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Edsels were produced for only three model years: 1958-1960. This early Pacer was manufactured in the most difficult period of Edsel production, when Ford and Mercury assembly lines were used because Edsel Division had no separate production facility.
Edsel = Failure, Ford’s Folly, the car that has been the butt of jokes in the automotive industry more than any car in history. What happened? What went wrong? Why is this piece of automotive history maligned as it has been over the years?
The Ford Motor Company had high hopes for the Edsel when plans were being made to introduce a new car in Ford’s line-up. The idea of a new line of cars was spawned by Henry Ford in 1948 but put on hold due to the Korean War. The new car plan was resurrected in 1954 and given to stylists and in April of 1955, Ford gave the go-ahead and in November of 1956 the Edsel Motor Division was born.
In early 1957, Ford announced the introduction of a new and radically designed car that would be distinctive and recognizable at first look. A prediction of 200,000 units in sales the first year was made. The Ranger, Pacer series would be the small car based on the Ford frame and the Corsair, Citation series would be based on the Mercury frame. Unfortunately, the hype and promotion was more than the car could live up to.
The car was radical and recognizable and sported many new innovations including over 60 optional equipment selections and 50 priced at less than $30.00. Some of the more interesting additions being the “Teletouch” automatic transmission with controls in the middle of the steering wheel, push button power lubrication, compass, and tachometer.
Failure was set up by a recession hitting the entire market with all auto manufactures seeing declines in sales of up to 50% and with buyers looking for more fuel efficient cars. The Edsel was plagued with assembly line problems, parts that wouldn’t fit, and missing parts. The price of the loaded, more expensive cars hitting the showroom with no owner loyalty, and an unusual name was the last nail in the coffin for the Edsel.
- Edsel priced between Ford & Mercury; Iconic marketing flop; Produced 1958-1960
- Edsel line named after Henry Ford’s son
- “Teletouch” shifter located at center of steering wheel and transmission locks in park – both first of their kind
- Price new: $2,771