The 1962 Econoline was available in a standard or deluxe cab, this is the deluxe five-wind
Bill Whitlow has been building hot rods for right at a half-century. He had been thinking about doing an early Econoline pickup for some time, but with several other hot rod projects underway he had a hard time justifying yet another one, until he came up with the famous “we need an old driver truck,” you know, to haul plants, mulch and old car parts. Bill’s wife Connie thought that seemed like a reasonable plan (though I suspect she knew all along what would really happen). It just so happened Bill Whitlow knew where a running Econoline was in a wrecking yard, along with a couple of parts trucks. Bill assured Connie, “All it needs is a few things to make it safe and reliable.” I think we all know where this is going, even without looking at the associated photos on these pages.
In a classic case of “one thing leads to another,” the E-100 (technically Ford designated the pickup as an E-103) went from a barely running, rusted truck to a full on hot rod hauler in Bill Whitlow’s backyard shop.
Bill Whitlow did a nice job of blending the Stewart-Warner gauges behind the stock gauge p
Gold and white rolls and pleats fill the cab and those modified Pontiac Sunbird seats prov
The row of original Ford dash knobs looks right at home in the custom interior.
The Econoline rides on a stock 90-inch wheelbase and the suspension work was kept simple. Up front the I-beam axle remains but the springs were moved to the top of the axle. The stock drum brakes were rebuilt as was the original steering box. Out back the rear springs were replaced with a set of reversed-eye springs and the shackles were shortened. Once again the original brakes were refurbished. Modern gas shocks improve the ride and handling, but underneath it is basically a stock Econoline, until you get to the power department.
The little six-cylinder motor was replaced with an owner-built 302 Ford that now produces
In 1962 the Econo in Econoline came from 144 ci of inline six-cylinder that produced 85 hp at 4200 rpm. The motor was fed with a one-barrel carb, but on the bright side these diminutive haulers were know to get more than 25 mpg, easy on the wallet but less than powerful, so Bill opted to install a fresh 302 between the seats. Using a Speedway Motors tubular motor mount kit Bill shoehorned the small block in place and fabricated a new transmission mount and driveshaft.
The motor is relatively mild, with roller rockers and an Edelbrock Performer intake and 600-cfm carburetor, but the 302 produces 210 hp, which is more than ample for the 2,533-pound truck. After installing the V8, the doghouse (engine cover) was widened four inches to allow room for the new engine.
With the mechanical portion of the work complete, attention turned to the body. Rust repair and panel fit and finish was the bulk of the work. Modifications were limited to front bumper removal and the bracket holes filled. The door handles were shaved and all the body seams were welded and filled, but the largest amount of work was lining the entire inner side panels with sheet metal. In stock form the beds on these trucks were not double lined, so Bill cut and formed sheet metal to fill the inner bed sides. All the bodywork was handled by Bill Whitlow and Duane Mackey. When the truck was finally prepped for the 1957 Pontiac Starmist Green, Duane wielded the spray gun.
All that remained was the interior, and once again Bill had the good sense to keep things simple. Modified Pontiac Sunbird seats replace the originals and Davis Trim Shop handled the rolled and pleated upholstery in gold and white. The color choice is perfect for this sixties era hot rod truck. The stock dashboard now holds a covey of Stewart-Warner gauges on either side of the stock speedo. The refurbished original white steering wheel and a simple under-dash AC/Heat unit complete the cab.
And so the Econoline was finally finished and Bill and Connie Whitlow now enjoy driving around in one of the best Econoline pickups anywhere. Of course there isn’t a lot of mulch or gravel being hauled in the truck, and Bill has taken his fair share of kidding from friends on that topic, but everyone agrees he sure knows how to build a cool truck. CCT
Both the color selection and the pattern stitched on the tonneau cover give the truck a re
Aluminum trim was all the rage in the early sixties, finding trim that isn’t dented or pit
The Spartan styling on the Econoline brings a pleasing simplicity with it, after all this
Getting a long, flat panel this straight is no small chore. The color is 1957 Pontiac Star
Diamondback wide whitewalls, red rims and full Moon discs sure make a sixties statement. T