MYSTAR APRIL 12 FIVE FOR FRIDAY: HOW ABOUT SOME LOVE FOR THE EDSEL?

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The Ford Edsel is not a new topic here at MyStarCollector because we have covered numerous Edsel owners’ stories over the past 15 years.

We have also written opinion pieces about the Edsel, including a July 2020 article that explained why the car crashed and burned in the domestic automotive market.

Those of us from an older generation still remember the impact of the Edsel, even long after the last one left the Ford factory. As kids, we made fun of the cars and viewed them in a negative light not unlike the Curly vs Shemp debate in the Three Stooges lineup.

However, the years have changed our personal opinions about the Edsel here at MyStarCollectorCar because the car has grown on us over the decades, and we now categorize ourselves as fans of the unloved Edsel.

Consequently, we would like to share our five best reasons for Edsel love with our MyStarCollectorCar readers.

The first reason is the radical style of the Edsel, a factor that worked against it in a big way at Ford dealerships during the late 1950s and early 1960s. As noted in our July 2020 MyStarCollectorCar article, Ford even tried to give away ponies as a sales scheme at one point in their questionable marketing plan, the one driven by desperation.

However, the Edsel was a highly unpopular ugly duckling has become a beautiful swan over the passage of time in our opinion here at MyStarCollectorCar.  

The second reason is the low sales numbers of Edsels during their production run, largely due to the car’s unconventional style that turned off buyers. The Edsel’s lack of sales success (less than 120,000 models sold over three years) made the low production car into an even rarer car because so few of them exist in 2024. Edsels may not have been popular back in the day-but car crushers loved them.

Our third reason is the scarcity of Edsels ensures the cars will find plenty of love in 2024 because they are now curiosity/conversation pieces when Edsels are on the street or at a show. Park an Edsel beside a 1969 Camaro and watch which car attracts the most attention from onlookers.

Which brings us to our fourth reason to own one: Edsel owners are renegades who choose not to follow the crowd when it comes to their vintage car choices. Instead, they are mavericks who like to run their own show and take their own path in life. Our conclusion is based upon observations of Edsel owners over the years because these cats are a breed apart from conventional car guys.

MyStarCollectorCar’s fifth and final reason for Edsel love is the car’s oddball collection of factory gizmos that are complicated and finicky. The list includes the quirky push button automatic transmission selector smack dab in the middle of the steering wheel, along with the car’s unconventional round speedometer that was essentially a rotational dome designed to mimic aeronautical instruments.

Bear in mind the late 1950s was part of the early stage of the Space Age, so domestic car makers wanted their vehicles to reflect the era. Edsel’s interior features were a part of the gimmickry of an out-of-this-world time, even if their gizmos did not function very well in the terrestrial world of domestic cars.

By: Jerry Sutherland

Jerry Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer with a primary focus on the collector car hobby. His work has been published in many outlets and publications, including the National Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post,  Vancouver Sun and The Truth About Cars. He is also a regular contributor to Auto Roundup Publications.

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