When you are an Edsel owner, you take a lot of ribbing. Every time you see one it kinda’ brings a smile to your face, doesn’t it? All the old Edsel jokes are legendary. But Edsel owners may now be getting the last laugh. These cars are so rare that they are drawing more money on the collector car market than their classic Ford cousins these days.
You either loved them or you hated them. There was no in between. Actually, the Edsel was a pretty good car. Its unusual look seemed to be the biggest complaint for the new car buying public of the late 1950’s. Like the retractable, it might just have been ahead of its time.
A tutone 1958 Edsel Pacer Convertible has been posted in the Cars-On-Line Edsel Section this week. It has one of the best tutone color combinations we’ve seen. (Click here to view dozens of detailed photos.) The exterior colors are Sunset Coral and Frost White with a matching tutone interior. It is being offered for sale at Ellingson Motorcars out of Rogers, Minnesota. They did an informative video to introduce you to this elegant ride. As usual, Scott gives us some interesting historical insights as to why the Edsel holds such a warm spot in our hearts today. Click the video window to watch the report.
Even though it was the intermediate level offering from Edsel, this tutone 1958 Edsel Pacer Convertible has many of the innovations that Ford promised in its promotions when the Edsel first came out. It has the famous automatic transmission that is shifted using the steering wheel mounted Teletouch shifter, a pretty cool novelty back in 1958. The dash is equipped with the famous 120 mph floating saucer-like Edsel speedometer, a 5,000 rpm tachometer, temperature gauge, fuel gauge, and clock, as well as an AM push-button radio. It also has power steering and power brakes. They say the power windows work great. The black vinyl power convertible top goes up and down with ease with the simple flick of a switch mounted under the dash. When the top is down, it tucks beneath a matching white vinyl parade boot. Riding on a set of wide whitewall tires, this classic Pacer comes with full wheelcovers.
The only mill offered in the Pacer, the 361 ci V8, generated 303 horsepower according to Edsel literature. Exhaust exits the 361 V8 via a dual exhaust setup that gives this convertible a nice throaty sound. This one came from the San Jose, California factory back in 1958.
One of Edsel’s drawbacks was the “horse collar” styling on the front grille. Ford teased the new car public by not showing what it looked like in its promotional buildup. In early 1957 Ford teased “The Edsel is Coming” throughout the TV and radio air waves. They even sponsored a TV show based on the Edsel with a star-studded cast to promote the unvailing. Dealers and Ford personnel were sworn to secrecy about what the car looked like. They did not unvail the Edsel until September of 1957. So record numbers of buyers showed up to the showrooms when it first came out. Most left without buying. Somehow Ford had over-hyped the Edsel. That left many buyers disappointed.
It didn’t help that the first Edsels produced were showing up at dealerships missing parts. And Edsel rolled out their most expensive models first while the country was entering a recession. It also was a mistake for Ford to create a new system of Edsel dealerships and not use their proven Ford dealers. Although Ford had thought to produce 200,000 Edsels that first year, only 64,000 orders were filled. Ford Motor Company lost an estimated $250 million on the Edsel project.
Though they were produced for three years as a separate division operated by Ford, there are only around 6,000 Edsels thought to survive today out of a total production of 118,000.
The Pacer was introduced in 1958 and it was a one-year wonder. They dropped the Pacer for 1959 in spite of the fact that it was one of the best selling Edsels that year.
They always say that the best collector cars are the ones which were popular in their day. But Ford Motor Company’s experiment with the Edsel turns that theory on its head. In fact, the Edsel was born to be a collector car. Today they are rare and hard to find, perfect for the collector car market. By owning one, you can join an avid Edsel owners community. You are also welcomed with open arms at collector car shows.