The Ten Most Desirable
By Jay Lehr - Oregon Chapter of the Edsel Owners Club
I have been hanging around Edsels and the Edsel Owners' Club for
about nine years now. I have seen cars come and go from my own
garage, and seen transactions among many members. I have seen which
cars gather the crowds at our meets, and which ones people are unsure
if it is "really an Edsel." I have also been able to collect a lot of
information from magazines, other chapters around the nation, and
1950's road reports. From all of this, and with a big dose of my own
subjective judgment, I think it will be interesting to count down the
Top Ten Most Desirable Edsel models ever made.
Before I start, it should be clear that this is not a list that
ranks the value of cars. Because market value changes constantly,
this would be almost impossible to do. Plus, there is no exact
correlation between the value and desirability of a car - value can
hinge on other factors such as rarity, previous owners, mileage,
color, etc. I am going to pretend that all those things are equal,
and rank just the models which I feel most people would like to own.
From the bottom of the list:
- #10 Any Year 4-door Hardtop These cars are friendly
and classy at the same time. The postless roof hints of an open
air experience, and the four-doors are a welcome invitation to
friends - "Come ride with me in my "almost-a-convertible" Edsel!"
It is also a nice compromise between the best Edsel styling and
practical family hauling (if you, like me, need to "justify" Edsel
- #9 '60 Ranger 2-door hardtop This is, at least to my
eye, the most attractive '60 made. Many seem to agree, for they
always seem to draw a crowd when they come to the meets or shows.
All the advantages of the '60 Fords (they were practically the
same car), but with the Edsel's stand-up taillight pods that
worked extremely well with the slowly arching roofline. For those
who like their cars long and lean.
- #8 '59 Corsair 2-door Hardtop Top of the line hardtop
for '59, it carried over the squareback roofline theme of the '58
Corsair/Citations, but on a smaller and less grand scale. Plus,
the '59s are an excellent mix of Edsel design and Ford part
interchangeability, making upkeep easier than it would be
- #7 '59 Villager More and more of these wagons are
popping up, which indicates their popularity with the Edsel crowd.
'59s are still widely available, and are sleeker and less boxy
than the '58s, while still looking very "Edselish". The weakest
part of owning a '59 wagon would probably be keeping the cardboard
headliner from warping, and keeping the rain out of the contoured
- #6 '58 Pacer/Citation 2-door Hardtops It has all the
styling of the convertible, without the leaks. The swooped
roofline of the Pacer model is more rakish than the stately
Mercury-derived roofline of the Citation, But both benefited from
the elimination of the "B" pillar, with the resulting accent on
the horizontal. This body style, in a slightly less desirable trim
packages, was also available in the '58 Ranger and '58 Corsair
- #5 '60 Ranger Convertible Although this is the second
rarest Edsel ever with 76 produced (only 59 '60 Villager
9-passengers were made), it is not the highest ranking on this
list. Its pros are the drop top and the improved handling of all
'60s, while the negatives include the boring styling (by Edsel
standards) and very hard-to-find body parts. Cloth roofs and
rarity win out in the price category, as these are some of the
most expensive Edsels today.
- #4 '59 Corsair Convertible This car has a lower
beltline than the '58, and a wider range of engines to choose
from. Plus, all '59s chucked the Teletouch, which made
serviceability and reliability much better. The '59 is still
distinctively Edsel with the horsecollar on the front. The only
other model that offers a pink convertible is the Citation, and
those cars can be a real handful to drive and own.
- #3 '58 Bermuda Wagon When the excesses of '50s styling
are pointed out, the Edsel is often noted; but the premiere wagon
for '58 is an exceptional case. It has the two-toning, the
horsecollar and the spear, plus wide splashes of wood paneling on
both sides and the tail gate, framed in a white birch-like
fiberglass trim. These stylish (some say "over-styled") wagons
offer a lot for the current collector and driver, including a
large carrying capacity for picnics or meets, and a short
wheelbase and stiff-suspensioned ride that is said to be the best
of any '58 Edsel. If you want an Edsel and your spouse wants a
practical family car, then buy a 9-passenger and do some
minivan-capacity hauling. The Villager for '58 ranks a close
second, but forgoes the wood and fancier interiors of the Bermuda.
