It Takes a Villager: 1959 Edsel Villager

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

It’ll be hard to not use the p-word (patina) here, this one is loaded with it! Here’s a super solid-looking 1959 Edsel Villager and boy, it really likes like a great project. It is on Craigslist with an asking price of $2,900 and is located in the Upland, California area. No doubt a local car which explains the lack of major rust holes.

This is one of those cars that it looks like you could just lightly sand it, paint it, and it would look almost like new. There’s hardly any major rust or welding to do on it, at least judging from the photos that are provided. Jesse showed us a gorgeous ’59 Edsel Villager back in August of 2016 and it sure seems like the $2,900 car shown here could look like that without breaking the bank. Of course, it depends on what the underside looks like.

The Villager was sold by Edsel for 1958, 1959, and 1960 and the 1959 six-passenger model, which I’m assuming that this is a six-passenger model, sold the most with over 5,600 of them heading to presumably happy buyers. The seller doesn’t provide any photos of the rear compartment but maybe if anyone is interested in it they’ll send you a few. Or, I would hope that they would! They also made a nine-passenger car, that would be quite a find. This car has a cool clamshell liftgate/tailgate, it sure would be great to see a photo of it in action. Here’s a restored car’s tailgate in action.

This looks like a really complete car, it’s all original from the paint to the interior to the running engine. You’ll need some work on the upholstery, rubber bits, and some work on the dash, etc. Or, just get the mechanical systems working perfectly and drive it as is and pick away at the rest of the restoration, or not.

This is Ford’s 332 cubic-inch V8 with 225 hp. It could use a through detailing and most likely some other work to ensure that it’s reliable. It looks solid in the engine compartment, too, just like the rest of the car does. With a little work this car could be a nice weekend car. If left in its current state of finish it would sure draw some stares, and I hope that someone nabs this one and just gets everything working great and drives it. No wide white walls, no “bagged” suspension, no modern drivetrain, etc. How would you do up this Villager?

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  1. jwinters

    ok that is the ugliest car I have ever seen

    • Hank Member

      Nothing more beautiful than an Edsel wagon in any condition. They are rare, they have style and when you take one out for a drive everybody wants to look at it. Unlike Mustangs, Camaro’s, Corvette’s that are a dime a dozen. Be cool, drive an Edsel !!!

    • Puhnto

      If that’s the ugliest car you’ve seen, you clearly haven’t seen many cars!

  2. CapNemo

    I really want this!

    • Jerry HW Brentnell

      you know what this would be great for? find your self a 59 ford ranchero and build your self a edsel ranchero! easy to do! all bolt on stuff! did one years ago with a 57 ranchero and a 58 edsel wagon I bought at a farm auction for $100.00

  3. Stang1968

    It’s gone! Too bad I really liked this one.

  4. CJay

    Scotty use the word character in place of patina.
    Example “This Edsel has great character!”

    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Staff

      I think you’re on to something there, CJay!

  5. Royal

    I’d drop a 462 V8 and C6 out of a 67 Lincoln in this. That would burn some rubber.

  6. Howard A Member

    I think we can ALL agree on this one, it is an odd car. It kind of resembles a ’59 Ford product, but the lines are all askew. Look at the back bumper, doesn’t even look like it’s for this car. And the wide rear window, yet a narrow tailgate, would seem to limit the sheets of plywood one could haul ( don’t laugh, my old man did that with his wagons, and bottom out the rear suspension, he would) At least it has a conventional shifter, not those troublesome buttons in the steering wheel ( I heard) Quite frankly, you can’t have a car like this with “patina”. It’s so outrageous looking, it has to be nice. Think you could get parts, like those tail lights? Great find, needs 100% restoration, it’s that cool.

    • Howard A Member

      Stop me if you’ve heard this one,,,,,but it’s a cool Edsel story. In the late 70’s, early 80’s, I drove a tractor trailer dump truck, and delivered anything that would go in a dump truck mostly Wis. Ill, UP. One day, I was to haul a load of fertilizer to a farm in central Ill. No GPS, or cell phones then, so I found the town, stopped at a gas station, “oh, yeah, you want Fred’s place, down the road a piece, on the right” (that’s how it was done) Got to Fred’s place, wheeled in, big place, saw a few old cars, but was more focused on the young girl coming out to meet me. “My dad wants it dumped ’round back”, she said. As I drove ’round back, there, to my surprise, had to be 50 Edsel’s, every combination you could think of. Wagons, 2 doors, you name it. When I was done, the girl signed my ticket, I said, “wow, your dad must like Edsel’s”. She said, “yeah, he’s up in Petaconica now, buying 2 more”. I wonder what ever happened to all those Edsels. It was one of the perks of the job, to see that stuff.

    • rando

      My grandpa used a 63 chey wagon for his carpentry work when I was a kid. It rode on the bump stops it was so loaded.

      And FWIW, I like this old Edsel.

  7. jimjim

    My wife would look great dropping off the kids at preschool carpool in this.

    • Jeffro

      My wife said I’d look great sleeping in it because if I bought it, that’s where I’d be.

      • Hank Member

        I must be lucky, my wife went with me to a swap meet in Springfield Ohio. I went one way and she went the other. When we met back up, I had bought a pair of license plates and she had bought a 1959 Edsel 9 passenger wagon, and we both slept in the same bed afterwards. Very happily I might add.

      • 2ManyCars1

        For Hank. You, my friend, are truly blessed among husbands to have a wife like that!

  8. steve

    I love the Edsel and own a 59 villager..I am working on. I would buy it in a heartbeat

  9. Mike Williams

    You don’t have to worry about the push button shifters, as they were only available the the first year ’58. It does have a busy rear, but it goes with the front very well.

  10. Bruce Fischer

    as on the H.A.M.B. too. Says its sold aready. Bruce. F.

  11. Bill McCoskey

    This is a basic low price version of the Edsel. It has the base V8,automatic, Light group, Radio & heater, & that’s it! No Power steering or brakes, dog dish hubcaps, no carpeting – rubber floor mat only!

  12. Jubjub

    Reminds me of the one Glenn Scott Milstead aka “Divine” drives in a scene in the John Waters cult classic “Female Troubles. Not for the faint of heart. In the context of the year it was made, 1974, one of these would’ve been an ultimate beater.


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