1961 Ford E-100
The introduction of the Ford Econoline in 1961 began with a handful of options: a cargo van, a “station bus” a.k.a. passenger van, and a pickup. The cab-over-engine configuration, also referred to as “forward control” in Europe, allowed for maximum capacity while preserving a compact van design. However, a 165 pound counterweight was placed over the rear axle for balance.
The Econoline series was the first American van series. In 1969, the second generation of the van shed its relation to the Ford Falcon and had a more heavy duty feel being more closely related to the F-series trucks. By the third generation in 1975, the cab-over design was lost for a longer wheelbase, and the beginning of the now infamous “nondescript van” began its reign.
In 2015, Ford phased out the E-series cargo and passenger vans in the US being replaced by the Ford Transit. Future kidnapping movies will have to find another getaway vehicle.