Monday, October 24, 2011


Edsel by William 74
Edsel, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Ford's Edsel was meant to be a separate, all new brand to compete with GM's midpriced Oldsmobile and Chrysler's DeSoto. It was a spectacular failure. Popular belief is that the car's styling-mostly conventional but with that unusual vertical grille up front-did the Edsel in, along with it's weird name. In reality, it was a combination of things, including poor build quality, pricing that didn't quite slot between Ford and Mercury, and marketing that promised more than the cars delivered. In addition, a recession in 1957 and '58 hampered sales of midpriced cars-Studebaker eliminated the Packard brand, AMC focused on economy cars instead of larger Nashes, and Chrysler saw sales of it's DeSoto brand fall drastically. The Edsel didn't have much of a chance, and was gone within three years.

That said, I've always kinda liked the Edsel. Stylewise, I think it compares favorably with most other American cars of the period. This one's a '58, and I believe it's an unrestored example as well.

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