Auto Monday – Edsel

600-edselThe Edsel was a Ford car produced from 1958 through 1960 and will be remembered as the biggest commercial failure in American business. The most unique feature of the vehicle was its rather gaudy horse-collar grille. The car’s failure can not be pinned on any single fault, but rather it was the wrong car for the wrong time. It just didn’t fit into Ford’s game plan. It was marketed wrong, priced wrong and caused confusion in the minds of the American buying public.

In the 1958 model year, Edsel produced four models, including the larger Mercury-based Citation and Corsair, and the smaller Ford-based Pacer and Ranger. The Citation came in two-door and four-door hardtop and two-door convertible versions. The Corsair came in two-door and four-door hardtop versions. The Pacer was available as a two-door or four-door hardtop, four-door sedan, or two-door convertible. The Ranger came in two-door and four-door hardtop or sedan versions. The four-door Bermuda and Villager wagons and the two-door Roundup wagon were based on the 116?-wheelbase Ford station wagon platform and shared the trim and features of the Ranger and Pacer models. It included several innovative features, among which were its “rolling dome” speedometer and its Teletouch transmission shifting system in the center of the steering wheel. Other design innovations included ergonomically designed controls for the driver and self-adjusting brakes (often claimed as a first for the industry, even though Studebaker had pioneered them earlier in the decade).

Today, it’s claimed that fewer than 6,000 of these cars remain and that they fetch prices from collectors in excess of $100K. Of course, parts supplies are scarce or nonexistent.

Time has a small blurb on the Edsel here and Wikipedia has the history of the car here.

Coming next is a nice gallery filled with Ford Edsels.

Click to enlarge.

Promotional video

Defending the lemon


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