Family Freighter: 1969 Ford Econoline Club Wagon Chateau – Now $7,400

by | Nov 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Wagon Wednesday

January 4, 2022 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

November 21, 2021 Update – We just came across a fresh listing that replaced the seller’s prior Craigslist ad for their hard-to-find 1969 Ford Club Wagon.  While the description and pictures remain the same, the seller reduced their asking price by another four hundred dollars to land at $7,400 currently.  While still a bit optimistic, it’s good to see the grandson of the original owner is becoming flexible on price.

October 26, 2021 Update – We just discovered a fresh listing for this 1969 Ford Club Van we first featured in September 2021. In their latest listing, the seller keeps the pictures, price, and description all the same.

October 3, 2021 Update – The private seller of this hard-to-find vintage Ford Club van just lowered their asking price by one hundred dollars to $7,800.

We consider vans to be the chameleon of the automotive industry. Most vans produced with no side windows end up being run to the ground either as work trucks or campers.  However, add a bunch of windows and a few rows of seats and suddenly you have a high roof station wagon capable of hauling people and all of their stuff. Ford’s Econoline is a great example.  While most Econolines produced were panel sides, Ford also offered the windowed Club Wagon version epitomized by this 1969 Chateau 123 example currently originally listed in October 2021 on Craigslist in Alpha, Pennsylvania (Phillipsburg).

Offered for sale by the grandson of the original owner, he is now seeking $7,400 (down from their original ask of $8,000.) Comparing that price against the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $7,000 and its #1 “Excellent appraisal of $11,800 before factoring in a premium for the Chateau trim.  That’s a bit optimistic for a van that’s been sitting for six years that, while it runs and drives, is in need of a total restoration.

As the result of a lengthy United Auto Workers strike in 1967, Ford was forced to delay the launch of the second-generation Econoline van until January 1968. Instead of calling it a 1968 or 1968-1/2 model, Ford decided to call it the 1969 model. Shedding its Falcon roots, the second-generation Econoline became a heavier-duty vehicle, sharing many of its underpinnings with the F-series full-size pickups.

While second-generation Econoline continued to rely on unibody construction, a major change was made in the overall layout in the body and chassis of the Econoline. To build a heavier-duty chassis, the midengined, forward-control layout was abandoned in favor of a front-engined layout with the axle placed forward; this also allowed the use of the “Twin I-Beam” front suspension used in the F-series trucks. The redesign in the configuration resulted in major growth: the wheelbase increased fifteen inches while the 18-inch longer long-wheelbase model became the largest full-sized van offered in North America at the time. For the first time, V8 engines became optional.

With the change of chassis and axle configurations, the Econoline gained a conventional hood for engine access for basic fluid filling. To aid in engine compartment ventilation, the model was given a conventional grille, styled similar to the F series.

Inside the Econoline, the shift of the engine location moved the engine housing from between the seats to in front of the driver and front passenger, under the windshield. While the Econoline cargo van remained, it was joined by an Econoline passenger van. To attract more buyers to passenger vans, Ford introduced two new trims of the passenger van, the Ford Club Wagon and Ford Club Wagon Chateau.

The Cars & Stripes YouTube Channel provides this 1969 Ford commercial comparing their then-new Econoline to competitors of the period:

Most of these early second-generation Econolines have long since been run to the ground, so it’s a rare sight to come across a Chateau version in any condition.  Based on the pictures provided, this van appears to be a restorable example and if you decide to take it on, we hope you have someone weld in a steel replacement for the vintage aftermarket sunroof.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1969 Ford E230 Club Wagon Chateau 123, excellent running 302 converted to 4100 series 4bbl carb (needs some tweaking), C4 automatic and 3.55 9 inch rear. Been in the family since new, purchased by my grandfather. Has 54k original miles on it, not rolled over. Clean title, and full documentation. Runs and will drive, however been sitting for 6 years and should have a thorough going over before taking an out of town trip. Body is in good shape save the rocker skins (inners are fine). The underside has no rust to speak of. The windshield should be replaced at some point do to fogging in the lower corners (correct chrome trim option windshield seal included). Driver seat needs to be redone, passenger seat could be saved, and rear bench is in decent condition. Needs carpet and headliner. Repainted once, needs it again. Manual brakes and manual steering, however do have the factory power steering setup out of a ’72 that will go with it (power steering was not available yet in ’69 but will bolt in).

I’m not going to bore anyone with a long detailed write-up. If you are interested, feel free to contact me and I will answer all questions.

This is a classic van, I will consider non-lowball offers. I will also not respond to rude comments or anyone offering half the asking price. Be reasonable and I will also.

I will consider partial trades plus cash for 1980-86 Ford Broncos in rust free condition (running or not), 1980-86 Ford F150 SuperCab short bed, and possibly 1978-79 Broncos as well.

Show or go: what would you do with this Ford Econoline Club Wagon?  Comment below and let us know!

2 Comments
  1. Lucy

    Hi there,
    Just lost a 1978 Ford Club wagon Chateau in a fire and am utterly heartbroken.
    I’d love to be informed if you come across anything similar, I’m very serious about fiding another one. Thank you!
    Thx
    Lucy

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      Lucy, we’re sorry for your loss but we’re glad you’re safe. We will keep an eye out for a suitable replacement.

      Reply

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