The Econoline name had been a long-running staple in the Ford vehicle line-up. Originally created as a cargo van for 1961, the Econoline was originally fitted with a rear-mounted engine. Through the 1970s and 1980s, the Ford Econoline Cargo Vans reputation grew to among commercial vehicle users. The Ford Motor Company dropped the Econoline name in 2001 in favor of the E-Series.
Undergoing a fourth generation redesign in 1992, the Ford Econoline Cargo Van underwent mid-cycle refresh in 1997 incorporating three new Triton gasoline engines. Offered in half-ton, three-quarter ton and one-ton configurations, the 1998 Econoline Cargo Van came as a regular length 211.8-inch model as well as 20-inch longer Super Cargo Van. The base 1998 Ford Econoline E150 model was powered by a standard 200-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-6 engine. The E150 was also offered with an optional 4.6-liter V-8 engine. Powering the E250 and E350 versions of the Econoline in 1998 was a 5.4-liter Triton V-8 engine producing 235 horsepower. The higher level Ford Econoline Cargo Vans presented a 6.8-liter V-10 gasoline power unit as well as a 7.3-liter Power Stroke turbo diesel as optional.
The 1998 Ford Econoline Cargo Van could tow up to 10,000 pounds. In 2001, Ford dropped the Econoline nameplate and elected to refer the full-size van as the E-Series. A fifth-generation of the E-Series/Econoline Cargo Van was introduced in 2008. The front end of the revised cargo van adopted the grille and headlights found on the Ford Super Duty pickup trucks. The 2008 Ford E-Series Cargo Van was also lengthened to accommodate up to 309.4 cubic feet of interior storage space. For 2015, the European-sourced Ford Transit replaced the Econoline Cargo Van and ending what was a 53-year continuous run in the marketplace for the vehicle.