Reader Find: 1958 Edsel Roundup

Garage Find

From Preston M. – Talk about rare! Ford decided to pit the new Edsel division against better established GM products with their 2 door Wagon called Roundup. The name invokes the then trendy cowboy theme and implies that the car can carry a large payload. Unfortunately the popularity of 2 door wagons pealed for the 1957 model year, leaving Edsel with a mere 930 some Roundups being produced. The brand ended up owning quite a few for roadside assistance use. Most of those cars have survived and easily recognized by their signature bluish green paint.

Order Form

Edsel is best known for tons of novelty options like power seats and the Teletouch transmission. This particular 1958 Roundup is incredibly bare bones. Optioned with only a heater and vacuum wipers, this Roundup is one of a kind. It has the original PA title, original owners manual,  and the hand written order slip from the dealer dated 1957!  Edith, as she is known, is dressed in what we believe to be her original Coral and White two-tone paint. Also still on her are what we believe to be the original rear tires as it had snow tires mounted on other rims most of its life. Edith only racked up 51,000 miles and looking at her, it isn’t hard to believe. The frame still has its original coating in spots.

Car Wash

The story goes that the car was daily driven until 1968 and kept as a second car until 1973 when it was parked. In 1978 it was sold to a mechanic at the Ford dealer where the car was always serviced. The mechanic bought it to be a beach cruiser. He bought a bunch of original parts such as an original FOMOCO battery and correct spark plug wires. He drove it twice. Once from the original owner’s house to his, and then again to his new house.  It has always been garaged. Rust is incredibly minimal but it also adds to the cars original fabric. No filler on this one.

At Home

How rare is a Roundup? According to numbers given by the Edsel Club in there registry there are only 32 cars listed as still extant. Once registered, this would be car number 33. It is the 87th Edsel ever built making it amongst the oldest survivors. I think 2nd oldest production Edsel to survive and 7th overall. I have been toying with the idea of selling it, but am not sure I’m ready to let go!

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. David G

    The 58 Edsel Coral was much ‘less red’ than this seems to be so i’m guessing this color is actually their ‘Ember Red’ color code C, which is a sortof orange-y red. The 2-tone VIN Plate code should read “CEE” in that case, the two Es representing the white top and insert. That is, if this is its original paint (which i’d find hard to believe after so long, regardless its seemingly low-ish mileage). If its options don’t include the Teletouch automatic, i wonder if it’s a 3-speed on the column…

    Like 2
    • Preston M

      The car is definitely coral. The picture is much darker than it is in real life. Its manual on the colum. No radio

      • Ron

        I have Edsels since the day they came out in September of 1957. “Ed” , a ’58 Pacer 4-door Hdt. would love to have Edith by his side…. Maybe we would have a litter of Comets😉.

        If you should decide to ever sell please contact me.

        Like 2
      • Jason Houston

        David G is right. If it says “CEE” on the data plate, it’s red/white. If it’s “REE” it’s Sunset Coral/Snow White. If it has 2 under ‘trans’ it’s an Overdrive unit. If it has 1 under ‘trans” it’s a 3-speed standard.

      • Ken

        Did you sell this Edsel or keep it?

        Like 1
  2. Henry Parker

    I had #35 Citation green and white in CA.
    I think it is in MN now.

    Like 1
  3. GEORGE

    I have a Roundup that is a three speed column shift with radio and heater. Mine is supposed to be black and white but was painted red and black. I would be interested in this car myself.

    Like 1
  4. Ed P

    Well now, I’ve just learned about a car I did not know existed. Is there any chance of getting more pictures of Edith?

