1957 - 1960

Edsel

Information about Edsel

Edsel, a defunct marque of the Ford Motor Company, was introduced in 1958 amidst considerable fanfare as a new, distinct line designed to compete with General Motors and Chrysler. Named after Edsel Ford, son of Ford’s founder, Henry Ford, the brand epitomized post-war automotive ambition with distinctive features and advanced marketing strategies. Despite the hype, Edsel was ill-timed; its launch coincided with an economic recession, leading to consumer resistance to its unique styling and high prices.

The original models, including the Edsel Citation and the Edsel Corsair, were built to offer a higher degree of luxury and innovation. They featured the “Teletouch” automatic transmission shifting system, which used push-buttons in the steering wheel hub— a novelty that did not resonate as expected with mid-century buyers. Ultimately, these technological novelties and the cars’ unconventional design contributed to poor sales, making Edsel synonymous with “commercial failure.”

The marque was discontinued in 1960, just three years after its debut, marking one of the automotive industry’s most notable failures. Today, Edsels are coveted by collectors for their unique place in automotive history, representing a fascinating chapter of ambition and cautionary tales in car manufacturing.

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