I was browsing YouTube a few minutes ago and came across this FoMoCo Promotional Video for the 1961 Econoline Series.
It Reminded me of one i used to own and made a mini camper out of. They were really neat to drive sitting over the front wheels. But the engine noise was rather loud, considering it was between the two front seats.
From Wikipedia: The first E-Series was based on the compact Ford Falcon, sized roughly to compete with the 1961 Chevrolet Corvair Sportvan and Volkswagen Type 2, which was 172.3 in (4,376 mm) long. The first E-Series had a flat nose with the engine between and behind the front seats, later adopted by the Chevrolet Van and Dodge A100. Early models had a 144 cid 6-cylinder engine with a manual 3 speed transmission. Later models had a 170 CID or 240 CID engines with a 3 speed manual or automatic transmission. It was an immediate success with utilities like the Bell Telephone System. In the first 1961 model year, 29,932 standard vans, 6,571 custom Econoline buses, 11,893 standard pickups and 3,000 custom pickups were made. It was originally offered as a cargo van, an 8-passenger van with 3 rows of seats (which carried the Ford Falcon name) and as a pickup truck. A 165 lb (75 kg) weight was fitted over the rear wheels to balance the front-heavy vehicle, sometimes removed by current owners.
In rural Canada, where automobile dealers were scarce, the Econoline was sold alongside the M-Series truck lineup. Only the first generation of Econolines were sold as Mercurys; the next Mercury van of any type was the 1993 Villager minivan.
Those were the good old days for sure!