This 1959 Edsel Corsair Survivor Slept For 38 Years!

If originality is your thing, have I got an Edsel for you! This survivor, a 1959 Corsair two-door hardtop with just 18,677 miles on the odometer, is for sale here on Craigslist in Floral City, Florida near Tampa. The owner is asking $21,000 or best offer.

The car was stored for 38 years but is back on the road with everything you’d think it would need—brakes, tires, carburetor, battery, fuel pump and a complete tuneup. Since getting back on the road, it has covered 500 miles.

The story goes that the first owner of this lovely Edsel was a traveling salesman for the Watkins Vanilla company. He bought the car new in the Detroit area, and when he died his widow stored it—until 2008, when she also died. The second owner bought it at the estate sale and put it away again. The total time in storage: 38 years. The third owner got it going again and is selling it.

Just about everything about this car looks good. The VIN translates to a two-door hardtop built February 4, 1959, with snow-white paint, redwood vinyl bolster interior with redwood reception cloth inserts, a Mile-o-Matic two-speed automatic, and a 2.91 rear axle ratio. The owner doesn’t say which engine is under the hood, but a clean V8 is in the pictures. Stock in this car was a 332-cubic-inch mill with two-barrel carburetor and 225 horsepower. Optional was a 361-cubic-inch V-8 with a four-barrel and 303 horsepower.

There’s some surface rust on the underside of the hood, but the engine bay otherwise looks fine. Even the original windshield washer bag is in place. The interior looks like two different colors in the photos, but I’m sure that’s just a trick of the light.

The current owner (who must be into Edsels, because the photo at the bottom of this post shows the car with a similarly nice 1960 model) says he’s taken the car to a bunch of car shows, where it always draws a crowd. He says the original paint, stainless, chrome and interior are like new. The long Rip Van Winkle doesn’t seem to have done it much harm. There’s only one underneath shot, and again surface rust is the worst crime evident.

It’s your move. Hagerty lists the #3 value of a good Corsair two-door hardtop of this vintage as $12,600, but this one definitely gets some added value for originality and low mileage. In Concours #1 condition, they can reach $30,000.

It wouldn’t take much to make this car a show winner. “No issues,” says the owner. There can’t be too many of these cars left in original condition. As you may recall, Edsels didn’t sell all that well.

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Comments

  1. Arthell64 Member

    Wow appears to be a nice car.

    Like 6
  2. 70SuperSport

    So the driver’s seatback is different than the passenger’s – looks original. Suppose it’s due to most likely as a design element? Interesting. I like the color and design.

    Like 4
    • Al Leonard

      My ride…60/40 seats with different material/pattern which is origional from the factory…

      Like 2
  3. Howard A Member

    What an outstanding car, in more ways than one. I always thought, the Edsel was the most beautiful car Ford designed. Not sure why all the hub-bub, look at the abominations Chrysler was putting out.( which I liked too) The Edsel story is a well known one to anyone who grew up in the USA. Timing, I think was it’s biggest downfall, as quality wise, Ford was one of the best. Like many Detroit car stories, the Edsel will go down as one of the biggest blunders, and you can have a part of that history. What a find, really,,,,or, maybe that rusty Mach 1 tub for the same price is a better deal. See how silly that is? Beautiful car.

    Like 16
    • Al Leonard

      Thanks Howard…its my ride….moral of the Edsel was- never bring a car out in a recession..1958 was a bad one for ALL the auto makers…and I had the pleasure of talking to 2 auto workers who worked in the Louisville plant producing Edsels..they told of the line confusion resulting from Ford including them in the assembly line at random and they then had to rush to find all the parts necessary to complete their part of the build…they had a quota and this vehicle upset goals they had to achieve…Thus the sub-par workmanship…not good for any car, now or then……Price is “OBO”..

      Like 2
    • Miguel

      Not only timing but pricing. The public didn’t know where to put this car. Was it more upscale to a Mercury or between the Ford and Mercury? They just didn’t know.

  4. Rickie Huffer

    I think the downfall was there was just not need for it.Just like DeSoto the market segment was over saturated.

    Like 3
  5. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Beautiful car. The Edsel wasn’t really “all new” as Ford marketing claimed. It was basically a Ford with some Mercury parts.The Edsel program had been thrown together very rapidly and the build quality of the early Edsels was often abysmal. It is said that factory workers, confused by the complications of building Fords, Edsels and Mercurys on the same assembly lines, frequently left parts off the Edsels or didn’t attach them properly. The styling was certainly controversial, to say the least. Add all of that to the 1958 recession and the car was doomed to failure.

