Barn Find Rescued After 20 Years: 1959 Edsel Ranger

1959 Edsel

The photography in the ad here on eBay for this 1959 Edsel Ranger leaves a lot to be desired due to poor resolution, but if I squint closely enough I see a pretty decent resurrected barn find looking for a new owner. It’s located in Amarillo, Texas and has been recently put back on the road after a 20 year storage period.

e4

I’m not sure why it’s so hard for some sellers to just get the entire car in at least one 3/4 view picture. However, this shot does highlight the “new” tires fitted when the car was put into storage 20 years ago. The seller tells us that before the car was placed into storage, the engine was rebuilt and a new clutch, brakes, master cylinder were installed in addition to the tires. In the last two months, the seller has flushed the gas tank, installed a new fuel pump, disassembled, cleaned and reassembled the brakes and installed a new water pump and battery.

e2

The seller has now driven the car 100 miles since recommissioning it. You can see some of the rust issues here in this closeup shot, fairly typical. The car is showing 127,445 miles–kudos to the seller for not trying to represent it as 27,445. There were 7,778 Edsel Ranger 2-door sedans made in 1959, and you can bet not too many have survived. I’m sure everyone knows the story of the Edsel marketing disaster for Ford; it was still being used as an example of what not to do in my business schoolwork in the early 2000’s.

collage

I’m curious as to why the well-worn steering wheel is showing red, black and green; I’m guessing they were primed and painted? The rear seat and possibly even the carpet could be cleaned, and the trunk looks pretty good, even the original mat is fine for a driver/weekend cruiser. I’m guessing the front upholstery under the blanket isn’t too good. It does appear that seat materials are available, so maybe you could leave the back seat alone and redo the front one.

e5

I was surprised to find an inline 6 under the hood rather than a V-8. And just look at that air cleaner setup! Apparently that is original as I was able to find other 1959’s with the same setup online. If it was stored correctly after the rebuild and started up sympathetically, there’s no reason to believe it’s not in fine shape. Someone’s already done the hardest work getting this car started and running–do any of you want to take over from here?

Like This? Get Our Daily Email

Comments

  1. Roseland Pete

    Contrary to popular opinion years ago, I like the Edsel.

    Like 1
  2. ydnar

    I sure like the size on the radiator, I bet this car never overheats.

    Not new enough for my blood though. The rear end resembles many
    cars of the same period.

  3. Gary I

    As attractive today as they were in 1959. I will leave it at that, as some people still see something positive in any car.

  4. Jason Houston

    Steering wheels on Ford assembly lines were painted independently of other interior parts, thus they often did not arrive at the right car on schedule, and were often pulled off and resprayed. This was very common beginning in 1955, the year steering wheels went from black to being color coordinated to the interor.

    As for the car itself, if he’d include some distant shots of the car on the road, or something to show it in active use, he might be able to pull that kind of money from what is an otherwise listless garden variety 6-cylinder sedan.

    Texas is not hot Edsel country, and there are hundreds of 1959 sedans in decent shape for next to nothing. As a fun car to drive to work and back, it’s great, reliable and inexpensive. As an investment, forget it.

    • z1rider

      Jason,

      Did you work in a Ford plant in the 50’s? I certainly didn’t so I can’t challenge your comment based on my own experience but that sounds a little far fetched. How many interior colors were available in 1959? It’s hard to believe there wasn’t a large supply of all of the different colors of steering wheels on hand in an assembly plant, (they don’t take up a lot of space) and it certainly would have been easier to just replace one of the wrong color than to repaint the wheel.

      Today, the plants only paint the body shells, all of the exterior painted parts such as door handles, bumpers, and outside mirrors come from the supplier already painted to match and are sequenced for use in order on the line. But if that sequencing breaks down and the wrong color part is installed, they don’t repaint those parts in the repair station beyond the end of the line, they just replace them with the correct color part.

      I admit I can’t explain the multiple colors of the wheel on this Edsel but I just doubt they would have routinely repainted steering wheels as you describe.

  5. Ed P

    I agree Jamie, the six is surprising for this car. The 59 Edsel used the Ford body but had a longer wheelbase and the resulting car must be heavier. My Dad had a ’60 Ford sedan with a six. It was never a stoplight racer but did get good gas mileage. The air cleaner was mounted like this one. This car is to nice not to preserve.

  6. Warren

    $3900 not a terrible price, we had a 59 Corsair for years, great car, but knew “it was what it was”….

  7. JW

    I’m always amazed by the air cleaner assemblies of the 50’s & some 60’s cars and trucks. I remember the first oil bath air filter I ran across I thought the motor was puking oil. Those were the days you could learn automotive technology from your dad or a cool neighbor right out in your driveway.

  8. Howard A Member

    I agree with Roseland Pete, I always liked the styling of the Edsel ( although, I never actually rode in one) Just bad timing, and released earlier or later, it may have had a chance. I’ve seen those air cleaners on trucks of that period. Sure was an improvement over the old “oil bath”, which, to this day, I still can’t understand how they actually filtered the air. ( I converted the oil bath one on my ’50 Packard to a paper filter) The Edsel really wasn’t any different to the wacky designs that came out of that era. Very cool find here.

    Like 1
    • Vern

      The oil bath air cleaner works by the sudden direction change of the air flow. The air flows downward and makes a sharp upward turn to the carb. Amy dirt in the air flow can’t make the turn and gets stuck in the puddle of oil at the bottom.

      Like 1
  9. Dairymen

    I ran inot this car about a year ago, but I can’t remember what the guy was asking. It was in the back of a car lot with several not highly desired old cars that wouldn’t move because of the asking price.

    Like 1
  10. jsilves1@tampabay.rr.com

    Don’t let my wife see this… She has a thing for Edsels..

    Like 1
  11. Paul B

    Only desirable to an Edsel nut or history nut. I have nothing against Edsels, but it’s hard to think of putting down a lot of money for a six three-speed.

  12. Mark E

    Agree with the engine. Every Edsel I’ve ever seen has had a V-8. As for this one, I’d rather have one with the stereotypical (to me anyway) “ingrown toenail” tail lights.

  13. DENIS

    6 cyl, 3 spd, 2 dr….pretty rare…not a bad buy for a cheap cruiser. Not an Edsel fan but maybe a 429 or 428??

  14. Rob

    The Steering wheels in those days were molded in black, then primed, & then painted to match the interior.

    • Ed P

      That makes sense to me. I’ve seen many well used older cars that had the paint worn down exposing two colors. Primer and base material makes sense. The wear is more prevalent because of the lack of power steering also.

  15. E Townsend

    This air filter arrangement was common on all EDSEL (and probably FORD) cars with 6 cyl engines in 1959 and 1960 year models.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.