CC Outtakes: Alley of CCs Including the First Curbside ’58 Edsel and a Bonus ’59 Edsel

Finding genuine CCs that we haven’t covered here is not getting any easier. It helps to change up the walking routine, as in: “let’s go down this alley”.  Good call, as there was a whole fleet of CCs including one that has never been found in genuine CC condition. Yes, I think you can tell already which one, thanks to its drooping chin.


But let’s take a look at the others first. You all know a Foxy Mustang when you see one.


And a G-Body El Camino.


Here’s an eclectic assemblage: A Dodge van, a Suzuki Aerio and a Toyota Chinook.


And a Celica convertible too. The tow dolly probably has seen some use over the years.

But this is the one that interested me the most, as the others are all not exactly rare.

I lifted the cover up as if further proof was needed. Unfortunately I don’t even know if this is a Ford-bodied lesser Edsel or a Mercury-bodied greater Edsel. The whole front clip was the same for both, except for the added fender side bulges on the senior models to blend into the wider waist and hips of the Merc body.

Maybe I’ll come back and look for the owner.

Just a few spaces over, there was another Edsel, this time uncovered, and of course a ’59. I was going to do a CC on it, but then Jason Shafer beat me to it the other day. The ’59 Edsel is actually a rather interesting car stylistically, as it has some quite advanced styling aspects as well as some rather modest ones. Which pretty much sums up Ford styling at the time.

The front end is very clean with the exception of the much more modest center grille. And it’s very advanced, in terms of its layout and structure, with a wide low horizontal grille, quad headlights set at the outer ends of the grille, and a forward-looking integration of the leading edge of the hood and front fenders. If you Photoshop out the center grille section, you have the prototype of many Ford products to come for some years, especially the ’60 Comet (which was intended to be a compact Edsel), the ’62 Fairlane and Meteor, and the big Mercuries, as well as the big Fords after ’60.


Of course other than the front end and the lack of the side rockets and rear end treatment, the ’59 Edsel shares its body with the ’59 Ford, and there’s no doubt in my mind that this body is essentially a recycled ’57-’58 Mercury body, although with new elements. The extra width of the mercury body is painfully obvious when looking at the rear wheels, which are on the same narrow rear axle as the Ford, unlike the Mercury, which had a wider axle/tread.

Given what a wild year 1959 was stylistically, especially at GM, this Edsel looks downright clean, lacking any fins except for a modest horizontal extrusion of the eyebrows over the rear tail lights.

We’ve covered the remarkable degree of influence that the ’59 Edsel had on the Alfa Romeo Giulia here, thanks to JPC.

And why would the Alfa designers have even noticed the Edsel at all? That answer is obvious, of course, on the front end of the Edsel. If you’re going to steal our trademark grille, we’ll steal your roof line and rear end. Fair enough.

The inside of this base-trim Ranger is anything but upscale. But then in 1959, Edsel changed its tune and was competing directly in the low-priced field, its upscale ambitions having gone bust.

But there’s a large ashtray in the back of the front seat, so it’s got at least one luxury feature!

So it was a productive detour; for us, not Ford.