  5. Howard A Member

    I’m not crazy about when people name their cars, especially when my mom’s name was Edith, but this is a rare car indeed, I guess like my mom, who was rare in her own right. This car, according to the bill of sale, has several options. The heater was a $93 dollar option, the ” positive-action” vac. wipers, ( which had a special dual action fuel pump to assist engine vacuum), clock, 2 tone paint, oil filter, and (paper) air cleaner, were all options. Fact is, the Edsel was the most heavily optioned car for the time. They traded a Plymouth wagon in, year unknown, which looks like it was worth $1,100 dollars. Here’s a great site, listing everything about Edsel’s. http://www.edsel.com/pages/edsel58.htm#Options

    • Mike

      I own a few cars and trucks, and the kids name them all, now my Grandkids do, I have Big Blue, Big Red, Little Red, Blackie, and Goldie, just to name a few!!!

  6. Phil S

    While this is an outstanding find, there are several inaccuracies in the reporting related to this beautiful Roundup. First is that this IS NOT the 87th Edsel produced. It’s serial number according to the invoice, is W8US710087, making it the 10,087th 1958 Edsel scheduled for production at the Louisville assembly plant. Edsel serial numbers started at 700001, not 710001. There was a total of 963 Roundups produced for the 1958 model year, it was the only year a 2-dr wagon was offered. Since the 1970’s, I have maintained a registry that is independent of the on-line registry hosted by the website edsel.com (which is owned and operated by a dedicated Edsel person and not officially associated with any of the major Edsel clubs). My registry currently has over 11,200 entries including 110 Roundup wagons, or just over 11.4% of production. As many as 60% of my numbers are from cars that no longer exist, with records gleaned from original invoices or cars that were parted out. According to my records this car appears to be painted its original color scheme of Ember Red with Snow White roof and scallop, with a Red Boxcalf grain vinyl bolsters with Golden Saran cloth inserts for the seats. What makes it unusual is that it has the 3-speed manual transmission rather than push-button Teletouch, which might be one reason this Roundup survived.

    Like 2
    • Charlie & Shaun

      Hi Phil,
      We own a 1958 Edsel Roundup that was originally owned in Montana – currently in Canada. VIN is WDUS727532. It has a column shift and overdrive. Just wondering if it is in your registry? Thanks

      • Phil S

        Charlie & Shaun: I think if you recheck your Roundup’s data plate, the actual ID number is W8US727532. I just checked by on-the-road registry and it does not appear to be on it. Would be interested in the rest of the data plate information. (OTR Registry is on my lap top, the official master registry is kept on my home computer.

        Like 2
  7. al leonard

    Hey Phil..how do I access your site/list??I own a 1959 Corsair B9US729823.. all origional. beautiful shape..drives like new…have dealer window sticker and origional sales receipt…plus more documents including an Edsel Factory Parts Manual..is listed in Intl Edsel site…thanks

    Like 1
    • Phil S

      Al, My database registry is not readily available to the public. I have several reasons for this. However, I do freely give information about Edsel models, production data and what we have on file. Your car is in the registry. I have the following body-line codes 58 B (4-dr sedan-Corsair series); Color PE1 (Dark Aqua with White roof and side inseert); Trim 38 (Light aqua vinyl bolsters, dark aqua “reception” cloth inserts, date 17C, March 17, 1959 as day car was scheduled for build (also exactly 1-year to the day the Comet was put on sale and the Ford family’s favorite holiday, St. Patrick’s day), Trans 3=Mile-O-Matic; Axle 1=2.91:1

      From my registry I can tell I have recorded 371 of the 3,301 produced of which 170the Super Express V8 while 261 are recorded .

  8. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    I’m not normally negative and dismissive of old cars, but there’s a reason Edsels didn’t sell a lot of cars. Call it rare, low production or whatever, I’m glad people like these cars and want to preserve them, they didn’t sell because they are ugly, and you can’t fix ugly.

    • Jason Houston

      Beauty, Chuck, is in the eye of the beholder. I never thought the ’58 Edsel was ugly; indeed much thought and research went into styling a truly well-thought-out contemporary, yet distinctive, design. However, I won’t argue with anyone who says the 1959 and 1960 Edsels are ugly because, well, frankly, they are. But remember, the Edsel emerged in an era when ostentatiousness and ugly sold cars. Few cars made in the late 50’s were considered examples of elegant, tasteful styling.

