1960 Edsel: A Quick Look At A Hasty Farewell

Today’s fine CC on the 1960 Ford (recommend to read it first) isn’t totally complete without a quick look at the 1960 Edsel, one of the more embarrassing moments in automotive badge-engineering history. The full Edsel story will await another day (and a 1958 model), but lets just say this last-ditch effort to keep the Edsel brand alive by slapping a different grille and vertical taillights on the 1960 Ford, and drastically de-contenting it was such a disaster, it was pulled from the market within months of its arrival.

The Edsel’s vertical taillights were highly incongruous in that very horizontal rear end. Those taillights were shared with the 1960 Comet, which was to have originally been an Edsel compact.

Curiously, the 1960 Edsel did have one unique model, a four door hardtop that had the Fairlane sedan roof line but without the pillar and window frames. Hardly enough to help. 1960 Edsel brochures are full of references to “thrifty” and “budget wise”. Maybe Ford was subconsciously expressing its own financial smarting from the Edsel fiasco.

As a kid, I was very aware of the distinctive ’58 and ’59 Edsel, but the first time I saw a 1960, I assumed it was a Canadian model of some sort, like so many of the curious make-up jobs Detroit cobbled up north of the border.