitely worth fixing.

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Maybe some of you can shed some light on the details of this Travel Wagon model and year made. I don’t know if it was an option from Ford or fitted from a second company. I’m assuming that the roof pops up like a VW Westfalia. Either way it makes for nice eye candy.

Ford Econoline Travel Wagon

(It only took a quick Google search to find this 1964 ad for the Travel Wagon. Just like the Econoline was a response to the rapidly growing popularity of the VW bus and Transporter, so this conversion was an American take on the Westfalia camper conversion of the VW bus. It appears that its aluminum roof bends up, and the little windowed side-walls then fold up into place. Sweet; no canvas. PN)

Ford Econoline travel Van

And this image was posted in the comments by Sally Sublette; it shows how thoroughly these Travel Wagons were thought out. Sleeps Six! Three levels of beds! Try to imagine sleeping through that.