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No Reserve: 1958 Edsel Citation

Ah, Edsel. A brand that became synonymous with failure. Ford proved that the right car in the right place at the right time could succeed, with the Mustang a shining example. Edsel was the polar opposite, and the shocking build quality did not help its cause. Today, the car that was a dismal failure has become a cult classic, and good examples can achieve some surprising sale prices. This 1958 Edsel Citation is a solid vehicle that could represent a rewarding restoration project. It is missing a few parts, but the seller may be able to assist on that front. Located in Madison, Ohio, you will find the Citation listed for sale here on eBay. The bidding has crawled to $510 in a No Reserve auction. If the action doesn’t heat up, this could be one of the most affordable projects you will find in today’s classic market.

I’m not sure if I’m the odd man out (I admit I’m odd, but that’s another story!), but I have always preferred the styling of the 1958 Edsel compared to the 1959 model. I’m aware there’s little in it regarding changes, but I like the 1958 grille. I also admire the wider model choice from 1958, including the one-year-only Citation. This one wears its original Black/Gold/Black paint combination. It’s pretty dusty, but I’d like to drag it out of this shed and treat it to a wash and polish. I feel that it might spring a surprise and present quite well. It may even prove tidy enough to serve as a survivor-grade car. The seller admits there are a few bubbles around the front of the vehicle, but nothing severe. They describe the car as solid, suggesting that there may not be any significant rust in the floors or trunk pan. The exterior trim is intact, and the glass looks good. So far, this project displays plenty of promise.

This Edsel features Code L interior trim in a combination of White vinyl and Gold cloth. It is pretty tattered today, and the headliner hangs down ominously. The buyer will face a retrim, which could prove a challenge. Edsel upholstery kits aren’t thick on the ground, and headliners retail for $210. My online search was brief, so the buyer may have more luck with time and patience. A few parts appear to be missing, but the seller indicates that these may be sitting in the trunk. It isn’t clear what options the original owner selected for this classic, but it does feature the ultra-cool Teletouch gear selector in the steering wheel center. These could be troublesome if abused or rushed, but care when selecting gears saw them prove pretty reliable.

When it was shiny and new, this Citation’s engine bay was occupied by a 410ci V8 producing 345hp and 475 ft/lbs of torque. The power was fed to the rear wheels via a three-speed automatic transmission. While the Citation tipped the scales at a relatively hefty 4,136lbs, it could still storm the ¼ mile in 16.1 seconds. The owner supplies no engine photos, but this is for a sound reason. Only a few components are missing from this classic, but two of them happen to be the engine and transmission. It may not be all bad news because the seller is an enthusiast. I’m not surprised that he holds a spare correct motor and transmission and may be willing to negotiate their sale to the winning bidder.

During the 1960 and 1970s, owners struggled to give away their unloved Edsels. Nobody wanted them, and many were consumed by rust and faults that proved too expensive to fix. Today, the story is different. They are not a mega-bucks classic, but it is common to see a spotless Citation sell for $35,000. The price can climb if the car in question is perfect. This 1958 Citation isn’t perfect, but its solid condition means there is no reason why a dedicated owner couldn’t achieve that goal. It has attracted a mere seven bids since the seller listed it, which is far fewer than I might have expected. If the situation doesn’t improve, it may fail to crawl far into four-figure territory. If that’s the case, there is no doubt that it would represent an affordable project candidate. Would you be tempted to drop a bid or two if that proves the case?

Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    Even with no engine we get 1/4 mile stats!

    Like 7
  2. Cadmanls Member

    Listen me out. Straight front axle, gut the interior roll cage and a 427 SOHC and some pretty induction on top. Fender well headers, moon fuel tank, already has the big rear end. Gasser like no one has seen, wouldn’t be a cheap build but cool no?

    Like 6
    • Gary

      Absolutely! It would be bad ass for sure.

      Like 1
  3. Bud Lee

    I don’t understand how they went wrong with these . It’s not a bad looking car . And essentially a Ford . Perhaps Henry sabatoged Edsel somehow .

    Like 12
    • Will Fox

      Bud:
      1. Market timing. by the time the Edsel hit the market, the medium priced segment was drying up. wrong car at the wrong time.
      2. Recession arrived in April of `57, just before the Edsel launch. Couldn’t have hurt more. All US automakers suffered in `58.
      3. Styling. Let’s face it, the grill killed the car. Other than that, styling was great; on par with most other makes.

      Like 10
    • Steve Clinton

      I remember when the ’58 Edsel was introduced it was described as an Oldsmobile sucking on a lemon.

      Like 7
      • Mike

        It was referred to as resembling a part of the female anatomy.

        Like 5
  4. Fred W

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the seller had an engine/transmission that was period, if not correct, that you could work into the sale. I agree that this car looks like some spit and polish could get you a nice driver, after the interior was done. Never owned an Edsel but always had a soft spot for them.

