Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
HarleyEarl

Edsel and Why It Failed

33 posts in this topic

Did you know that one of the reasons the Ford Edsel didn't do well, that people felt the center grill looked like a vagina? And not an attractive vagina at that. There are unattractive vaginas? Men want to drive vaginas, but not in this way.

edselvaginachroniclenn1.jpg

Edited by HarleyEarl
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think everyone who has heard of the Edsel knows that analogy, same with "Oldsmobile sucking a lemon".

It failed I think principally because it was hyped up to be like the Second Coming, when it turned out to be nothing extraordinary.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it also hit just at the point were there was a really bad recession and was looked at as too expensive for what it offered.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 3 years of Edsel. It changed significantly by the end. No longer was there a grill that people mistook for a urinal, a vagina or a horsecollar.

3yearsedselym8.gif

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>>"It failed I think principally because it was hyped up to be like the Second Coming, when it turned out to be nothing extraordinary."<<

^-- reason #1.

>>"I think it also hit just at the point were there was a really bad recession..."<<

^-- reason #2.

The entire mid-priced market contracted heavily in '58. Edsel still set records for a new mid-priced line, over 200K units moved in '58.

The '58 was a pretty well-developed car, lots of features & details were extremely attractive, but, for me and many others, the styling wasn't one of those. Don't get me wrong- I'd drive a '58 2-dr hdtp in a second, but I do not lust after them and I don't count them among my favored styling efforts. I LOVE the vertical grille, it's the side grilles & the front bumper esp that are too after-thought-ish for me to warm to.

Here's a quickie customization which 'fixes' the 'mistakes' of the stock front for me. Sorry for the rough quality- I did half on tracing paper and xeroxed the other half. Like I said: quickie :

EDSL-57.jpg

A buddy had the most common Edsel made, the only one to break the 5-figure production mark, a black '59 Ranger 4-dr sedan. He got it for nothing off the father of a girl he was dating. It sat out in their barn, and with a roll-up door on opposing walls, plus a few six-packs, he & I had a blast, feeling like we were on the assembly line, as we re-hung all 4 doors. Door #1 closed with a snik of perfection, but by the time we got door #4 on... let's just say it needed further adjustment. Did a crapload of work on that car over a few weeks- then he was forced to get it out of there. Towing it a good 25 miles to a storage building, we had to use a floor jack to turn the Edsal the 90-degrees to stuff it in next to the building's door. He paid storage fes for about a year, then abandoned it. We never found out what happened to it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saw a black Edsel convertible ina used car lot near my house over the summer. They are unique. They aren't pretty but not nearly as ugly as other cars I've seen.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me the original Edsel is an iconic design. I'd love to have one. I tend to like the 'underdog', the orphan cars, the failures. I find them interesting as a product and historically intriguing. I read that the Edsel Citation had a 410 cu in engine rated at 345 horsepower. Quite impressive. But I understand the steering and brakes weren't matched well for all that power.

Mr. Balthazar, always enjoy your insight into cars like this. I usually learn something new.

Really like your redesign of the Edsel frontend.

yellowedpr3.jpg

Edited by HarleyEarl
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually don't think the styling is that terrible. Sure, it's not going to win any beauty pageants, but I can see good qualities in the design.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've actually always been a fan of the '58 Edsel, IMo it actually is one of Ford's better design efforts of the era. Plus the lack of tail fins in their peek in popularity is also a daring moving, grille aside.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't forget that Chrysler was in the process of killing the Desoto brand as well. The mid-priced market was flooded with too many offerings. The final Edsel was a barely warmed over 1960 Ford.

Ford's styling in the late '50s was restrained, relative to GM and Chrysler's offerings of the era; however, the Mercury and Edsels were heavy without being balanced, IMO. Similar in the way that the Plymouths were more balanced looking than the odd looking Dodges of the same era.

