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Home The Market New Edsel? Ford looks to the future

New Edsel? Ford looks to the future

The automaker is bringing back an unforgettable name from its past

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Ford Motor Co. has decided to bring back a piece of its storied past by creating the New Edsel brand of premium automobiles, starting with the 2024 models.  Spurred by the success of other retro brands, Ford will introduce the New Edsel cars with some of the controversial styling touchstones – such as the “horse collar” grille center – of the cars produced by Ford from 1958 to 1960. 

The New Edsel brand will join Ford and Lincoln in the Dearborn, Michigan, company’s lineup.  While both Ford and Lincoln have become dedicated to producing SUVs and trucks, leaving Mustang as the company’s only passenger car, the automaker sees an opening for an old-school large car that resumes the styling of the original Edsel lineup.

edsel
Unique styling details will be reborn in the New Edsel, Ford says | Bob Golfen

While critics are warning that Ford could be setting itself up for another Edsel fiasco, company officials contend that that public is finally ready for the Edsel after more than 60 years serving as a punchline.

“Edsel was way too far ahead of its time,” said Anne Iacocca – granddaughter of the famed auto marketeer Lee Iacocca – who will head the New Edsel division.  “People in those days did not appreciate the subtle styling or the amazing features that should have made Edsel a leading brand.  Today’s consumers are more sophisticated, so New Edsel cars should easily find their place in America’s driveways.

“My grandfather was a great judge of the automotive market, and he certainly would have approved of Ford reviving the Edsel nameplate.  Just look at what he did for the K Cars at Chrysler.”

New Edsel, New Edsel? Ford looks to the future, ClassicCars.com Journal
A custom 1958 Edsel Ranger built by Bobby Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop could inspire New Edsel design | Hot Rod Shop

The New Edsel cars will incorporate some of the magic of the original Edsels, Ford says, from the distinctive grille – which was maligned back then as “sucking a lemon” – to the push-button gear selector in the center of the steering wheel, which critics had thought was hopelessly awkward but that today’s drivers should appreciate.

The stylists foresee a strong resemblance to the original 1958 Edsel, perhaps with station wagon models enhanced with faux-wood siding. The bodies also will be adorned with elaborate chrome trim. 

And despite the industry trend toward clean tailpipe emissions and fuel efficiency, the New Edsels will be powered by large-displacement V8 engines with scant regard for mileage or cleanliness.

“We know there are many drivers out there who long for the power and acceleration of a big, high-torque V8 in a real full-size car, just like the old days,” Iacocca added.

New Edsel, New Edsel? Ford looks to the future, ClassicCars.com Journal
Sedans, wagons and convertibles like this 1958 Pacer will be offered | Mecum Auctions

The cars will be built just like in the old days, too, with heavy steel bodies affixed to massive girder frames, although the designers hope to keep the weight under 5,500 pounds.  Power will be transmitted to solid live axles at the rear. 

“The name might be nostalgic, but the New Edsel will be the car of tomorrow, built today just as they were in the past,” Iacocca said.

For more information, visit the New Edsel page on the Ford.com website.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Oh Bob!! I am so excited and looking forward to this I am searching the internet everywhere to find any available information on this coming car. 😂

  2. I Got it. April’s Fool stunt. And a very Good One Indeed. Except building another full-sized family car at this point in time would have a worse outcome than the original boondogle …Thanks for the chuckle

  3. Great 4/1 prank. I was only disappointed when I clicked the link and confirmed Ford was not in on the prank. How awesome would it have been to be directed to the new Edsel page!

  4. This is GOOD NEWS!!!!!! But my hope is that the YUGO will be brought back to life or the Renault LE CAR these were great car subject to unfair ridicule! With modern technology these could be big sellers!

  5. No matter how many times i see them (& no matter how many such pieces i’ve written myself) i ALWAYS enjoy the ones in which automotive ghosts walk (or drive). The ones i always always ALWAYS savor, & am as glad to see as a dearest friend i always hope will always be somewhere, are those in which the Edsel (never “Edsel”, must be “THE Edsel”) reappears, Godzilla rising with Detroit aquiver. Other makes may have been made of more, but the Edsel has prepostery posterity has not dimmed. The extremely recent arrivals (i’m talking humans, now) to our planet are, logically & sadly, the first since Edzilla’s fall not to know SOMETHING of it. How sorrowful! May they gain Knowledge, and its handmaid Hilarity: may they somehow, if they don’t get the sublime delight this article skates Kerriganlike around, somehow, some way, someday, meet Mr.Ed face to grille, and thus learn how to truly smile!

  6. What got me was Lee Iacocca’s granddaughters comment about the “great K cars”, “the V8 engine”, and “faux wood grain sides” coming back? Yeah, right, like Millenials would go for any of those!!

  7. I have always wanted a 1958 Edsel ranger, I just loved those cars, if they 1 truly make this car in the near future, and 2 make it look good or better than the original i will buy on, if i can get the money.

  8. Great News! I just put a deposit on the new Edsel. The woman said she was another relative of Iacocca. She wanted to be paid in advance and with Bitcoin. I was so excited I asked my grandson to show me how to do it. They said delivery was scheduled for early fall. Even better news, I got an email from a Nigerian prince that says I could triple my money if I send him $100,000. I’m doing that later today. Sometimes all the planets align.

  9. If this is for real, I will order one today. It is just what the doctor ordered. A full size car built the way a car should be. V-8 power, body on frame, big American. Only pray it is true!

  10. For those like me that did not catch the date, I would wish the author of this article would be hit with a cattle prod on a Sunday morning at 2:00 AM. More sarcasm such as Edsel owners have put up with for the past 64 years. We can do without it.

  11. I didn’t catch the date either and as usual I’m late to the party. April has been an insanely busy month for me. This had me going for minute, wondering if Ford had learned nothing in the past 60+ years. Although I do wish Ford would resurrect the idea of a full-sized rear-drive sedan; minus the horse-collar grille.

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