No Reserve: 58k Mile 1959 Edsel Ranger

The Edsel cost Ford hundreds of millions of dollars and is perhaps the automobile industry’s biggest failure. Not because it was a bad car, it was just the wrong car introduced at the wrong time. Famous for its horse collar grill, the Edsel debuted during an economic recession in 1957-58 and didn’t survive into calendar 1960. This beautiful mid-run example from 1959 is part of a deceased collector’s estate that’s being settled. It’s available in Cincinnati, Ohio and here on eBay via a no reserve auction that stands at $7,300 and counting. Thanks, local_sheriff, for kindly sending this tip our way!

The Edsel story is well-known, so we won’t dwell on it here. When it first came out, there was a lot to distinguish the Edsel from the Fords. But lackluster sales for 1958 (68,000 cars) led to the 1959 models becoming more like the Ford Fairlane and Galaxie in appearance and features. For example, the horse collar grille was downplayed and the push-button transmission in the steering wheel was replaced by a conventional column-mounted shifter. Side by side, the Edsels and Fords looked more like the same car than they had before. That likely hurt sales further, which fell off to 48,000 units in 1959, and to almost nothing for 1960 until Ford pulled the plug. All-in-all, just 118,000 Edsel automobiles ever saw the light of day.

The seller is helping to liquidate a deceased collector’s inventory, but the wording of the eBay listing sounds like it was written by a salesman. Nothing wrong with that but sticking to facts is better. This 1959 Edsel Ranger is the 2-door sedan version, which represented about 15 percent of overall Edsel production that year. The odometer shows just 58,000 miles, so most of the light this car has seen has come from lightbulbs. We’re told it’s always been garage-kept and very well-maintained. The body is straight and rust-free and dings seem to be non-existent even though 20 years have passed since it was refinished. The only thing that gives it away as a respray is that the rear license plate bracket has been painted to match the rest of the car.

Once inside the Edsel, the near perfection continues as everything looks as it did from Day 1, although the interior was likely refurbished in 2000 with the rest of the car. We assume the 292 cubic inch V-8 and automatic tranny are original and the seller says the car performs well for jaunts out to shows. Starts, runs, shifts, stops and handles as it should, we’re told.

The seller quotes the NADA top resale price at about $19,000 and that sounds realistic. So far, this car hasn’t gotten to the half-way point. If you’re interested in having a piece of history in your garage, famous or infamous depending on how you look at it, this car looks about as nice as they get.

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Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    Was Bunkie Knudsen involved in the design of this car? That front shot sure reminded me of a Bunkie Beak.

    Like 3
  2. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    I once bought a 59 Edsel Ranger 4 door sedan for $200.00. It was white with 292 automatic. Nothing fancy but it did have power brakes and steering.
    I can’t see the asking price on this one. If it were a convertible or even a Corsica then it would have more value. Ranger was the entry level model and still don’t bring high dollar.
    God bless America

    Like 4
  3. nlpnt

    Needs to be updated with cupholders and a USB port/wifi hot spot so you can drink New Coke and watch Quibi while at a car show in your Edsel.

    Like 3
  4. sir_mike

    Really nice example.Hope the next caretaker treats her with care.

    Like 12
  5. Robert White

    Do you think Don Knots would mind us looking over his old car?

    Bob

    Like 7
    • Will Fox

      The green one he drove in “The ghost & Mr.Chicken” was a `58 Pacer hardtop.

      Like 4
      • Bob C.

        He also drove a greenish blue 58 convertible when he returned to Mayberry in a later Andy Griffith episode.

        Like 2
  6. oilngas

    When I was a kid. A old man in Mansfield, Tx. had a Edchero. He said it was the real deal. I thought he made it, but on the glove box was a one piece script emblem. Who knows.

    • Fred W

      Supposedly none were ever made by the factory, but quite a few were “made up”. This wasn’t that difficult since the base model and the ’59 were Ford based. Not sure how they did the side trim. As far as the “one piece script”, I vaguely remember a JC Whitney ad where you could have a script emblem custom made with anything you wanted, probably for under ten bucks. Those were the days!

      Like 4
  7. Nick W Ragsdale

    Actually it wasn’t Bunkie K that was involved in the design but the former Packard stylists. Look at the Packard Predictor show car. The “Edsel” grille was the design theme Packard was going for, before it went under.

    Like 2
  8. Pete Phillips

    First two-door sedan Edsel I have ever seen. They certainly down-graded these ’59 Edsels from their high-flying ’58 models.

    Like 1
  9. David Taylor

    I liked the 58 grill more.

  10. Bill

    Seems to be a lot of wear on the steering wheel for a 58k car.

  11. Kenneth

    Seller ended the eBay auction early by accepting an offer.

    • Stan Marks

      Ken, I don’t think he sold the car. He just ended the bid, The starting bid was $200. There were no offers after that. It would have a “sold” sign & not ‘ended’.

      Back in the day, the ugly Edsel was the laughing stock of the auto industry..Fast forward 60+ years and I’ve come to realize, when it comes to the old classics, you see here, there is no such thing as an ugly car.Including this one.This ’59 is a clean example. Every car has its own style & character. And to each his/her own.
      I was looking at the tail fins & rear lights. It sure reminds me of a ’60 Impala.

      • Kenneth

        I looked at the Edsel listing on eBay when the BF email came, and there were 50 bids up to $8700 with no reserve. I considered bidding because it’s only 3 hours away from me. The description said the seller would entertain offers and he specifically invited offers, even tho there was not a Make An Offer button. Based upon all of this, when the listing was removed early, I assumed he rec’d an acceptable offer.

  12. Rex Kahrs Member

    Stan, I respect your opinion, and I like an Edsel just fine. But here’s an ugly car. What a weird treatment just behind the rear door’s window. So, with all due respect, yes, there is such a thing as an ugly car.

    • Steve Bush Member

      I agree, Rex, the early 1960s Plymouth Valiant station wagon is ugly. A neighbor of ours had a green one back in the late 1960s. My parents then had a white 1965 Valiant 100 2dr sedan and a white 1969 Plymouth Satellite SW.

    • Stan Marks

      In your eyes, Rex, it’s an ugly car. Someone here, may beg to differ.
      Now please, keep this to yourself. But I tend to agree with you. LOL!!!

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