No woman is going to want to admit that she’s had casual sex in an Edsel. The Ford Edsel is not a cool car, it’s not even so ugly-pretty that it’s cool. The Edsel is just one of the worst cars ever made.
So what makes an Edsel such a terrible car? Start with how it looks, and it looks as though it was designed by a committee of the most boring preppy men Ford could come up with after searching through the worst colleges in America. I mean, who would design a grille that looks like a surprised toilet seat?
For a brand-new design the Edsel was about as innovative as a horse and cart. It was big and heavy ~ over 18 feet long and weighing in at two tons. It had a newly designed ohv V8 Ford MEL engine, (Mercury, Edsel, Lincoln), which was big at 410 cu in, (6.7 litres), powerful with 345 bhp and 475 ft lbs of torque, and very heavy. The Edsel had a slush-pump auto-box, and Hotchkiss live axle rear suspension that dated back to the 1930s. It also had some weird features, such as push-button gear selectors on the steering wheel.
And then the Edsel had the second worst marketing and sales campaign in the history of road transport, only eclipsed by that even bigger disaster, the Sinclair C5. From a teaser campaign that heralded the Edsel as the car for the future, to setting up a separate Edsel division within the Ford Motor Company and a separate dealership network, everything about the Edsel’s sales and marketing is a textbook example of how not to sell anything. Small wonder this dog of a car sold only 110,847 heavily discounted units ~ peanuts by Ford standards.
The Edsel was also relatively expensive, costing about the same as a Mercury, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick and Dodge, which were much better products, with much better and more well-known names and images.
Because the Edsel was built on the same production line as standard Fords, the assemblers had to interrupt their routines when an Edsel came along, and many workers just didn’t bother to put the right parts in the right places. Therefore the Edsel was very badly built and suffered from consequent reliability problems. Issues ranged from a leaking trunk, (boot), in wet weather, to bad welding, and catastrophically dangerous power steering failures.
Allegedly, the Edsel drives like a canal barge. That huge V8 delivers pedestrian performance with a top speed just short of 120 mph, a 0-60 time of about 11 seconds, and terrible fuel consumption figures. The suspension is nothing to write home about, and so pressing-on is supposed to be accompanied by a lot of tyre squeal, initial understeer and then mad oversteer. Have I ever driven an Edsel? You have got to be joking.
Luckily there are only about 6,000 examples of this terrible car still in existence. There has to be more than that, everywhere I go on my various road trips I seem to come across an Edsel, or maybe they’re just so bad that they’re memorable. You can expect to pay about $10,000 for an immaculate example, if you were ever insane enough to want an Edsel.
Don’t buy an Edsel. They are not cool, an Edsel won’t make a satisfying hobby, they will make a terrible investment, and no cool girl will ever want to have sex with you in that car.
How does endless sunshine, stylish bars and restaurants, great shopping, fantastic attractions, and a totally cool, (weird), nightlife sound to you? For someone brought up in a North of England coal mining town it sounds fabulous.
From the Pacific coast find the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway, (aka Interstate 10), and before you get to Whitewater look for route 111 and head south-east into Palm Springs.
(Picture by the girl riding shotgun)
Palm Springs is a one street town. Almost everything cool is either on or just off Palm Canyon Drive. Baristo Road is east west and crosses Palm Canyon Drive, (for those who don’t know how street signs work in the USA).
To be more truthful, central Palm Springs is a two street town, because Palm Canyon Drive is one-way, heading south. To double back on oneself, take Indian Canyon Drive, heading North. If you’re searching for a classic car for your next road trip, then check out the auction lots on Indian Canyon Drive. But, take my advice, don’t buy an Edsel.
If you are in Southern California, Palm Springs is a place which just oozes sexual energy, of whatever flavour you like. Don’t forget, this town is both close enough and far enough away from Hollywood to have made it one of the illicit meeting places of choice for the stars of the silver screen. The restaurant in the picture is called Lulu.
pictures by jack collier