Michael Cowles, President of the Edsel Owners Club, talks about the history of Edsel and some of the reasons that led up to it's eventual failure.


    • Cornell Green
      Cornell Green

      Ford was so disappointed and disgusted by the failure of the Edsel that the Motor Company destroyed all the dies and stampings for the 🚗 cars because they took such a 🛁 bath on the brand that they did not want any reminders of it anywhere. This is what makes Edsel restoration so difficult today.

      It would take Ford four years to come up with a 🚗 car that was a winner 🏆 to wash away the red ink left behind by the Edsel. That winning car?

      The Ford Mustang.

      about 13 days ago
    • Cornell Green
      Cornell Green In reply to Cornell Green

      4:06 He is right about one thing: the Edsel did sport some really beautiful color combinations. His own car is a great example in Snow White and Ice Green.

      The Edsel did have at least one Hollywood fan: Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny and all those great Looney Tunes characters, had a beautiful green '58 Ranger convertible.

      WHAT'S UP, DOC? ;)

      about 13 days ago
    • Stephen Saasen
      Stephen Saasen

      My dad was just out of high school when the Edsel came out. From what he remembers people saying at the time, they were deemed the "Yawning Lemon", and it wasn't due to marketing issues alone. There were complaints about them being unreliable and underpowered. According to internet sources, there were serious issues with production. Ford tried to make Edsels a little less expensive by producing them on the same assembly line as the rest of their regular production cars. Edsels would be produced randomly with these other cars. Too much time was spent changing parts bins, slowing assembly. Time limits were constantly exceeded, so assembly was often not completed. Edsels were showing up at dealers with bumpers and trim in the trunk. Ford Motor Co was expecting the dealer service dept to complete assembly with little or no compensation. This hurried construction made for a lot of deficiencies in reliability.

      about 15 days ago
    • MARQUEE (Rap-Disciple)
      MARQUEE (Rap-Disciple)

      I Road By a Guy who had one this Wkend!. It Definitely Catchs your Attention..

      about 2 months ago
    • Marshall Curtis
      Marshall Curtis

      Great video Michael! Are you aware that two 1960 Edsels were used in the 1975 movie "Crazy Momma"? Two of those 2846 '60 Edsels were shown being damaged in this movie. One was a green 4 door that was slightly damaged after it got stolen. But the other was another 4 door (a blue and white police car!) that had both doors blown off one side of it. Of course, that's assuming no retakes were necessary. They were only 15 years old at the time (not exactly vintage antiques). But c'mon, 1960 Edsels were extremely rare even when they were new! And yet, Hollywood chose to damage at least two of them in the making of this movie.To this day, I have never laid eyes on a '60 Edsel! And I have been to a lot of vintage car shows through the years. Though I have espied a '59 on occasion, and several '58's.

      Also, I could have bought a '58 four door sedan (don't remember which model) with 70k for $850 back in 1975 (same year the movie came out). I took a pass on it. It had the "Teletouch" transmission shifter on it. Just as well, as those trouble prone pushbutton ATs were discontinued after the '58 model year, in favor of conventional column shift mechanisms. I believe that '58 Edsels came standard with conventional column shift ATs, thereby making the "typewriter on the steering wheel hub" an extra cost option. Correct me if I'm wrong.

      about 3 months ago
    • Andy Richards
      Andy Richards

      Certainly not a good period for Ford globally. In the UK, we had the appalling Ford Classic for 1961-3 with "American" styling and reputation for being an absolute rust bucket. Fortunately for Ford, the 1962 Cortina was extremely popular and transformed Ford's reputation. The Edsel has stood the test of time and it's styling now looks quirky but good.

      about 3 months ago
    • gojoe283

      Michael, do you still have your turquoise 1960 Ranger convertible? I remember seeing it in Collectible Automobile back in 1984!

      about 3 months ago
    • Mylan Miller
      Mylan Miller

      The day the Edsel was released it was seen to be a flop millions of people showed up to view the new car, vary few cars were sold the popular phrase was, is this what ford raved about, itis just a real ugly ford! Then the Problems with Electronics showed up and killed any support that the car had !

      about 4 months ago
    • Seed_drill

      He should have mentioned that the Comet, introduced in 1960, was going to be an Edsel rather than a Mercury until they decided to pull the plug on the Edsel brand. They have no mention of "Mercury" anywhere on the car.

      The only reason there were any 1960 Edsels built was to honor dealer contracts.

      about 4 months ago
    • Seed_drill

      A late acquaintance of mine used to collect Edsels. He had a dealership sign and was on 60 Minutes due to the number of Edsels he owned.

      about 4 months ago
    • aldof hister
      aldof hister

      Be honest ! Would you rather have the etzel or a Tesla ?

      about 4 months ago
    • Cornell Green
      Cornell Green In reply to aldof hister

      aldof hister I would take the Edsel first. The 1960 Edsel looks a lot like the Galaxie, which is a pretty handsome car itself. And an extra added bonus of owning an Edsel is that no one will want to come around with their hand stretched out wanting to borrow it. I mean, no one wants to be seen in one, so it's a pretty good 💡 idea to have one, so that you will always have a 🚗 car that's all your own.

      about 13 days ago
    • Alex Holub
      Alex Holub

      I and my brother both liked the Edsel. The Edsel got a lot of flack from the comedians making fun of its front grill set up. I thought it looked pretty ahead of its time. When it got to be the '60 looking like my dad's Ford with a split grill that was its total demise.

