November 08, 2004

Today in Automotive History 1956

Today in Automotive History

1956 What's In A Name

On this day, the
Ford Motor Company decided on the name "Edsel" for a new model in development for the 1958 market year. The new addition to the Ford family of automobiles would be a tribute to Edsel Bryant Ford, who served as company president from 1919 until his death in 1943. Edsel Ford was also the oldest son of founder Henry Ford and father to former company President Henry Ford II. The designer of the Edsel, Roy Brown, was instructed to create an automobile that was highly recognizable, and from every angle different than anything else on the road. In the fall of 1957, with great fanfare, the 1958 Edsel was introduced to the public. With its horse collar grill in the front and its regressed side-panels in the rear, the Edsel indeed looked like nothing else on the road. However, despite its appearance, the Ford Edsel was a high-tech affair, featuring state-of-the-art innovations such as the "Tele-Touch" push-button automatic transmission. Nevertheless, buyer appeal was low, and the Ford Edsel earned just a 1.5 percent share of the market in 1958. After two more years, the Edsel marque was abandoned, and its name would forever be synonymous with business failure.

Posted by Quality Weenie at November 8, 2004 08:13 AM