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Edsel
At General Motors, the one step buyer could move up from a Chevrolet to a Pontiac, to an Oldsmobile, a Buick and finally a Cadillac. Ford even though they possessed Mercury and Lincoln realised that they were losing sales to the opposition. By 1948 the need was clearly recognised and work was started on a completely new division of the Ford Motor Company. A new car was to be developed code named to the E-car (E=experimental not Edsel). Active planning was delayed by the Korean War and it wasnt till 1955 that the special division was actually set.

A list of 18,000 possible names was produced for the division. Eventually the name Edsel was chosen and the top four names from the initial list Citation, Corsair, Pacer and Ranger were used to name each of the models in the range. There were to be 18 variants based on the 4 models. The Ranger and Pacer were to be based on the Fairlane whilst the Corsair and Citation were to be based on a special 124" 1957-58 Mercury chassis.

Production began in July 1957 with at four plants and 5 weeks later to 2 more. The Edsel was launched to the press in late August and the general public on 5 Sept 1957 as "The Newest Thing on Wheels". Nearly 4,000 sales were reported on the first day, but sales soon plummeted and within a month the writing was on the wall.

The Edsels were not produced in dedicated plants but alongside Ford and Mercury models. Quality was poor as assembly workers didnt like interuption it made to their routines. Assembly plant saw them as an inconvience. Quality on finished models was therefore poor. This was compouned by an economic recession. Early in 1958 the Edsel Division was reorganised into the new Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln division of the Ford Motor Co.

In 1958 only 63,000 Edsels were produced against projected figures of 200,000. The 1959 range was cut to 10 variants. Just 45,000 models were sold. In October 1959, the 1960 models were put on sale, but they were essentially face-lifted Fords. 5 weeks later Ford announced the end of the Edsel line. Ford state that poor sales and a steel shortage were to blame. As late as September a new small compact car, the Comet was being readied as an Edsel, it was released as a Mercury

Ranger
1958
The Ranger was the entry Edsel and could be identified by model scripts placed above and ahead of the front wheel arches. Sedans came with front and rear armrests, two coat hooks and white vinyl headliners.

1959
The 59 Ranger was based on a new 120" platform with a 292 cid V8 engine. Overall the styling changes were very obvious from 1958.

1960
The 1960 featured a new body for the 1960 model year. One of the most notable features was the absence of the now familiar horse collar grille. Standard equipment was generous for the time and a Deluxe variant was available. A convertible was offered as a Ranger for the first time. Only 76 were ever produced. Only 2,846 Edsel 1960 models were built with production ceasing in November 1959.

Body Styles Codes
Body Type 1958 1959 1960
2dr Sedan 64A 64C 64A
4dr Sedan 58A 58D 58A 58B
2dr HT Coupe 63A 63F 63A 63B
4dr HT Sedan 57A 57F 57A 57B
2dr Convertible 76B
In 1960 A = Standard Trim B = Deluxe Trim

Edsel Identification Numbers | Car Links | Magazines | Values

Pacer
1958
The Pacer was the second step up in the Edsel lineup. Usually the same body as the Ranger, it was differentiated by extra equipment and fancier trim. There was no 2dr Sedan availble but there was a 2dr convertible. The convertibles had four buillt in arm-rests, cigarette lighters, courtesy lights under the instrument panel, rear armrest lights and chrome inside rearview mirror. The model only lasted one year and was discontinued in the 1959 model year.

Body Styles
58B 4 dr Sedan
63B 2dr HT Coupe
57B 4dr HT Sedan
76B 2dr Convertible

Edsel Identification Numbers | Car Links | Magazines | Values

Corsair
1958
Only two styles were available in the range, a 2dr HT Coupe and a 4dr HT Sedan. They looked similar to other Mercurys of the time.

Body Styles
63A 2dr HT Coupe
57A 4dr HT Sedan

1959
The Corsair was nothing more than a Ranger with a bigger engine and a longer list of standard features. The biggest external difference was the placement of the side trim.

Body Styles
58B 2dr Sedan
63B 2dr HT Coupe
57B 4dr HT Coupe
76E 2dr Convertible

Edsel Identification Numbers | Car Links | Values

Citation
1958
The Citation was the top of the Edsel range. It shared the Corsair body but came with more Deluxe interiors. On most cars the inner beauty panel was colored in one color, the cove in another and then a third color could be chosen for the main body color. Padded dashboard, electric clock and illuminated glovebox all differentiated the two models. The Citation was discontinued at the end of the 1958 model year.

Body Styles
63B 2dr HT Coupe
57B 4dr HT Sedan
76B 2dr Convertible

Edsel Identification Numbers | Car Links | Magazines | Values

Station Wagons
1958
All the 1958 Edsel Station Wagons were built off the 116" Ford Station Wagon Platform. The Roundup was a 2dr Station Wagon with seating for 6. The Villager was a 4dr wagon with seating with seating for 6 or 9. The Bermuda was the top model with simulated woodgrain exterior panelling.

Body Styles
59A 2dr Station Wagon Roundup
79C 4dr Station Wagon Villager 6 seater
79A 4dr Station Wagon Villager 9 seater
79D 4dr Station Wagon Bermuda
1959
Only the Villager survived into 1959. It shared the frontal treatment of the Ranger, but featured distintive styling at the rear.

Body Styles
71E 4dr Station Wagon Villager 6 seater
71F 4dr Station Wagon Villager 9 seater

Workshop Manuals

1958 1959 1960 EDSEL FORD FACTORY REPAIR SHOP & SERVICE MANUAL CD USA | UK | CA | DE | FR 2015
Edsel Auto Parts Interchange Manual 1958-1960 USA | UK | CA | DE | FR F. D. Harper 2012

Books

Standard Catalog of Ford 1903-1998 includes Edsel (2nd Edition) UK / USA

Videos/DVDs
A HISTORIC 60 MINUTE DVD Of The NEW FORD'S Of 1935 And 1936 Super footage of assembly and showroom. Many body styles. Henry and EdselFord discuss V-8 sales

Edsel Identification Numbers | Edsel Car Links


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