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Edsel, page 2     Edsel, page 1
On October 15, 1959, the 1960 Edsels went on sale. Availability was very limited and only the Ranger series remained, offering a full complement of body styles. The base engine in all models was again the 292 V8, and the six could be ordered for all except the convertible. A 352ci, 300hp version of the FE big-block V8 could also be specified.

Sharing body shells and drive trains with the full-size 1960 Fords, the last Edsel had a very contemporary look, and it is often mistaken for a 1959 Pontiac, or some "Canadian" Ford product. Just 2,846 units came off the assembly line before the plug was pulled on November 19, 1959. Thus ended a short, but significant chapter of American motoring history.

For many years the mere mention of the name Edsel could have one banished from the executive washrooms at the World Headquarters building in Dearborn. As late as the 1990s, TV commercials referred to Edsel as Mr. Ford, and during the recent 100th Anniversary celebration of Ford Motor Company, the car was barely noted.

The end was near and the remaining 1960 models were just Fords with different trim.  According to this factory shot, 1960 Edsels could be had with some sort of hover device!

MARKET

In the circle of collectors, convertible models are the most sought after, especially the big glitzy Citations from 1958 of which just 930 were produced, and the very limited production 1960 Ranger convertibles, of which only 76 units were built. Prices have kept in line with other collectible American cars of the era, with hardtop and station wagons finding increasing favor. With a high survival rate, sedans are found in good numbers and at reasonable prices for economy-minded car collectors.

Due to the early recognition of the Edsel as a collectible, and the over-blown publicity of their values, many of these cars were spared from the scrap heap, or met it to a much lesser degree thaN other cars of the era. The result is that today there is a very healthy supply. Prices have continued to rise moderately, and interest remains strong today.

Research into the model is advisable. The 1958 models have several fragile and hard-to-find parts that many cars are missing, and they can be quite expensive to replace. Taillight lenses were extremely vulnerable and original new replacement sets currently trade between $1,500 and $2,000! Another item that many 1958 Edsels seem to need are hood ornaments. While an excellent reproduction is available for around $200, mint original examples have traded for well over $500. The condition of these parts with the 1958 models should be figured in when determining the value of any Edsel. Various trim parts on all years can be difficult and expensive to obtain.

One major concern pertains to the limited production 1960 Ranger convertible. Due to very tight budget concerns, the 1960 models are little more than spruced up 1960 Fords. With a very limited supply of the open-models from Edsel, and a very healthy supply of 1960 Ford Sunliner convertibles, a number of replica Ranger convertibles have been produced. Most of these can be easily detected through the serial number or construction differences between the two models. However, at least one back-yard mechanic in California produced several replica 1960 Edsel convertibles, with at least one example receiving a title for a contrived but authentic looking serial number.

The future looks good for the Edsel in the world of collector cars. Their unique styling in 1958 and advanced futuristic fifties features like Teletouch, are highly desired among collectors. With the relatively high survival rate of the 1959 models, these make great cars for the person wanting to get into the hobby while on a budget, offering unique looks and styling with contemporary mechanical devices that are easily maintained. For those who want something really unusual without exotic mechanics, the 1960 models enjoy a relatively high number of survivors.

Owning and driving an Edsel is guaranteed to garner you more than your share of attention on the open road. It isn't unusual for the owner of a lowly 1959 Ranger sedan to report receiving a "People's Choice" award when sitting right next to a shiny red Ferrari or a sleek and sporty Corvette.

While these cars are fun to drive, they do require a bit of maintenance, with almost every owner eventually realizing that Edsel is really an acronym for "Every Day Something Else Leaks". Sorry, couldn’t resist!

 P. Skinner and the editors at Collector Car Market Review

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This profile first appeared in the January 2004 issue of Collector Car & Truck Market Guide.   (c) Copyright 2004, VMR International, Inc. All right reserved.

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