At the time, Ford Motor Company was spinning off all kinds of divisions, and some didn’t fare too well. The mid to late 1950’s was a period of trying new names and brands, and failing sometimes spectacularly. One could speculate that this was due to having too many cooks in the kitchen. You see, the company had gone public in 1956, and the Ford family were no longer sole owners…and everyone’s got an opinion on how things should be done.
Along with the Continental division which produced the Mark II, an absolute stunner, and at the time the most expensive car made in America, the Edsel division was likewise attempted by Ford. Both resulted in financial loss. But Conti had nothing on the Edsel division, which represented one whopper of a loss for Ford.
Few would agree at the time that the car was stunning. Except in hype and price. This resulted in the fantastical failure that cost the company what would be the equivalent of a properly eye-bugging $2.13 Billion, yes with a “B” today. Seemingly unrelated, it’s possible that British carmaker Austin-Healey designed the “face” of the 1959 Bugeye Sprite as the automotive industry’s collective astonishment to this failure. Although that car’s front end looks more at peace with itself than one would expect from witnessing such a staggering loss. (See my post on the Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite HERE)
But really, Edsels were pretty darned nice cars all things considered. This cleanly-titled 2nd-generation example is from the Puget Sound area is said by the seller to be all original with low miles. (Hovever, I believe the Mexican-style seat covers and the Dia de los Muertos skull on the dash in the photos are more recent additions).
Notice the enormous proportion of glass all the way around the passenger compartment. You don’t really see that in cars very often. Despite the years of harsh criticism of the Edsel’s grille treament, I actually like it as a very distinctive design element of the period. This good running and driving example is likely to make a good project car with a low starting investment/trade. Apparently, apart from the radio, everything else on the car works.
Here’s a fairly rare piece of American automotive history with 5,966 of this model manufactured. Named after the son of Ford’s Founder, Henry Ford this 2-door hardtop in black over tan interior (sans Mexican blanket) is just waiting for you to restore it to its former glory. So listen up, the seller wants to hear from you ASAP and has included his phone number in the description HERE on craigslist. Get to it.