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1 of 1,876: 1958 Edsel Pacer Convertible

The Edsel was a dark period for Ford in the late 1950s. Research told company executives there was a market for a product between the Ford and Lincoln/Mercury lines. Named after Henry Ford’s son, the Edsel was introduced in 1958 and would become the “wrong car at the wrong time.” Barely into its third season, the Edsel was canceled, and Ford began writing off some major financial losses. Many models of the 1958 Edsel were offered including the Pacer and this convertible, which was one of the lowest-produced entries. Located in a field in Irvington, Kentucky, this Edsel is available through a dealer here on Facebook Marketplace. $4,000 gets to take this project or donor car home. Eagle-eye Gunter Kramer brought this tip to our attention!

Many books and case studies have been written about the failure of the Edsel Division of Ford. Hopes were high when the car debuted, but only 118,000 copies were sold in a little more than two years. 1958 Edsels are the most unique of the three model years because they were the most unlike their Ford and Mercury counterparts. When Ford executives saw a soft sales pattern for the first year, the 1959s became reworked versions of other company products. And by 1960, they were only badged-engineered versions of full-size Fords. The Edsel did not live to see New Year’s Eve 1959.

Only two Edsel convertibles were offered in 1958 and production numbers were small. The Pacer accounted for 1,876 units while the more upscale Citation didn’t crack 930 copies. So, these were rare machines when new and probably hard to find today in any condition. This ’58 Pacer looks to have been exposed to Mother Nature for quite some time, so not a lot of it looks to have escaped some sort of damage or deterioration. The Pacer was equipped with a 361 cubic inch V8 engine which we assume is what’s still in this car.

As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the rarity of this drop-top may be the primary reason to save it. The seller is forthcoming in saying the floors are toast, the front fenders rusty, and the front sections are too far gone to work with. If you could get the trunk open, we’re told you could find the front bumper in it. And the interior and other pieces are scattered about and inside the Pacer. If the original color is in fact Coral, this would have been an attractive automobile when new, even with the “horse collar” front end.

Comments

  1. Doone

    The Ford that tried to be a Pontiac. Even so, this one didn’t deserve to be put out to pasture. So sad.

    Like 18
  2. A.G.

    In 1958 the ‘Eisenhower’ recession was near the bottom. It had been happening for a while. From 1955 to 1957 Chevrolet passenger car production dropped by ~100k units each year. In 1957 very few passenger car models were produced with quad headlights. These were only sold in states which had approved the new arrangement. For the 1958 model year the Federal government approved quad headlights. US manufacturers had been anticipating the change which led to the introduction of redesigned 1958 models. From 1958 through the early 60s designs almost seemed to change annually in attempts to catch the eye of potential buyers. It could be this is what led to pony cars and this muscle cars.

    TLDR : The economy impacted 1958 new car sales rather than the quality of the vehicles.

    Like 6
    • MikeH

      The economy plus the fact that almost all 58 American cars were butt ugly.

      Like 5
  3. mike

    Hopefully somebody will save her.

    Like 8
    • Angus Mustang

      Sometimes you have to let them go to the light. Doesn’t look like she was too rough when parked, but mother nature has started to claim her

      Like 2
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    With that much rust on the outside you can imagine how much rust is on the underside. You would have to be a dyed in the wool Edsel freak to take on this one. If the green Dodge and this car were side by side I’d buy the Dodge.

    Like 0
  5. HoA Howard A Member

    Edsel always conjures up conversation, and volumes have been written on them. I’m going to focus on the headlights, however. Many from rust free areas, simply gasp at what happens to cars in the north. Many cars used that arrangement, with salt water being trapped up there. Many times, the headlights would literally fall out while the car was still useful, and some creative attempts to secure them, were quite humorous. Headlight aiming was secondary. Edsels aren’t exactly rare, and an “ambitious” restoration like this is getting harder to do. You know the saying. Spend $50K on a restoration, or buy one where someone is already taking it in the shorts for half that.

    Like 5
    • Fred

      How about the 58 Chevy impala? 58 Plymouth furry (christen)?