    A unique and desirable car that is amazingly well-preserved. A better looking car than the 1960 model sitting next to it, too. Might be priced a little high but it’s a low-mileage, original survivor. That counts for a lot.

    Like 8
    • Howard A Member

      I was just a kid, but I seem to remember all the car makes having build problems in the late 50’s. I think demand had increased and production lagged behind. I remember my uncle having a ’59 Plymouth and we were told not to sit by the door because they would pop open on big bumps. He switched to Pontiacs after that. Again, I think it was just timing. Ford had plenty of cars to choose from, the world just didn’t need the Edsel.

      Like 5
  6. Bob McK Member

    would love to own this car, but the price seems to be bit steep for me. Everything else is near perfect.

    Like 1
    • "Edsel" Al

      I’m the owner Bob…its beautiful and only “origional once”‘…and the ad says “OBO”……

    • Al Leonard

      this is my car Bob…beautiful ride and only “origional once.”…and the ad says “OBO”….

      Like 3
  7. canadainmarkseh Member

    When I was growing up here in Calgary Alberta there was a wrecking yard not far from me that had 2 Edsel’s sitting up front which were clear of the cars being picked over. I believe they were for sale. One was a 4 door the other a station wagon, they were for sale and they were both in pretty good shape. They sat there for years then one day disappeared. I don’t know if they were rescued or crushed. As for this car it is very nice, and one of my favourite cars I would love to have it. Great find.

    Like 2
    • Zapp

      While I really like Edsels–especially the 1960 models–I’ve always wondered why Ford didn’t just introduce its Canadian Monarch and Meteor marques to the USA. These brands accomplished in Canada what Ford had intended for Edsel in the USA, and were both proven winners–especially Meteor.

      I’ve also wondered if the ’61 Monarch Richelieu was going to be the ’61 Edsel. To my eyes, the ’61 Monarch certainly carries on the Edsel theme in its styling. Imagine one with Edsel “E” badges in place of those goofy Monarch crowns…

      Like 3
  8. jrmedsel

    Looks like a very nice car. Based on paint color, the engine should be the larger 361.

    • Al Leonard

      B-code is the 332 Cu In V-8…engine color is semi-gloss black with brackets, inner fenders,fan, radiator, generator gloss black…same as the “W” code 361 Cu.In motor…by the VIN tag this is a 332 motor=”B”

      Like 1
  9. Ken

    Edsel might have survived if this had been its first-year car. It’s better looking than the ‘58. I’d actually be caught dead in this car. 😎

    Like 3
    • Zapp

      Agreed! Likewise, if the ’59 had the ’60 styling, Edsel might have caught on in a big way.

      Like 1
  10. charlie Member

    As I remember it, I was 16 at the time, the two lower priced models were Fords, and the two upper priced lines, Mercurys, with different trim, but the bodies underneath the skin, were the same as their stable mates. So other than looks, Edsel had nothing different to offer.

    Like 1
    • Miguel

      Don’t forget about the push button shifter that was exclusive to Edsel.

      • Jim Z

        My ’59 Ambassador has pushbutton shifter…as well my 60 Imperial did too. Not sure who ‘invented’ push-button shift, but it’s pretty cool overall!

  11. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    I bought a 59 Edsel Ranger 4 door sedan back in 84 for $200. The engine was a 272 ci v8 with a/t.
    God bless America

  12. Al Leonard

    Rangers only came standard with a code C= 292 V-8 or an optional code A= 223 6 Cyl

    Like 1
  13. Sheldon Potts

    I have a 59 Edsel corsair 2drht. I put a 390 in it because I had one ready to go and it bolted right up. It drives great. My father in law bought it in 1960.Some people like it some don’t. I like it so ill keep driving it.

    Like 2
    • canadainmarkseh Member

      Well if it’s anything like this car it’s a fine car worthy of the road.

  14. JimZ

    Nice, Nice, Nice, owner Al!

    Wish this had come along before I started a major renovation on my ’59 Rambler.

    BTW, your car has similar top fender trim as my Ambassador…musta been a ‘thing-do-do’ back in 1959!

    • Miguel

      Jim, it wasn’t as frowned upon to use those to target pedestrians that wouldn’t get out of your way.

      Like 1

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