The Villager's starkness makes it more like a sedan with a huge
trunk. The two-door Roundup is even more basic than the Villager,
and seems to have a fairly limited appeal. The functionality of
the wagon body, combined with the relative inaccessability of
having only two side doors, makes the Roundup almost an
- #2 '58 Citation Convertible THE biggest, heaviest,
most option-laden Edsel ever made. If you get one "loaded", you'll
have power seats, windows, steering, brakes, top, and lubrication,
along with signal-seeking radio, air conditioning, tachometer, and
much more. Everyone would love to own one, but not as many would
like to restore, maintain - or even park - one of these. From what
I know, nothing but the instrument cluster and the inner
horsecollar ring interchanges with the smaller Edsels. And try to
find parts for an E-475 engine today.
- #1 '58 Pacer Convertible The Pacer is the car that Roy
Brown (the designer of the Edsel) said came closest to his
original design. It is well-proportioned, not too huge, and
everybody loves a convertible. And, it has the definitive,
memorable '58 look. Compared to the Citation convertible, this car
is more serviceable (with the 361cid engine) and can run on
regular gas. It was also more commonly available (1876 made) than
the Citation (930 made), making parts easier to find. Overall,
this seems what people want as the Edsel of their dreams.
I like most of these cars, but I certainly have my own personal
"Top Ten" - as I'm sure you do, too. Maybe next month, at the risk of
stepping on some toes, I'll put together my list of the Ten Least
Desirable Edsel Models. Again, this is only what I think You think.
See you then!!
The Ten Least Desirable
By Jay Lehr - Oregon Chapter of the Edsel Owners Club
At the risk of getting a lot of feedback "correcting" me on my
choices, here I go with my list of the Ten Least Desirable Edsels
that can be owned. Of course - EVERY Edsel is beautiful in our eyes!
I know that. But, if you could choose any Edsel at all to fill your
driveway, these would probably not be the first ones that you think
- #10. Any all-White or all-Tan There are a lot of
Edsels in which the paint doesn't match the data plate. On these
cars, the correct color is usually EEE or NNN (58); E or H (59);
or M or N (60). These White or Tan cars just aren't very
exciting.(In some cases, they two-toned the white and tan, which
isn't as bad) These colors are usually are accompanied by the most
boring interiors Edsel ever made. You don't seek out a white or
tan car...you "end up" with one. I did. (NOTE: I almost added
monotone green cars to this list. But, although they weren't
necessarily pretty, they were pretty "Fifty-ish.")
- #9. 1958 Ranger 4-door sedan It's a low-end Ranger.
It's got four doors. There's a pillar between the doors and frames
around the windows. There were only three interiors offered
(green, blue, black). The dash has this dull aluminum plate behind
the switches. Sound pretty boring? Frankly, it is.
- #'s 7 and 8. 1960 2 or 4-door sedan These are the
bottom-end cars for the final year. They have the sedate squared
sedan rooflines. These two models represent two-thirds of 1960
production, so they're fairly plentiful. And as we know, the '60
is simply a Ford with a split grill and the taillights rotated a
quarter turn. You gotta really want a '60 to want one of these.
- #6. 1959 Ranger two-door sedan This is the second most
produced Edsel ever made, at 7778 units. I see a lot of these in
green and in white (see #10 above). Many are two-toned, but many
are not. These probably made good cars for traveling salesmen.
But, the miles would likely be high, because a salesman driving up
in an Edsel would often be laughed at, and would have to make a
lot of calls to get a sale.
- #5. Any three-speed stick There are an unusually high
number of stick-equipped Edsels out there. They win points for
serviceability (you can still buy clutch kits at Schuck's) but it
makes driving an Edsel more of a workout than it already is. A
general lack of power steering and brakes on these cars doesn't
help. Plus, third gear just doesn't seem quite high enough.
However, the overdrive-equipped units are another matter.
Supposedly only offered in '58 (but seen in later Edsels), these
cars are wonderful cruisers, getting as much as 18 mpg with the
361, and even better with smaller engines.