Oldsmobile and Buick were emerging unto themselves, which put a lot of pressure on Mercury, Edsel, Desoto and even Chrysler itself.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya..the timing was terrible for this car. It was a decent car but no market for it. Weren't even the first Edsel station wagons merely warmed over Fords as well?

wagonsjl8.jpg

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Did you know that one of the reasons the Ford Edsel didn't do well, that people felt the center grill looked like a vagina? And not an attractive vagina at that. There are unattractive vaginas? Men want to drive vaginas, but not in this way.

edselvaginachroniclenn1.jpg

Is THAT why I like the Jaguar E-type so much!?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edsels "warmed over Fords" -no. Different everything in '58. '59-60 was a big shift to major Ford componentry, yes, but not in '58.

DeSoto had one of it's best years every in '57, but the drop in the mid-priced segment for '58 was something it really never recovered from. Unfortunately.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got curious about 1958 and the economic downturn. So I just researched abit on the web. It was much more serious than I had thought. It was worldwide and somewhat similar to what's happening currently. Did not know that.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the Edsel has an undeserved rap for being a failure as a car. It was more a victim of circumstance. It's kind of Ford's 'Corvair'? Only Ford gave up very quickly on this car. I wonder why that was. Really only two years as a true Edsel. The third being more a rebadged Ford.

59edselou8.jpg

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>>"Did you know that one of the reasons the Ford Edsel didn't do well, that people felt the center grill looked like a vagina?"<<

I do not believe this is literally factual. I believe this is hindsight conjecture.

Truth is, vertical grilles on 'horizontal' cars lean towards 'unnatural'.

'I wonder why Ford gave up so quickly'

You answered your own question: the recession.

DeSoto & Edsel never got a compact to help bolster their numbers- then again; they weren't really in the position to get one, anyway.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ tho I've read that the Comet started out to be an Edsel model

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes- I've read that also. Whether it would have bolstered Edsel by '61, I don't know. Obviously, Ford decided it was better placed as a Merc.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The depression that hit in calendar year 1957 (model year 1958) was

a big part of the problem for sure, but like Balthazar said... the Edsel

was not the failure that it is made out to be.

The push-button trans in the steering wheel is one of my favorite

features, and while I actually like the '58 and '59 model years, I

downright LOVE the '60.... esp. the non-production mock-up that

never was.... which had a very prominent VERTICAL monolith-style

grille in the center of the '60 FoMoCo fascia instead of just the not so

bold x-theme that made production.

60edselpma6.jpg

Also, this is kind of cool: the intermediate Edsel that never WAS but

SHOULD HAVE BEEN right from the get-go! An edsel COMET!

60edselproto2am5.jpg

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The depression that hit in calendar year 1957 (model year 1958) was

a big part of the problem for sure, but like Balthazar said... the Edsel

was not the failure that it is made out to be.

The push-button trans in the steering wheel is one of my favorite

features, and while I actually like the '58 and '59 model years, I

downright LOVE the '60.... esp. the non-production mock-up that

never was.... which had a very prominent VERTICAL monolith-style

grille in the center of the '60 FoMoCo fascia instead of just the not so

bold x-theme that made production.

60edselpma6.jpg

That is very attractive actually, it's a shame it never made it to production.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Did you know that one of the reasons the Ford Edsel didn't do well, that people felt the center grill looked like a vagina? And not an attractive vagina at that. There are unattractive vaginas? Men want to drive vaginas, but not in this way.

edselvaginachroniclenn1.jpg

i honestly don't know much about the edsel, other than its allegedly ugly. and i don't care much for it.

and that says a lot considering there is an aztek in my garage. i have a high pain tolerance.

this makes no inference on my preference in vag1nas however.

Edited by regfootball
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The point is, Edsel was hardly the failure it is made out to be by some....

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The point is, Edsel was hardly the failure it is made out to be by some....

Well, considering Ford launched a new division/brand range and folded it less than 3 years makes it a pretty big failure. Imagine if GM had folded Saturn in '94..styling was part of the problem, but there were plenty of ugly cars in '58...my folks bought a '58 Mercury that year...I've seen pics of them, they were pretty dreadful looking, IMHO.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But what was the point of Edsel? Why did Ford feel they even needed it?

How was Mercury not mid-priced enough?

In 1957, Packard was on the ropes. Nash and Hudson were basically gone, merged into AMC.

Desoto was pushed down market by Chrysler and Imperial, so now Chrysler was competing with itself in the mid-priced market.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

  • Who's Chatting

    There are no users currently in the chat room