Ford E-550 Remembered and Ford Motor Co Applauded

I was looking through some photos and found these three of a Ford E-550 Cutaway Empty Chassis. This special model was introduced a few years ago and only lasted a short season, so it is not available now. It's too bad because I thought it was a great truck. The main problem was that it was only available in the V-10 gas engine and not the desired diesel. (The one shown above had a cab back panel installed and could be utilized as a convention cab chassis, or remove the panel and use it as a cutaway chassis bolting the body to the cab.)

The reason I bother putting in a truck that no longer exists is that I want to tell you a little about Ford Motor Company. When I was at a body company and at the annual bailment pool meeting, we were in a meeting with Ford engineers and they were told that we wanted this truck and they went to work on it and in less than a year, it was produced. Let me tell you that this is lightning speed for a large car company but it is a testament to how nimble Ford can be when they want to be. They can respond extremely quickly. It impressed the heck out of me, that's for sure.

The E-550 was not the only case where I saw Ford responding. I can tell you this: I've been around car companies for almost 40 years and I have never seen a company as large as Ford be as entrepreneurial as they were. They listened to us when we spoke with sincerity, rather than just complaining. They took notes and followed up. I wasn't used to that kind of movement, but I watched with joy as Ford responded again and again.

I think if Ford could have got the diesel into the E-550 back then, it would have hit the mark. Nonetheless, I think Ford did hit the mark by doing it to begin with and especially in the short time frame they achieved it in. Bravo Ford Motor Company!


Anonymous said...

Not available in the desired diesel? I have two 2003 E550 superduty, one with a 12' knapheide bed and another with a 10' Stahl Utility box. And BOTH have 7.3 Powerstrokes in them.

Anonymous said...

I work for Ford and I work at the Ohio assembly plant which makes the econoline, which back then only the body was built and painted here then shipped down rt. 2 to the Lorain assembly plant for finnal assembly. And yes we did run the diesel in the E-550. But what we were told for the reason we weren't going to build it anymore had something to do with the government not agreeing with ford on the weight of the hauling and towing capacity. As some people here said " the government screwed us on the E-550".

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of the E550 cutaway, but now that I can afford one, they're all but gone. It pretty much sucks, but I may be building my own with a new 2015 E450, lift and beef up the suspension, add some 19.5's all the way around, etc.
Thanks for the post. E550 Lives ON!!! Nice.
Josh / Temecula, CA