Edsel With More Doors: 1958 Corsair Hardtop Sedan

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Straight from the “Dirt Cheap” department here at Barn Finds and found in Des Moines, Iowa is this very inexpensive Edsel Corsair four door hardtop here on craigslist. The asking price is $850.

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There are less expensive ways to enter the old car hobby, but not many. The seller doesn’t say whether it’s in running condition or not, but I’m going to guess ‘not’. He says it has the 475 engine, with the Tele-Touch transmission, controlled by push-buttons in the center of the steering column. Chrysler vehicles of the era also used push buttons to select gears, but theirs were apparently more reliable than Ford’s electrically controlled system. The seller says this one is “locked in gear”. In the comments section below, I’m hoping our Edsel aficionados will tell us how difficult this problem is to solve. The Tele-Touch buttons are visible in the photo, as well as what some called the “rolling dome” speedometer.

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The seller provides us with a number of photos intended to show the amount of rust-through this car has, and it doesn’t look too bad. The original colors appear to be gold and white, but this car is unfortunately probably not worth a full restoration.

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It might be more feasible as a restore-and-drive for the budget minded, or perhaps some type of rod or mild custom. But if it were to receive a conventional restoration in its original configuration, it would look a lot like the one shown below:

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(This photo courtesy of our good friends at Wikipedia, and Michael Kistinger)

Except yours would be more useful because it’s a four door. What do you think of that idea? Oh and if this Edsel goes quick, which it just might, there is another Edsel nearby for sale here on cragislist. It’s a Pacer with a much higher asking price of $2,500. This $850 Corsair looks like a pretty good deal doesn’t it?

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Comments

  1. Chuck

    If you are not a purist, the teletouch wiring is an easy fix. My son did mine & it works great.

  2. Paul

    Listing expired.

  3. krash

    ….Edsold…

  4. Mya

    Looked pretty good, just dusty. I mean. Look at the door jamb with the build sticker. And the dash doesn’t look fried, just dusty. Whoever got this prob got a great deal

  5. mark

    That “toilet seat” style grill had to be the worst looking ever put on a car.

    • Jason Houston

      You never saw a Saab or a BMW?

    • Lion

      Well, we called it a horsecollar, but I really like it. The 1959 was kind of ruined by losing the separation from the side grills. In any case, looks like that front clip has been replaced….I wonder what other damage might be under there.

  6. Chuck

    Toilet seat grill—you must have a very strange body structure. The grill feature is what I like most, but I do have a normal body structure.

  7. Jason Houston

    It’s either a Hardtop or a Sedan. There is no 1958 Edsel Corsair Sedan. This car is a Hardtop.

  8. Vince Habel

    Jason

    Call it what you want. It has 4 doors. It is a sedan.

    • Jason Houston

      Sorry, Vince, but you’re confused. The only 1958 Edsels that came in sedans were in the Ranger and Pacer series. You’re thinking of a 1999 Honda Civic, or some silly load, where body style nomenclature is ambiguous and meaningless. Sedans have a permanent center pillar. Hardtops do not. No manufacturer has made a hardtop in more than thirty years.

      • Vince Habel

        Jason.

        Edsel may have called them that but GM called them sedans. Chevy Sport Sedan. Olds Holiday sedan.

  9. MikeW

    Jason is right it’s a hardtop, sedans have a pillar. It may be inexpensive now, but very expensive to restore. the “475” engine is the Lincoln 430 ci with smaller bores making it a 410 ci. the other is a torque rating used by Ford. Part for that engine are made of gold lol.

    • Jason Houston

      Thanks, Mike W, for your input. Today’s younger generations are having a hard time, what with every DMV, insurance form and police report calling everything – even convertibles – a “sedan”. It has to be the # 1 most abused word in the English language.

  10. Marty Member

    Among many others, the 1963 Impala which GM referred to as a “sport sedan” is a four door hardtop.

    That’s the other word that is as commonly misused as sedan: “hardtop”, which many seem to think refers to any sedan that doesn’t have a vinyl top. But I agree, the term four door sedan refers to a car with a post at the B-pillar, and is not correct here.

    • Jason Houston

      Right you are…

      Leave it to GM to invent the word “hardtop” then be the first to misuse it, and call it “sedan”. The 1949 Cadillac Coupe de Ville and Oldsmobile Holiday were called “hardtop convertibles”, but when the public found out they were more dangerous in a side-impact collision, GM dropped the word ‘convertible’, then ‘hardtop’, and by 1956 they became just known as “sport sedans”. Meanwhile, every make in America (and some foreign cars) began giving unique names to their hardtops, i. e., Victoria, Catalina, Belvedere, Bel Air, Sportsman, Riviera, Starliner, Country Club, etc.

      Then in the late 60’s Chrysler came out with something called a “pillared hardtop” which is about as asinine as you could get. If they called it “pillarless sedan” it couldn’t have been more ridiculous.

      And don’t forget Volvo had a stack of sedans and said, “Now that’s a hardtop!”

      Next week we’ll analyze “sport coupe”, “club coupe” and “convertible coupe”.

      Stay tuned, kids!

      • Lion

        And …. Jason….my 1949 Monarch 4door is called a ‘sport sedan’. Where Ford came up with the idea these Mercs and Monarchs were ‘SPORT’ I can’t figure out.

  11. Chuck

    Any “car nut” knows the difference between a hardtop & sedan, many people (think young) consider anything without a convertible top is a hardtop. Yeah, I’m old !!

    • Jason Houston

      Now, just try explaining all that to a simple-minded DMV clerk!

  12. Jason Houston

    LOOKS LIKE WE LOST A COMMENT: WHO DELETED THIS?????

    emmyJ said –

    Re: “No manufacturer has made a hardtop in more than thirty years.” The Mercedes CL would like to disagree with you.

    REPLY:

    Sorry, I wasn’t including foreign cars.

  13. Jason Houston

    Vince Habel

    Jan 18, 2016 at 4:25am

    Jason.

    Edsel may have called them that but GM called them sedans. Chevy Sport Sedan. Olds Holiday sedan.

    REPLY:

    You are correct. However, that took effect in 1955-56 when the first GM 4-door Hardtops appeared. “Sport Sedan” referred to 4-door Hardtops and “Sport Coupe” referred to 2-door hardtops. And remember, their use of the word ‘sedan’ was as a model trade name, and not as a generic body description, as with Ford and Chrysler.

  14. Jason Houston

    Lion

    Jan 18, 2016 at 9:39am

    And …. Jason….my 1949 Monarch 4door is called a ‘sport sedan’. Where Ford came up with the idea these Mercs and Monarchs were ‘SPORT’ I can’t figure out.

    REPLY:

    Again, we’re talking trade names versus generic descriptions, as in

    “My car is a 1949 Mercury Sport Sedan.” is a reference to a trade name.

    “My car is just a 4-door sedan, not a hardtop.” is a generic description.

  15. Keith

    We usually just keep it simple in my group of car guys: post = sedan no post = hardtop.

  16. Jason Houston

    In my groups we keep it simple, too. We just call them what they are, sedans or hardtops. Easy, and no one’s ever confused.

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