Edsel Ranger

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Edsel Ranger
Edsel Ranger 2door Hardtop front.jpg
1959 Edsel Ranger 2-Door Hardtop
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 1957-1960
Body and chassis
Class Full-size
Layout FR layout
Chronology
Predecessor Ford Fairlane
Successor Mercury Meteor

The Edsel Ranger is an automobile which was produced by the former Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln Division of the Ford Motor Company of Dearborn, Michigan, and sold through its Edsel marque in the 1958, 1959 and 1960 model years. It was built on the shorter, narrower Edsel platform, shared with Ford and Edsel Pacer models.[1]

The Ranger was the base trim option for Edsel in its first and second years as an automotive marque. It was available in two-door coupes, four-door sedans, and two and four-door hardtops with a convertible also offer in 1960.

Ranger is one of two of Edsel's model nameplates re-used by Ford, Villager being the other.

1958-1959[edit]

First generation
EdselRanger.jpg
1958 Edsel Ranger 4-Door Sedan
Overview
Model years 1958-1959
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupe
2-door hardtop
4-door hardtop
4-door sedan
Related Edsel Corsair
Edsel Pacer
Edsel Bermuda
Edsel Villager
Edsel Roundup
Ford Galaxie
Ford Fairlane
Ford Custom
Ford Country Squire
Powertrain
Engine 223 cu in (3.7 L) Mileage Maker I6
292 cu in (4.8 L) Ford Y-block V8
361 cu in (5.9 L) FE V8
Transmission 3-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 1958: 118.0 in (2,997 mm)
1959: 120.0 in (3,048 mm)
Length 213.2"(car), 205.5(wagon)[2]
Width 1958: 78.8 in (2,002 mm)[3]
1959: 79.8 in (2,027 mm)
Curb weight 3,700–4,000 lb (1,678–1,814 kg)

The Ranger's base trim appointments included arm rests, a cigarette lighter, rear-view mirror, two coat hangers and black rubber floor mats. On the exterior, Rangers received chrome around the rear quarter panel cove molding. Two-tone paint was also optional. The main visual cue that makes it possible to tell the difference between most Rangers and the upmarket Pacer was the lack of stainless trim on the front doors and fenders. A very rare, optional, Ranger-only door trim was available from dealers early in the model year to be used together with the Pacer fender trim. A basic heater (as a US$92 option) and radio (at US$95) were available, and air conditioning was optional as well (at $417),[4] along with seat belts, warning lights, automatic trunk opener, and child-proof rear door locks.[5]

The Ranger rode on Ford's 118 in (2997 mm) wheelbase (except the wagons, which used a 116 in (2946 mm) wheelbase)[6] and a 303 hp (226 kW) 361 cu in (5.9 L) FE V8 with a four-barrel carburetor[7] was standard, as was a three-speed manual transmission. Buyers could upgrade to a three-speed automatic transmission with a standard column mounted gear selector, or could choose Edsel's highly promoted but trouble-prone Teletouch automatic, which placed its drive-selection buttons in the steering wheel hub, as a US$231 option.[4] (The 345 hp {257 kW} 410 cu in (6.7 L) MEL V8, standard in the Corsair and Citation, was not available.)[6]

While its roll-out was highly publicized in the fall of 1957, the 1958 Edsel was a marketing disaster for Ford and for Ford's corporate strategy for meeting General Motors' product line for product line. Total U.S. and Canada Ranger output for the model stood at an estimated 21,301 units. Of those units, 4,615 were U.S.-built two-door Sedans, 7,414 were four-door sedans (6,576 U.S./838 Canada), 6,005 were two-door hardtops (5,546 U.S./459 Canada), and 3,667 were four-door hardtops (3,077 U.S./190 Canada). Prices ranged from US$2,529 to $2,990.[2]

In regrouping for the coming model year, the best-selling Pacer and the premium Citation models were dropped for 1959, as was the trouble prone Teletouch transmission feature, which was replaced with the Mile-O-Matic.[8]

For 1959, the Ranger and the new top-line Corsair both shared the same 120 in wheelbase.[9] The frame was ladder-type.[9] Styling for the cars became more conservative, with the horsecollar grille being replaced by a shield shape filled with rows of bars. Body styles for the Ranger remained at two-door sedans and four-door sedans, and two and four-door hardtop bodies. 7,778 two-door sedans (all U.S.-built), 14,063 four-door sedans (12,814 U.S./1,249 Canada), 5,966 hardtops (5,474 U.S./492 Canada), and 2,451 four-door hardtops (2,352 U.S./99 Canada)were produced for 1959 in the U.S. and Canada. Prices ranged from $2,629 to $2,756.

Production Figures
Body Style 1958 1959
2-Door Hardtop 6,005 5,966
2-Door Sedan 4,615 7,778
4-Door Hardtop 3,667 2,451
4-Door Sedan 7,414 14,063
Total 21,701 30,258

Different Platforms[edit]

The model year of the Edsel's introduction was a post WW II high point of sorts for the Ford Motor Company. Three full-size platforms of distinctly different interior widths were in use each by Lincoln, Mercury and Ford, a situation that lasted until Ford received a much wider platform in 1960. Edsel shared both Mercury's and Ford's platform in 1958 and so offers an insight into their differing interior dimensions.

