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The Need for an Edsel

Before there was a "lemon" in the automotive world, there was an "Edsel." Both terms have different meanings, but each refers to a failed attempt at the creation of a mass-produced automobile. Some critics even went so far as to call other failed projects as "Edsels."  The Edsel marque didn't last long, but it has an interesting story.

During the mid-‘50s, Ford attempted to mimic General Motors' tiered brand pricing structure. While members of Ford earnestly believed Lincoln was competing with the likes of Cadillac, the reality was that its real competitors on the GM scale fell to numbers 2 and 3 with Buick and Oldsmobile. And so, in order to push Lincoln's brand image up and close the gap, and in honor of Henry Ford's son and Henry Ford II's father, Edsel B. Ford, the Edsel marque was born, to fill in the gap.

The party only lasted for three years. This was in large part due to the volatile market and the time elapsed between design and the final production models. After the brand had been chosen and Ford's codenamed "E car" hit the drawing board, it turned out that the pricing gaps Ford calculated had inconveniently closed. The initial plan was to offer four models, two (later known as the Citation and Corsair) to compete within the Oldsmobile and Buick range, and two (later known as the Pacer and Ranger) to compete within the Pontiac and Chevy range. The Detroit press caught wind of the production plans, to which Ford confirmed and claimed that it would be far superior in regards to its competition thanks to diligent research and analysis and a meticulous construction.

Ford's Marketing Strategy

Ford undertook a huge research and development campaign to design the new car.  The total cost of development eventually exceeded $350 million.  This included surveying consumers about potential names.  One Ford marketer, Robert Young, even reached out to Pullitzer Prize winning poet Marianne Moore for name ideas.  She offered suggestions like the Anticipator, the Silver Sword, the Intelligent Whale, and the Utopian Turtletop.  Ford, perhaps wisely, chose less unusual model names like the Corsair and the Pacer. 

Ford worked hard to market its new brand. The Edsel Show, an hour long CBS special, aired in promotion of the new product line and included stars and songs featuring Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Louis Armstrong. It also kicked off Bing Crosby's television specials, became CBS's first videotape recording, and received an Emmy nomination as "Best Single Program of the Year."  Unfortunately, none of this could help sell Edsels.

A new vista of motoring pleasure, unlike any other car you've ever seen was one advertisement. Many of its promotional material revolved around this anticipation of a superb, irresistible design. Advertisements calling other cars "ordinary" and part of their slogan "Making History" fed this idea. When the day came to reveal it in 1957, many gathered around their television sets to see exactly what it was that Ford had to reveal. Much of the public felt disappointed.

There's no question that the Edsel had many technological advancements for its time: warning lights, a push button shifter, self-adjusting brakes, rolling-dome speedometer, automatic lubrication, etc. But its styling, one of the very foundations Ford boasted of, felt too conventional. It differed no more in shape from other Fords, and its wrap-around windshield and tailfins blended in with many other cars on the road. The most noticeable and peculiar aspect of the car was the horse collar grille, and for many the entire fascia appeared offbeat. This odd combination left many describing Edsels as "weird."

Then the Recession of 1958 ensued, and Ford's research backfired. The market they initially mapped had changed so drastically that Edsels ended up competing with the likes of Mercury and Ford. Buyers opted for more compact vehicles like the Beetle, and maybe this was the change buyers were really looking for. One Ford executive at the time noted "The aim was right, but the target moved." 

Regardless, the Edsel marque was dropped after its Citation, Corsair, Pacer, and Ranger models' pricing fell out of range with what Ford expected, leaving Edsel drifting between Mercury and Ford, confusing nearly all parties of what exactly Edsel was supposed to be. It did, however, introduce the compact 1960 Comet that later fell under Mercury.

Considering Edsel competed with its sister companies and it failed to rake in half of the cash needed to break-even, Ford chalked it up to bad timing and decided to cut its losses. Perhaps Edsel could have made a car of the future had the market stabilized, but at least it left its mark. The term "Edsel" later came to be a word used to describe a potentially breakthrough product that failed to live up to expectations. Still, with all the good and bad it left behind, Edsel is hardly a blemish on the Ford story.  

Need Edsel Parts?

At 1A Auto, it is our mission to supply you with the right parts you need to keep your classic Edsel automobile working in tip top shape, at a great discount. Simply put, if you are in need of a replacement part for your Edsel car you've come to the right place. You'll find a large selection of new, high quality aftermarket Edsel auto parts, such as convertible tops and fuel pumps. However, we don't only just sell aftermarket Edsel parts online here at 1A Auto; we also carry a selection of new parts such as bike racks for your Edsel car as well.

Our product development team spends over 8,000 hours a year researching the best auto parts, and they are carefully selected by our trained engineers so you can rest assured that you are getting the correct, high quality part you need for your car, at a discount price. If we wouldn't put the part in our own cars, we won't sell them to anyone else. A new aftermarket replacement Edsel part from 1A Auto will save you 30-50% on average over a comparable new OEM replacement Edsel part that you would get at a dealership, and our new aftermarket Edsel parts are also extremely durable and reliable. Don't overpay for Edsel auto parts and save yourself from a lot of potential headaches by shopping at 1A Auto.

You can shop for all of your Edsel car parts online and buy safely and securely right here on our website, or you can call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about any of our parts, or to buy over the phone. With over 150 years combined experience, 1A Auto's customer service representatives are the most qualified to answer your questions about all of our new, aftermarket Edsel car parts. Our representatives answer 99.9% of phone calls in less than one minute and emails are responded to within the hour because we know you need answers quickly to get your beloved Edsel back in working order again. We also know you want your part fast for the same reason; 98% of in stock Edsel auto parts ship from our warehouse within one business day so that you can get back on the road in no time, and all ground shipping in the continental U.S. is completely free. And, in the unlikely case that you are unhappy with your Edsel auto part for any reason, 1A Auto also offers the only No Hassle return policy for unused items in the industry. Simply put, our competitors can't beat the 1A Advantage. Don't just take it from us - take it from over 50,000 satisfied customers!

Look no further than 1A Auto for your aftermarket, original equipment (OE) replacement and new Edsel auto parts and get your vehicle the parts it needs today from Edsel car enthusiasts just like you!

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