My love for vans dates back to my teen years. Shortly after getting a guitar for Christmas when I was 14 years old I was starting bands and gigging anywhere in my town that hosted local music. Of course, any band needs a way to move gear and a van is the perfect type of vehicle to get the job done. Once I got my driver’s license I got a Plymouth Voyager minivan. While not as cool as a full-size van, it was enough to get us and our equipment from my parent’s basement to wherever we were playing. That was the first of many vans that either I or my bandmates owned over the years and each one was memorable.
So it is a no brainer that vans in 1/64 scale are a staple in my collection and I am very happy to see a new van added to the Greenlight tooling line up. As a huge fan of vans, it is really cool to see the Ford Club Wagon made in 1/64 scale and Greenlight is just the right company for the job.
Before the Ford was added to the fleet there were three other full-size van toolings that have enjoyed several releases from Greenlight.
The first two I believe came out around the same time (2011). These were the 1977 Chevrolet G20 and the 1976 Dodge B-100. Both of these were released many many times (I have quite a few of them). I picked out three of each from my collection so show you.
The third van to come out was the highly anticipated GMC Vandura which was released in the Hollywood series as one of the most recognizable vans ever, the A-Team van. This tooling was a smash hit when it came out (2018) and for good reason. I am pretty sure so far I have every release of the tooling. It should also be noted that there are variations of the tooling and many accessories for the tooling. I have three pictured for you here so that you can take a look at some of the different options that are available.
Finally, we get to the reason for this feature. The brand new Ford Club Wagon tooling from Greenlight. As far as I know, this is the first second-generation Econoline van to be cast in 1/64. This initial release of the casting is a Hobby Exclusive release.
While sharing pictures of this release to my fellow Lamley colleagues, it was brought to my attention by Sam McConnell aka 64wheels that this was a sort of hidden Hollywood release. The van is pictured below in the 1974 film “Herbie Rides Again.” How cool is that?
The second-gen Econoline was the first of the major three US manufacturers (Ford, Chevy, and Dodge) to move the engine forward of the driver. This gave the Ford a unique look when it was produced. Most vans of that time were flat-faced and “mid-engined”. The Ford had a traditional hood allowing access to the engine from the outside. Chevy and Dodge would later follow suit two years after the Ford was first produced.
This casting is a winner. I was excited to see that it was coming out and it lives up to my expectations now that it is here. Greenlight did a great job making an accurate model of this van. It’s also refreshing that this Ford has not been replicated by any other diecast company (to my knowledge). To me, this further cements Greenlight as the brand to collect if you dig that #vanlife.
This release is the first of many that will come in the first half of this year. Two more hobby releases and five series releases are coming. We are going to see it in Hollywood Series 27, Blue Collar Series 7, Vintage Ad Cars Series 2, Running on Empty Series 10, and Hitch and Tow Series 20. So that is seven more variations to collect for van lovers (yes I am probably going to get all of them).