      about 6 months ago
    • Steve Williams
      Steve Williams

      Blackhawk Museum : Michael Cowles, I'm 66 years old. I love the first Edsels. I didn't care for the newest ones. But I've always liked the looks of the first Edsels.

      about 6 months ago
    • D Wnright
      D Wnright

      knowing zero about cars when I was a teenager. I saw a '58 Pacer driving through a car park. I had no idea at all what it was, but thought it was awesome. This was long before the days of the internet & smart phones and it took me months to finally find out what is was. Since that day, have always wanted one. Way cool cars. And love the vagina grill. :)

      about 6 months ago
    • rizzle razzleuno
      rizzle razzleuno

      There are several excellent books examining why the Edsel was a failure. 1) Ford over-hyped the car prior to its introduction. The public was expecting something really fantastic with styling and features to surpass the Forward Look Chrysler Corp cars 2) there was a recession in 1958 and Edsel started mostly with their higher priced models.....a 57 or 58 Pontiac or Dodge was often heavily discounted and cost less than the fancy Edsel models. 3) The Edsel styling generated a love-it or hate-it reaction as compared to GM or Chrysler styling that was mostly acceptable. 4) Quality control and dealer service was a big problem; the Edsel was supposed to be a step up in quality from a Ford, instead it suffered from quality and reliability issues and dealership personnel that saw it as a Ford with pretensions of grandeur. 5) Edsel Ford was an amazing person, but not a good name for a car brand.....the car by any name would not have been any better, but maybe one of the other 18,000 names considered would have been a better choice. Edsel Ford deserved a better tribute. 6) If you were a Ford Motor Company fan then you either saw the Ford car as good enough and with "normal" styling, or you could afford and appreciated the qualities of a Mercury. The Edsel was a solution to a problem that did not exist and cost Ford Motor about $250 million.
      Now Edsels are being collected and restored. Is it unique and has a story to tell. Yes. Is the 58-59 an attractive car? The 1960 Edsel looks like a customized 1960 Ford and is not a bad looker and is very rare since only 2846 were built. How many survive today?

      about 7 months ago
    • Jerome Cabral
      Jerome Cabral

      In 2002 I was at an auction with my uncle and I saw a very nice yellow convertible that was a Edsel

      about 7 months ago
    • selwocc

      Yes, Shiloh Taetz is correct. The 1960 Edsel 9 passenger station wagon was the rarest of the models for Edsel during this year with only 59 units being built. However... between the 6 passenger and the 9 passenger - a wagon is a wagon is a wagon - one seats six and the other seats nine! Some enthusiast even go into finer detail on the "A standard" model and the "B deluxe" model for 1960. On the data plate, there were just a handful of the 1960 Edsel's that were fitted with the deluxe “B" interior. And, if this is taken into account then the 1960 Edsel two door HT coupe was truly the rarest with that “B” interior! Only a few of these were built. But again... these details are irrelevant - in my opinion. Getting down even further, some models were fitted with different engines, transmissions and other data information, causing even greater confusion. So, the convertible - in my humble opinion - is STILL the rarest of the models for 1960 with only 76 total units manufactured!

      about 7 months ago
    • MDS


      about 7 months ago
    • Roger Alsop
      Roger Alsop

      Most interesting.

      about 7 months ago
    • Cleveland Maker
      Cleveland Maker

      hey......I would love to get a tuxedo and jonquil citation with a cont kit

      about 8 months ago
    • Shiloh Taetz
      Shiloh Taetz

      Actually the 9 passenger wagon was the lowest production in 1960

      about 8 months ago
    • Robert Haworth
      Robert Haworth

      Speaking of jokes, there's an episode of the old Dick Van Dyke show where Dick witnesses a hit-and-run accident perpetrated by a red Edsel. "A red Edsel!", he keeps shouting, to lots of laughs. Everybody at the time apparently understood what a loser that driver must have been.

      about 9 months ago
    • Robert Haworth
      Robert Haworth

      The horse collar "grill" was termed the Impact Ring by the factory, and is officially considered part of the bumper assembly. Its opening was supposed to be a mere slit, only a few inches wide. This looked great in concept drawings and on the near-final, life-sized clay model,  but the Engineering Dept. objected that it would allow too little air to hit the radiator and cool the large engines Edsels were to sport. They ignored the fact that the right and left side marker light areas (lower grilles) could easily have been re-designed to be open meshes, and thus admit the required amount of air. Pontiac "got away with" a vertical arrangement similar to Edsel's just a few years later.

      about 9 months ago
    • Horacio Vivanco
      Horacio Vivanco

      Si viviera en U:S:A: buscaria tener un Citation. Edsel en todos sus modelos de 1958 me fascinan.

      about 11 months ago
    • Bill Bright
      Bill Bright

      Hard to really put ones finger on what went wrong,, but just overall a rather peculiar looking car. The name probably wasn’t the best choice.

      about 1 year ago
    • Mylan Miller
      Mylan Miller In reply to Bill Bright

      like you said there was not one thing that was wrong with the EDSEL there were a bunch of things
      Some were not controllable like the recession others like bad electronics and Ugly styling were ford fault!
      My uncle bought a new 1958 Citation and he said it left him stranded more tines in the one year he owned it than all the cars he owned in his life! The biggest problem he said he had was shift from reverse to Forward and the Car would get stuck in both Forward and reverse at the same time.

      about 4 months ago