Is It Time To Love Ford's Failed Edsel?

May 24, 2019 2 min read
Is It Time To Love Ford's Failed Edsel?

The Edsel was not a success when launch back in the late 1950s, but has the passage of time made it more attractive?

When Ford decided to move the Lincoln brand upmarket to compete with Cadillac in the late 1950s, it left a gap that General Motors was all too motivated to exploit. To combat its rival’s desire for market domination, Ford created a new Marque called Edsel and proclaimed it to be a vision of the future in a lengthy teaser campaign. Sadly short-lived, today Edsels are of keen interest to collectors.

This impressively well-preserved 1959 Edsel Villager Station Wagon at Classic Auto Mall has covered just 9000 miles and is thought to be highly original. For the past three decades it has been kept in dry storage by its owner as part of a wider collection. Now it could be yours!

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The Edsel’s looks tend to divide opinion, with its distinctive oval grille and heavily chromed nose. Running the length of this example is a contrasting motif that matches the white roof. Its wraparound windscreen was a popular feature on cars of the era, as were aircraft inspired fins frequently seen on concept models. This practical wagon model fills its length with intriguing design details that certainly makes this luxury car stand out.

These Villager models lack a third row of seats in favor of an enormous trunk for various oversized items. The cabin itself is just as spacious and certainly beholds a sense of occasion thanks to the white cloth and red vinyl seats. Artdeco instrumentation and a large thin-rimmed wheel highlight the model’s luxury orientation. There are a few tarnished pieces of trim, but the interior is in good condition generally speaking.

Opening the hood reveals a 332 Ci V8 engine with a two-barrel carburetor that is presumed to be unrestored. The description states that the unit runs smoothly once warm, and is connected to a two-speed Mile-o-Matic automatic transmission.

The Edsel fell short of being the revolutionary car its year-long drumroll proclaimed it to be, and instead arrived as a vehicle designed by committee. The marque only endured for a few years before being disbanded with approximately 116,000 cars built – reportedly less than half what Ford needed to breakeven on the project.

This 1959 Edsel Villager Station Wagon is a throwback to a marque that never fulfilled its true potential.

Source: Classic Auto Mall

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