1958 Comparison[10] Edsel Citation/Corsair Edsel Pacer/Ranger
Wheelbase 124.0 in (3,150 mm) 118.0 in (2,997 mm)
Overall Length 218.9 in (5,560 mm) 213.2 in (5,415 mm)
Width 79.8 in (2,027 mm) 78.8 in (2,002 mm)
Height 56.8 in (1,443 mm) 56.2 in (1,427 mm)
Front Headroom 33.9 in (861 mm) 33.2 in (843 mm)
Front Legroom 44.2 in (1,123 mm) 43.1 in (1,095 mm)
Front Hip Room 63.5 in (1,613 mm) 60.0 in (1,524 mm)
Front Shoulder Room 59.7 in (1,516 mm) 57.3 in (1,455 mm)
Rear Headroom 32.8 in (833 mm) 33.6 in (853 mm)
Rear Legroom–ins. 43.4 in (1,102 mm) 40.7 in (1,034 mm)
Rear Hip Room 63.5 in (1,613 mm) 60.1 in (1,527 mm)
Rear Shoulder Room 59.7 in (1,516 mm) 57.0 in (1,448 mm)

1960[edit]

1960 Edsel Ranger Convertible rear
Generation two
Edsel Ranger 4-door sedan.jpg
Overview
Model years 1960
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupe
2-door convertible
2-door hardtop
4-door hardtop
4-door sedan
Related Edsel Villager
Ford Galaxie
Ford Fairlane
Ford Country Squire
Powertrain
Engine 223 cu in (3.7 L) Mileage Maker I6
292 cu in (4.8 L) Ford Y-block V8
361 cu in (5.9 L) FE V8
Transmission 3-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 120.0 in (3,048 mm)
Width 79.8 in (2,027 mm)
Curb weight 3,800–4,000 lb (1,724–1,814 kg)

Introduced on October 15, 1959, the 1960 Edsel Ranger was now the only car Edsel offered, while the Edsel Villager name applied to two station wagons, a six and a nine passenger model. The decision was made to eliminate not only the Corsair, but the vertical grille element as well. The new grille had an "hourglass" appearance. By this point, the 1960 model shared so many body panels and interior trim features with the Ford, that the defining characteristics that distinguished the Edsel from the Ford were its taillights, grille, signal/parking lights and trim at the front of the sides of the fenders, and of course, name badges. It came with a latter type frame[11] and a 120" wheelbase.[11]

On November 19, 1959, Ford discontinued the Edsel marque and the final car rolled off the assembly line by the end of the month, so the 1960 model never reached its own model year. The car was effectively orphaned, since Ford stopped making parts for Edsels at that point. For its shortened and final model year, a total of 2,571 Rangers and 275 Villager units were produced (all in the U.S.), the rarest models being the convertible (76) and the 4-door 9-passenger Villager wagon (59, the rarest). The Villager is mentioned here so as to highlight the fact that the Ranger convertible was the second rarest of all Edsels produced. Original prices ranged from $2,643 to $3,000.

1960 Edsel Facts:

-Chief Stylist: Bud Kaufman -All 1960 Edsels were produced in the Louisville, KY manufacturing plant. (Although a few cars from the Allen Park, MI pilot plant are still in existence) -The 1960 Edsel introduced such innovations as horizontal coolant flow through the radiator to improve cooling, and placement of the muffler away from the passenger compartment to reduce heat. -Production of the 1960 Edsel began on September 14, 1959 -Introduction of the 1960 line was made on October 15, 1959 -The last official day of Edsel assembly was November 19, 1959 -Total Production for all 1960 Ranger models: 2,571 (2,846 including Villager wagons) [12]

-With such a limited production run-time, the 1960 model included some of the rarest Edsel models of any of the three model years

Production Figures
Body Style Units
2-Door Convertible 76
2-Door Hardtop 295
2-Door Sedan 777
4-Door Hardtop 135
4-Door Sedan 1,288
Total 2,571

Counterfeit Convertibles[edit]

Because of the low production volumes in its three years, all Rangers are collectible; however, the 1960 Ranger convertible is frequently found as being counterfeit.

The process for converting a 1960 Ford Sunliner convertible into a 1960 Edsel model involves the simple swapping of trim parts and refashioning of the rear fenders, a simple task for those who have an Edsel parts car. Edsel enthusiasts are generally wary of 1960 Edsels that have been "found" or are offered at lower prices than the going rates. Buyers and enthusiasts can check the manufactures code to verify if the VIN matches Edsel production numbers for November 1959.

References[edit]

  • Bonsall, Thomas E. (2002). Disaster in Dearborn: The Story of the Edsel. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-4654-0. 
  • Duetsch, Jan (1976). The Edsel and Corporate Responsibility. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-01950-5. 
  • Heasley, Jerry (1977). The Production Figure Book For U.S. Cars. Motorbooks International. ISBN 0-87938-042-X. 
  • Triplett, Ty (1990). The Edsel Owner's Handbook, Second revision. International Edsel Club. n/a. 
  • Flory, J. "Kelly", Jr. American Cars 1946-1959. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Coy, 2008.
  • Ford Motor Company (1957). Edsel Data, 1958 Official Reference Manual for Edsel Salesmen. Ford Motor Company. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Flory, J. "Kelly", Jr. American Cars 1946-1959 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Coy, 2008), p.888.
  2. ^ a b Flory, Jr., J. "Kelly" (2008). American Cars, 1946-1959 Every Model Every Year. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7864-3229-5. 
  3. ^ "Directory Index: Edsel/1958_Edsel/1958_Edsel_Sell-O-Graph". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  4. ^ a b Flory, p.890.
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ a b Flory, p.891.
  7. ^ Ford Motor Company, Edsel Data, 1958 Official Reference Manual for Edsel Salesmen, p. F-8
  8. ^ "Directory Index: Edsel/1959_Edsel/1959_Edsel_Prestige_Brochure". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  9. ^ a b "Directory Index: Edsel/1959_Edsel/1959_Edsel_Prestige_Brochure". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  10. ^ a b "Directory Index: Edsel/1960_Edsel/1960_Edsel_Brochure". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  11. ^ Gunnell, John A. (ed.). Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946-1975. krause publications. ISBN 0-87341-027-0. 

External links[edit]