    Like 9
  5. dogwater

    Why would you try selling an ugly old car with out the engine when you have it

    Like 3
  6. Gary

    If his shop is on Rt 20 I pass by it everyday. He has five or six of these. They all look pretty decent.

    Like 4
  7. Steve Clinton

    Bid up to $1000 with 3 days left, but don’t get too excited…

    “Engine and transmission is out of the car. I have a correct engine and transmission available at an extra cost.”

    Like 2
    • DON

      If he really is an Edsel enthusiast , he wouldn’t let an original car go without its original engine

      Like 2
  8. Ricknahd Kazooh

    This seller currently has 3 Edsels listed for sale on eBay;
    a 1959 Ranger,
    a 1958 Corsair,
    and this 1958 Citation.

    See them all here: https://www.ebay.com/sch/yellowbrickroadinc/m.html

    Like 0
  9. Chuck

    I like the Edsel Grill, never thought of it as ugly. The grills on some of the foreign crap coming out now are far worse, especially some models of the Lexus.
    I also don’t have anything against the trunk “toilet seats” on Mopars.

    Like 9
  10. Dwight

    I have always liked the Edsel but never could afford one.At least one I would have to put thousands in.I liked it because it was unique in design.

    Like 0
  11. princeofprussia

    I agree; the ’58 Edsel styling had it all over the ’59’s embedded headlights and less prominent grille, and the ’60 was a total waste, in my opinion. Looked like they took an otherwise attractive ’60 Galaxy and added leftover parts from the parts bin to make it ugly. It would have been better to just let it die in ’59, but I suppose the owners of ’60’s would disagree. Hey, that’s what makes the world go round! I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for Edsels ever since I first saw American Graffiti at the Pequa Theatre in Massapequa with my best friend, Ronnie Wulf!

    Like 2
  12. local_sheriff

    Totally agree with you above; considering what came out of Detroit for the ’58 model year the Edsel was far from the worst-looking offering.

    This seller has another ’58 + a ’59 for sale and I also observe there’s another ’58 in this barn that’s not listed wearing an interesting green. Never understood why people even today shy away from Edsels, they’re still highly affordable not to forget a TRUE PIECE of American automotive history!

    Like 4
  13. Big C

    I love the color combo, and if he’s not screwing you on the engine& trans? Could be a good deal.

    Like 3
  14. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member
  15. Heck Dodson Member

    With no engine or trans its like a blank canvas. The body looks solid and straight. Plenty of Ford drivetrain choices for the one who buys it. Great find

    Like 3
  16. "Edsel" Al Leonard Member

    I was seriously thinking of pulling the trigger on this Citation, but after looking at the mess on the drivers floor,…..next Edsel please!!!

    Like 0
  17. Paul R.

    The car was nicknamed “Ethel” because of that infamous front grill.

    Like 2
  18. Rick

    The 1958 Pacer was also a one year only Edsel, like the Citation. Neither model returned for 1959.

    Like 3
  19. Jim in FL Member

    No engine? No trans? No thanks!
    Wonder what else is not included…

    Like 1
    • The Seller

      Maybe you should check out the reason behind why it was listed that way before you spout off with ignorant comments…

      Like 1
      • Jim in FL Member

        Dear Seller-
        Read Dogwater’s reply as well Steve Clinton and Don’s.
        I second their comments.
        No ignorance, just a lot of head scratching.
        Give yah credit though, as a “roller” it was a good deal!

        Like 0
    • the seller

      and that still doesn’t correlate to anyone asking WHY. The reason why is the engine and transmission was removed by the previous owner- the car was moved to Ohio- the engine and transmission left TWO STATES away. Everything was offered as one price before it went to eBay with no bites— it was too complicated to list that way on eBay with multiple pickup locations. Again- ask.

      Like 1
  20. Heck Dodson Member

    Even though I don’t have room in my home shop for a engine and trans install, I would love to see a 352 or 390 go back in this Edsel. Wonder how hard it would be to find an original Ford o matic trans or if a C-6 would work?

    Like 0
  21. Lukin R.

    Mk.I – the best as always.

    Like 0
  22. Beel

    “During the 1960 and 1970s, owners struggled to give away their unloved Edsels. Nobody wanted them, and many were consumed by rust and faults that proved too expensive to fix.” — I remember seeing an Edsel in a demolition derby in western PA in the early 70’s. Dad and I both remarked what a shame it was to put that car in there; it was probably 15 years old.

    Like 0
    • DON

      by the early 1970s most 1958 cars were “consumed by rust and faults that proved too expensive to fix.” , thats what happens to most cars. I remember a demo derby in the late 80s where a guy showed up with a 1960 Plymouth Savoy sedan The car had no rust, and he had even left the dog dish caps on it . He said he told the “old guy” he bought the car from that he was going to fix it up and instead derbied it. Going against mid 70s cars and the guys inexperience ended his day early

      Like 0
  23. Heck Dodson Member

    Looks like this Edsel sold on ebay for $2325. A reasonable price for a solid rolling chassis. I’m jealous of whoever bought her.

    Like 0

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