CC Forgotten Future: 1960 Edsel Comet

(first posted 4/6/2017)    For my next installment of Forgotten Future, I’ll look back to everyone’s favorite automotive punchline, Edsel. Most of us know the story of the 1960 Ford Falcon and its sibling the 1960 Not-a-Mercury Comet, but did you know that the Comet was originally intended to be an Edsel, and not a Mercury? As is often the case, Ford was well along with the design of the Edsel Comet before it got nixed, but thanks to the power of Internet we can see what it would have looked like.

As you can see, the Edsel horse collar grill was narrowed to just a sliver for the comet. Indeed, it is very similar to an alternate design considered for the full-sized 1960 Edsel line, which I’ll address in a future FF installment. I personally find the treatment quite attractive, and very similar to the then-forthcoming Pontiac Tempest. If the success of the Tempest is anything to go by, the Edsel Comet could have been a hit.

You can clearly see the large EDSEL letters along the side of this wagon prototype from  July 7, 1959. Given that this would have been just months, if not weeks before the start of 1960 model production, Ford obviously waited until the last minute to kill the Edsel Comet.

From the rear, you can see the diagonal taillamps that made it over to the Comet virtually unmodified.

Here’s a clay model of the wagon back side. It looks pretty much just like the Falcon wagon, with an Edsel taillight stuck on.

Here’s an alternate front end treatment with dual headlights, as opposed to the quad headlights above. The end result looks much more “Falconish” as a result. Maybe it would have been a lower line model.

Here’s another interpretation of the horse collar grille. Not as successful as the ones above, IMO.

Lastly, one more clay model with a unique take on the split grille. This one is interesting, with lines from grille extending down into the bumper, and all the way up into the hood almost to the base of the windshield. For people looking for something different, this would have been much more appealing than the original Edsel horse collar. (ED: this was the oldest of these clays, and clearly based heavily on the Falcon body)

So what do you think? Would these compact models have saved Edsel? Which design is your favorite?