      Truth be told, ugly was hardly the primary reason for Edsel’s failure. The car was overpriced in the market into which it was introduced. The press, who loved the car on announcement day, eventually did make disparaging remarks about the styling after it became obvious no one was buying. But Edsel’s biggest challenge was the rush to get the new car into production after nearly two decades on the drawing boards. Engines, suspensions and electronics hadn’t been engineered thoroughly, and became the car’s chief downfall. As Dave Jenkins, head of marketing for the Edsel Division once said, “It took off like a rocket that hit a brick wall and fell into a pile.”

      Here is a pic of my Edsel. I pulled it from a garage near Bakersfield, California, two year ago where it had sat since 1965 with 49M miles on it. Is it ugly? You decide. To me, it’s the most beautiful, unrestored Edsel I have ever owned, and that list tops 50 units over the past 40+ years! Among other features, it is believed to be the only 1960 Edsel that remained in a dealer’s inventory until 1961 when it was first sold as a new vehicle.

      Like 1
  9. al leonard

    sorry you feel that way Chuck..as a matter of fact, Edsel was ahead of it’s time..if it wasen’t for bad management, the fact that Henry Ford didn’t want to build a seperate plant for the Edsels, and a bad economy, Edsel would have sold alot more cars…as for the looks, I like it as well as the 1955 Chev Bel Air I restored ground up!!!

    Like 1
  10. GEORGE

    Ugly is in the eye of the beholder. It was a recession year. Edsel outsold some makes like Desoto that year. In fact all sales where down except Rambler. But remember the smallest engine Edsel in 58 was standard with 303 Hp and 400ft lbs of torque. Check Olds, Chevy, Pontiac, Chevy (348) and see what it took to equal that. Edsel was the first car to have the FE engine (Ford followed by a month) and the FE was what eventually won LeMans. The troubles with the push button trans didn’t help but I’ll take a 58 Edsel over a 61 Plymouth or Dodge, 58 Olds or Buick, anyday

  11. GEORGE

    Oh. I just noticed. 55 Chevy. In my opinion the Tri-5 Chevy shows are the most boring car shows there are.

    Like 2
  12. PaulieB

    The recession of 1958 didn’t help sales either… for anyone let alone a “new” car that was plagued by a few problems..
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recession_of_1958

  13. al leonard

    I had the unique opportunity to talk to a few guys who were familiar with the Loiusville plant-the line workers didn’t take too kind to edsels being sporadically inserted into the assembly line..it slowed things down to where they started to sabotauge (sp) the edsels and said “They can fix the problems at the dealership”..As such, many arrived at the dealerships, only to be taken directly out back to make right..that didn;t do much for consumer confidence or the dealers who were trying to sell them…thus they only lasted 2 yrs, 2 mo’s and 15 days…

    Like 1
    • Ed P

      It would have been better if they had scheduled Edsel Day and built them all together. Other auto makers have tried to mix production usually with poor results.

  14. Charles

    Cool find! No, it isn’t pretty, but it looks to be in great condition and it is rare enough to make a great addition to someone’s collection.

    Like 1
  15. Greg Locke

    As a lifelong GM guy who was 5 when Edith arrived, I am excited she survived so well. I would gladly park her in my garage with my 1970 Cutlass convertible and 1971 GMC.

    Like 1
  16. PRA4SNW

    A bit off-topic, but the picture of the license plate key chain fobs restored a lost memory.
    I was born in PA and moved to MA when I was 7. I now remember seeing those license plate fobs and thought how cool they were.

    Like 1
    • Jason Houston

      You’ll probably remember, those were sent out by the Disabled American Veterans, from 1941 to 1975. They were of excellent quality until the late 60’s when they became cheap and cheesy and people stopped sending the DAV donations. After twenty some years, I have finally managed to put together a complete California collection.

  17. Johnny

    Rare car. Got me the one in the picture. Took two cars to make one finished product. Trim is the hardest item to obtain. Mines a standard shift trans with overdrive.
    Its always a hit at the car cruise ins. Both of the Roundups that I had are in the registry. Probably less than 50 exist today and only about 10 of them are running road worthy machines.

