Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1958 Edsel Motorhome – With Teletouch

How could I resist this at the Cohort, posted by Fred Oliver? I’ve always had an irresistible attraction to motorhomes cobbled together out of an old car, but this is the first Edsel I’ve ever come across. What a three-eyed beast!

Sadly, Fred didn’t take (or post) shots of the camper on back in its full glory, so we’ll have to use our imaginations. Its plywood sheathing is starting to deteriorate, but then so is the Edsel. This is a Corsair, or the lower-trim variant of the senior Edsels, with a 124″ wheelbase and a 410 cubic inch MEL V8, rated at 345 gross hp. So a power deficit there wasn’t the issue here.

Speaking of, there’s little doubt in my mind that one of the main appeals of these conversions was that the big cars invariably used had big V8 engines and automatics, unlike most of the pickups at the time. Why not ride in comfort and with plenty of power if you’re going to drive off into the sunset?

Speaking of convenience, the Edsel’s steering wheel hub mounted push buttons for the automatic were very close at hand, and the hub was stationary. But in reality, the “Teletouch” system ended up being quite problematic, starting with the fact that it really wasn’t ergonomic at all, as one had to look down and at a very close focal point to make out the buttons. But mostly the system was just unreliable; issues with the relays, switches and wiring. It was…the Edsel of transmission shifters.