      Like 0
  6. Big C

    One wonders what drives people to take rare cars like this and subject them to decades of weather, rodents and neglect. I imagine, way back when, someone refused to sell this Edsel, when it was just a used car. Because they were going to “fix her up.” What a shame.

    Like 11
  7. TmoP

    Edsel nine passenger wagons are much more rare.

    Like 2
  8. Steve

    The only thing worth saving is the horseshoe grill. (I bought one at the swap meet decades ago for $5.00. I hung it on the wall in my garage…the wife wouldn’t let me hang it in the house.)

    Like 5
    • BigDaddyBonz

      I bought a horse collar grill to hang in my garage too. Mine cost $20 though. My wife was with me and She just shook her head as if to say…why? For the same reason that I have a 5′ tall ‘RatFink’ painted on my garage door. Heh heh, sometimes they just don’t understand.

      Like 0
  9. Bill

    My great grandfather briefly sold Edsels in Northeastern Ohio during his later years of retirement. Rust from salt was a problem for all vehicles there including the 1959 Chevy my dad drove to work in the big city. Driving it on the way to trade it in one late evening, one of the headlights fell out and way to the dear. It hung by the wires but the dealer took it on trade anyhow. A troubling side event for us that night but we traded that 1959 Chevy Biscayne 4 door for a 1956 Ford wagon for my mom’s car and drove that one home!

    Like 2
  10. George Birth

    This rust pile is nowhere close to be worth $4,000 sorry to say./
    Dealer is trying to make a mint off a scrap heap. Another case of buyer beware.

    Like 0
    • jwaltb

      One of one in this condition.

      Like 0
  11. Johnmloghry johnmloghry

    Now what we have here is a couple good hubcaps and an engine wrapped in junk sheet metal. Could be a few good parts for another Edsel, but this thing is just too far gone for anything else. Melt it down and make a Honda out it. May she rest in peace.

    God Bless America

    Like 1
  12. 64 Bonneville

    The “Tele-touch” automatic shift in the center of the steering wheel is a brutal booger to repair. There are very few shops that can undertake the task, anymore. That being said, this would be a restoration of love. Due to the fact that Edsels so seldom change hands now a days, except in estate sales, as we are dying off. However somebody, somewhere will want to preserve American Automobile History, and may want to tackle this.

    Like 2
  13. jwaltb

    Russ, there’s no such category as “most unique”. A thing is either unique or it’s not.

    Like 2
  14. Ivan

    I would love ❤️ 💕 💗 to had seen the Edsel to have continued on right on into the late 70’s and maybe the mid 90’s right along with the Mercury Turnpike Cruisers including the Beach 🏖 🏝 Wagons Station 🚉 Wagons. I would have kept the push-button steering wheel of which I would have added push buttons for park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive, 3, 2, and 1. Or Automatic Column Shift. How people forget that the U. S. A. and Russia 🇷🇺 were competing to be number one ☝️ for the position of that space race and Ford, Chrysler and GM were basing their rides on space engineering from the 50’s right into the late 70’s.

    It’s a shame this country has lost its Edge. If we can only get that back this country would not have the problems it’s having and suffering now.

    Like 3
    • HoA Howard A Member

      Hi Ivan, don’t forget AMC then, probably the most influence from the space industry, in styling, anyway. I agree, to an extent, we’ve lost the edge in automotive, but I still think it’s the greatest country in the world, and all it’s problems can’t be blamed on a simple issue. The computer I’m typing on changed the world more than anything. I too miss these cars of yore, but that’s all they really are, cars from long ago, and don’t fit into our society anymore.

      Like 0
  15. Gabe

    $4,000 is in the ballpark, but I’d feel a lot more comfortable if he was willing to give me $5k to get it out of his yard.

    Like 0
  16. Oldnash

    Saw a 58 Citation convertible in a NW Ohio junk yard in the late 1970’s. It wasn’t in that bad of shape. Wish I knew what happened to it. The yard has since been crushed and is no longer there. Hope the car was saved.

    Like 0

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