    Oldmics

    Like 2
    • Jason Houston

      You’ve probably heard of the Edsel Technical Service Schools. They were large mobile homes converted into classrooms to teach new mechanics all the unique intricacies of the Edsel.

      When first launched, they were pulled by twelve 1957 Ford Del Rios, which were painted Cumberland Green and Colonial White. They were equipped with full power, factory air, Overdrive and tubed 15″ wsw tires and wheels. When the Edsel replacements became available, they were replaced with Roundups outfitted the same way, except these were painted Edsel Expressway Green, and carried a special paint code on the patent plate.

      There are still a few of these in existence today.

  18. Steve Evans

    Preston- I sold my ’58 coral and white Pacer awhile back and miss it dearly. If you do decide to sell the RU let me know. I’d love to have another Edsel.

  19. MikeW

    Edsels have always caught my eye and find them appealing. I’ve owned several and right now have a ’58 4 door Bermuda wagon that I’m working on. One of the things besides the recession that really hurt them was the lack of a six being offered the 1st year. It was corrected in ’59, but to late.

    Phil is one of the experts on my Q&A email group and has contributed a lot of info to the group. https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/edselmail/info

  20. joe ryan

    If what you say is true and this car is still in its original paint along with the original title you have yourself one he’ll of a find. Don’t sell it. You will regret it. The 1958 Edsel Wagon and convertibles are on the list of cars that are deemed most collectible. Especially with one year only models with production under 1000 like your round up. Considering people scoffed when experts predicted some of the rare Edsels would approach six figures. Well a Edsel Bermuda wagon just sold at Mecum for 55,000 dollars and it was not as original as what you are showing me here. And several of the Edsel convertibles have already broke the 100,000 mark with the 58 Edsel Wagons moving toward the same benchmark very fast.Trust me. HOLD ON TO IT. It’s better than money in the bank. Add to that, that unmolested original cars are priceless and buyers pay astonishing figures to get them if there lucky enough to find one. And for good reason, they only sky rocket in value in very short order.

    Like 1
  21. joe ryan

    Hi Al. I’m glad you shared your story. When I was a young man I knew a gentleman that worked at an Edsel dealership. He told me of how it was not uncommon to get brand new Edsels in and the fit and finish was so bad from the plant that they actually had to repaint some of the cars be for they could deliver them. And many more they had touch up or repaint sections of them.There would be horrible runs in the paint, partially unpainted door jambs, moldings not properly attached or falling off. Some were undrivable or were missing parts that they had to wait for.. They would get so mad. He said the cars themselves were amazing and powerful. Most of these things are part of the controversial Edsel legend and mystique now ,or at least for the few people that know about it. I would say most of the Edsel that are still around have been restored beyond and better then when they came from the factory. So I just want to validate your story because what you said reflects exactly what the gentleman that I knew said when he worked at the dealership. Or should I say the receiving end of the Edsel plants. Thanks for sharing.

    Like 2
  22. al leonard

    Thanks Joe,,,where ever we go with our Edsel, people always have a story..it brings back lots of memories for some…it’s a blast to drive and pretty much origional…runs 70 MPH all day…looking at 2 more to purchase..time will tell how valuable these cars are..but they are a blast from the past- no question…

  23. Darren

    I bought mine from a neighbor 22 years ago when I was 16. I never knew he had it hidden in his barn my whole life. It’s a 58 roundup manufactured in Mahwah, NJ. 72,000 miles and I’m the second owner. Original engine and trans are still in it. It had minor surface Rust on the front fenders, and I replaced the rockers with one’s in the car that were meant to be replaced before it was parked. I had it on the road for several years before parking it myself as my priorities changed with a family and purchase of my first home. It needs work again and it’s my dream to get it back on the road in the next couple of years! The original bill of sale and owners manual are tucked away in my filing cabinet.

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