DEARBORN, MI - Ford marks 50 years of the E-series with production of the 2011 model, a commemorative anniversary edition.

Available as an XLT model, the van's premium package, the vehicle will be enhanced with state-of-the-art technologies at Ford's Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake. The anniversary edition features unique blue metallic exterior paint, specially embroidered "Econoline" front seatbacks, and unique "Econoline 50 Years" badging on the left-rear cargo door.

According to the company, the anniversary edition is designed to appeal to the enthusiast who recognizes the long-term durability of a van that has maintained a steady presence throughout 50 years of societal change.

The E-Series debuted in 1961 with three available body styles: pickup, delivery van, and station bus, all designed for commercial customers. The second-generation Econoline vans were available in 1968 in three series: E-100, E-200, and E-300. Air conditioning was available for the first time. The third-generation Econoline debuted in 1975 with body-on-frame construction, higher gross vehicle weight ratings, improved interior package and wider selection of engines. This design was offered in the same basic configuration for the next 17 years. In 1992, the fourth-generation E-series was introduced.