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By the mid 1950s Ford had come a long way from its postwar state. However Ford still lagged behind General Motors in sales especially with cars in the mid-priced range. All they had was Mercury and GM had Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Buick. So a new car was planned by Ford to go along with Mercury. The Edsel was designed and production started in 1958.

During the design phase the new project was called the E-car for Experimental and was to be all new with its own engines and body shells. Ford engineers realized that this would be to expensive. So existing Ford and Mercury bodies were used.

1958 Edsel Pacer Convertible
1958 Edsel Pacer Convertible

Ford bodies were used in the low priced Edsel Ranger and Edsel Pacer models. Mercury bodies were used for the more expensive Edsel Corsair and Edsel Citation models. Two engines were offered, a 361 cubic inch and a 410 cubic inch V-8. If the bodies and engines were the same as Ford and Mercury then what distinct feature would be on the Edsel? It was the grill, a vertical shaped grill that looked like a horse collar. During the three years the Edsel was in production it had lots of problems and was a good idea at the wrong time.

1958 Edsel Citations
1958 Edsel Citations

1958 Edsel models included the Ranger, Pacer, Corsair and Citation. A full line of body styles were produced under each model such as two door sedans, four door sedans, two door hard tops, four door hard tops, convertibles and several station wagons. Station Wagons included names like Roundup, Villager and Bermuda produced in two door and four door body styles. Engines included a 361 cubic inch and 410 cubic inch V-8. Production in 1958 was over 63,000 units.

1959 Edsel Corsair Four Door Hardtop
1959 Edsel Corsair Four Door Hardtop

Only the lower priced Edsel Ranger and the mid priced Edsel Corsair returned in 1959. 1959 body styles remained about same and included four door sedans, two door sedans, two door hardtops, four door hardtops and a convertible. Only the Villager station wagon returned in a 6 passenger and a 9 passenger body style. The engine choice in 1959 increased from two to four. The big 410 cubic inch Edsel motor was dropped but the 361 cubic inch used in 1958 returned. Additional choices included a 223 cubic inch 6 cylinder and two smaller 292 CI and 332 CI V-8's. Production in 1959 was over 40,000 units.

1960 Edsel Ranger Four Door Hardtop
1960 Edsel Ranger Four Door Hardtop

1960 Edsel production was reduced once again as the new Ford model was being phased out. Only about 3,000 1960 Edsel's were produced. Returning was the Ranger in the usual body styles and two station wagons. A six cylinder and two small V-8 returned.

1960 ended Detroit's biggest flop since the Tucker and word Edsel now shows up in some dictionaries as a synonym for "Loser". The name Edsel honored the only son of company founder Henry Ford and the father of the 1960s president Henry Ford II. Could the Edsel be making a come back? Take a look at the 2007 Edsel Concept Car below from an unknown source.

2007 Edsel Concept Car
2007 Edsel Concept Car

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