This was the magic carpet of my youth, and early adulthood, although I myself have never owned or driven one. They were made in Lorain, and they ceased production on the day I turned fifty.
The Cub Scouts took us on outings in Econolines, as did the kid's clubs sponsored by Youth Services.From Cascade Park to Cedar Point, these homely, rugged vans meant fun, good times, adventure all through the Sixties.
In the Seventies, music was added...my friends were all in bands, and I'd help with equipment, so as to get in the gigs. The main vehicle was a '67, owned by Dave, with the bench seats removed; my favorite place to ride was draped over the engine hump between the front seats. We rode to practice, gigs, and just generally getting around, usually Dave at the wheel, Micheal at shotgun, and me in the center, cruisin' steady with a song in our hearts, and a buzz in our heads.
You so rarely see these wonderful beasts anymore-they stopped making them in '05, on my birthday, closing down another part of the Lorain I knew.
If, going down Route 2 some summer night, you find yourself sitting at the Baumhart Rd. light, and a boxy, light blue phantom pulls up alongside, with a tall, bespectacled Rasputin at the wheel, a chocolate mantis in the passenger seat, and a light skinned, chubby lunatic at the center navagator's post, blow the horn....it's just an echo of us.