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60K Miles? Rare 1958 Edsel Pacer Convertible

The wrong car at the wrong time? That’s one of the more famous post-mortem assessments of the ill-fated Edsel. Since the dawn of the horseless carriage, automotive missteps have come and gone over the years, but Ford Motor Company’s poor Edsel (1958-1960) has been tagged as the reigning metaphor for bungled new model introductions. And what we have here is not only a first-year Edsel example, but a rare Pacer convertible, a seldomly seen representative of that star-crossed brand. Located in Mount Union, Iowa, this 1958 Edsel Pacer is available, here on eBay for a BIN price of  $24,500. There is a make an offer option too.

The Edsel came in with a bang but went out with a whimper. The car that was at one time referred to as “An Oldsmobile Sucking on a Lemon” did not hurt for variety. First up, there were three different wheelbase platforms, one at 118″ for the Ranger and Pacer trim levels,  a second at 124″ for the more upscale Corsair and Citation, and finally, a 116″ for station wagons. Body styles included two-door hardtops, sedans, convertibles, and a station wagon along with a four-door hardtop, sedan, and station wagon, all trim level dependent. Total 1958 Edsel production was 63,107 units with the Pacer convertible, such as our subject car, ringing up a paltry 1,876 copies according to www.edsel.com. Production slid to 44,891 units for the 1959 model year and then a minuscule output of 2,846 cars for the abbreviated 1960 model year. The end came in November of 1959, and by then the distinctive Edsel “horseshoe collar” grille was replaced by something more akin to the front end of a Pontiac.

The seller of this Pacer convertible refers to it as a 60K mile barn find that languished in hiding for decades. While the body shows pretty well, the underside is afflicted with some very heavy scale – looks like damp storage. The seller doesn’t elaborate regarding structural or floor integrity but this Pacer would be one to thoroughly inspect. The sheet metal, however, is not showing signs of perforation or crash damage. And all of the trim, and that sour Oldsmobile face, is in surprising nice, complete condition. The convertible top is in fair shape and may clean up well but the rear window, at the least, will need to be replaced. Note the cool spinner wheel covers!

This Edsel is advertised as a non-runner and a non-stopper for that matter. Once again we’re treated to that old saw, “Ran when parked” but the engine is “stuck” from sitting. Salvageable? Hard to say at this point. When running, the 361 CI V8 engine, known as an E-400 for its torque rating, was good for 303 gross HP. Gear shifting happens automatically by way of a “Teletouch Drive” actuated three-speed unit.

Well you know something is up with the upholstery when you have a horse blanket covering the front seat and other images do, in fact, reveal the front seat’s dilapidated condition. The rest of the interior, however, looks OK. The impressive instrument panel is intact and not particularly tarnished and you can see the “Teletouch” transmission pushbuttons located in the steering wheel center – that had to be a conversation piece back in the day. The biggest surprise, for me, is the rubber floor mat, I would have thought that an Edsel, regardless of model or trim level, would have been carpeted.

I can’t say that an Edsel has ever caught my imagination but this Pacer convertible certainly has! Of the 110,847 Edsels constructed, only 4,225 (3.8%) were convertibles, which makes this Pacer convertible, or any Edsel convertible, a rare automobile. I like this one enough that I might even be able to live with that goofy-looking grill, how about you?


  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    I love the rolling dome speedometer in these. They were “futuristic” and “out of this world” cool for the day. Speaking of “out of this world”, the same goes for the price!

    Like 14
  2. Chuckster

    The good thing is when you are behind the wheel you can’t see the grill

    Like 7
  3. junkman Member

    Really a cool 50s piece, the question as always is, is the expense worth the final value. That being said, somebody PLEASE save this wonderful chunk of history. I’ll bet at this point, you could get it for 20 cash. If I didn’t have 15 cars in the yard, she’d be mine.

    Like 5
  4. Gary Rhodes

    12-15k at best, you will have another 20k minimum in it for a top, interior,
    motor/tranny rebuild, blasting, alot of metalwork, paintwork, chrome, shipping on a $40k car. A 1960 is a different story, up to $100k most likely.

    Like 8
  5. George

    When looking at mileage on cars, especially from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, you have to remember that engines weren’t built as well as they are today, and also not as well maintained. Oils, coolants, transmission fluids and the like , lengthen the lifespan of the mechanicals. At the time, 60,000-80,000 miles were the full lifespan before an engine required being rebuilt.

    Like 7
  6. Spanky

    My Gpop rigorously followed the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule and ran late 50s 6s and mid 60s and early 70 mopars into the 200k miles. The issue was that many vehicles were not maintained well after they were a few years old.

    Like 13
  7. Vance

    Personally, I like the look of the Edsel, it is unique and that probably why. But hindsight is 20/20, production, quality control, and a recession, spelled doom for this brand. This is a nice car, and rolling down the road with the top down would be riot. Considering the condition I think the asking price is way too high. There is a lot of work to be done, but due to the rarity, it should be saved.

    Like 23
  8. P

    I think you’d see Paul Lynde spending 24k on girls before most would plunk down for this car with all its drawbacks….

    And, I am an Edsel fan…

    Like 12
  9. Chris

    YES needs to be saved . Out of my budget . Still a beauty in the making . Save this piece of history .

    Like 5
  10. Doc

    I had a 58 corsair in the late 60,s summertime it was a great car that 430 engine was all power and it rode smooth but winter that little motor that shifted the tranny didn’t have enough power to shift until the engine warmed up and when snow blew under the hood and got the coil wet it would stop on its tracks then the fenders around the headlights rotted out .

    Like 0
  11. Edsel Al Leonard Member

    Biggest engine in a ’58 Edsel was the 410 cu.in with 475 Lb/Ft or torque…I have one …it’s an awesome car…..

    Like 2
  12. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    I’ve always had an avinity for the ’58 taillights. Don’t know why. I remember I was about 12 or so and my cousin had a junkyard with a wrecked ’58. I bought the taillights from it. Where they are now is a guess.

    Like 2
  13. Bob McK

    I sure do wish I could save this rare beauty. But having to start at $24K will put the restorer underwater very fast. It appears that it is all there, but it needs a frame off restoration. If I had the extra cash….I might be crazy enough to do it.

    Like 2
  14. Edselman58

    I have a 58 Pacer Convertible in the same color combo. Mine is a driver quality vehicle I’ve owned for 17 yrs. Stumbled upon it in a Hemmings ad. Wasn’t looking for an Edsel but this car intrigued me. Went to see it and drive. Ran well but leaked oil badly because the seals were shot. Rebuilt the E400 and it runs well and doesn’t leak.

    Like 3
  15. Frank

    My older cousin had a Edsel 2 door hardtop of this vintage, in the 60s and I thought it was incredible! From those remarkable tail lights to the push button transmission on the steering wheel, as a young kid who loved cars, I thought it was the coolest thing I’d seen….much cooler than our 57 Ford 4 door sedan! As I said, he was my older cousin, and while I might have been 12, he was 18 or 19, and within weeks of getting the car, he totaled it in an accident, but 60 years later, I can still see pictures of it in my mind!

    Like 0
  16. David G

    Another nice Edsel option this car possesses is the Distributor-driven Tachometer – with its 5-grand max range! With the 2.91 rear gears these were made with you’d really be rolling at that rpm…

    Like 0

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