- #4. 1958 Ranger 2-door sedan In '58, they had eighteen
models to choose from. This was the most basic Edsel for that
year. Of the ones I have seen, they have little or no options and
are generally (again) green or white. I don't know why. They seem
to look best with blackwall tires, button hubcaps and body-colored
- #3. 1958 Roundup I discussed these cars a little bit
in my "Most Desirable" list last time. I have yet to see many
people clamoring for them. I personally like them, maybe because
they are among the oddest of an odd make. Sure, they're the
third-rarest '58, but when it comes down to it, they're just weird
two-door wagons. And, because it shares its body with no other
Edsel, you have to have a second Roundup for parts. Talk about
- #2. Any 1958 Corsair I hate to condemn an entire
series like this, but frankly, why did Edsel make the '58 Corsair?
It only came in two body styles. It's practically a Citation,
minus the distinctive scallop insert. And today, when people are
looking for a nice '58 restoration project, they either want a
basic Ranger, a sporty Pacer, or an opulent, fully loaded
Citation. Even new, few people wanted a Corsair; they only made up
14% of '58 production. No wonder they carried this name to the
top-of-the-line '59; they had so many '58 Corsair fender scripts
- #1. 1959 Ranger 4-door sedan This is the highest
production Edsel ever, at 12,814 units. And, it seems as if every
single one of them survived. If there were a "typical" Edsel, this
would be it. You can watch the Edsel ads in the Greenline or other
old car publications and see '59 4S cars linger on, and on, and on
until finally the ad disappears. I always hope that the car sold,
instead of the owner pushing it off a cliff.
Now, I must admit that some of the most beautiful '59s I have ever
seen (including many in this chapter) are Ranger 4S cars. But, unless
it is immaculate or in great original shape, it's not a very
desirable car. On the other hand, if you enjoy driving Edsels on a
daily basis, then buy one and motor happily until it collapses. Then
simply go and buy another since there are plenty more where that came
Well! That was an adventure! But, don't think I'm done yet. Next
Month, We'll explore: The Ten Silliest Edsel Paint Names!
The Ten Silliest Edsel Paint
By Jay Lehr - Oregon Chapter of the Edsel Owners Club
A freshly-restored Edsel, done in it's original colors, is a
beautiful, breathtaking sight. Just don't ask the owner the name of
the color on his Edsel. It just might sour your admiration.
For example, Edsel really had a hard time with the color "pink."
The '58 name was just poorly thought out. They tried to hide it in
'59 by describing it as some shade of "red". They finally got it
right in 1960 - they got rid of the color entirely.
Here are ten names that leave a little (or a lot) to be desired:
To add a link or a picture to these
Back to the Table of
- #10. Snow White (59-code E) This reminds me less of a
winter wonderland and more of seven small men.
- #9. Moonrise Grey (59-code B) Strange and kind of
creepy. Maybe the car can only come out of the garage at night.
During a full moon. On Halloween. Oooooooooooo.
- #8. Sea Foam Green (60-code W) Maybe back in 1960 this
name evoked a beautiful image, but after the Exxon Valdiz spill, I
picture something entirely different.
- #'s 6 and 7. Alaskan Gold Metallic (60-code H) and Hawaiian
Blue (60-code F) These were named in honor of the 1959
admission of these two states. Not necessarily bad names, but it's
an obviously strained attempt to fit the color to the name, when
it should be the other way around.
- #5. Jonquil Yellow (58-code Q) I'm probably the
dumbest person on earth, but I did not know what a jonquil was. I
do now - it's a yellow flower. Any name that has to be looked up
in the dictionary is a bad name.
- #4. Redwood Metallic (59-code D) An odd juxtaposition
of terms, conjuring up conflicting images of a forest and of a
- #3. Mist Green (59-code R) The words "green" and
"mist" don't go together - they shouldn't go together. It sounds
kind of evil, like that stuff wafting out of Dr. Frankenstein's
- #2. Chalk Pink (58-code T) A custom color, that
through a patented Edsel process is pre-oxidized at the factory.
Say goodbye to that annoying "new car" shine forever! (Or so it's
name seems to imply.)
- #1. Talisman Red (59-code G) This exercise in
self-deception is another outrageous example of how Edsel
continually relied on "image" over substance. This pink color is
no more "red" than the Edsel itself is a "revolutionary automotive
breakthrough." However, both the color and the car itself are
pretty nice, if only allowed to be simply what they are.