Edsel Corsair

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Edsel Corsair
1959 Edsel Corsair
Parent companyFord Motor Company
SuccessorMercury Meteor
LayoutFR layout
Engine(s)332 in³ V8
410 in³ V8
ManualsService Manual
First generation
1958 Edsel Corsair
AssemblyWayne, Michigan
Somerville, Massachusetts
Dearborn, Michigan
Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Body style(s)2-door hardtop
4-door hardtop
Transmission(s)3-speed manual
2-speed automatic
Wheelbase124.0 in (3150 mm)
Length218.8 in (5558 mm)
Width79.8 in (2027 mm)
Height56.8 in (1443 mm)
Curb weight4,134 lb (1,875 kg)
Second generation
1959 Edsel Corsair
AssemblyAllen Park, Michigan
Wayne, Michigan
Somerville, Massachusetts
Dearborn, Michigan
Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Body style(s)2-door convertible
2-door coupe
2-door hardtop
4-door hardtop
4-door sedan
Transmission(s)3-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Wheelbase120.0 in (3048 mm)
Length210.9 in (5357 mm)
Width79.8 in (2027 mm)
Height56.2 in (1427 mm)
Convertible: 56.7 in (1440 mm)

The Edsel Corsair was an automobile produced by the former Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln Division (M-E-L) of the Ford Motor Company of Dearborn, Michigan and sold through its Edsel marque in 1958 and 1959. For 1958, the Corsair was built off the longer Edsel wheelbase derived from Mercury brand automobiles. For 1959, the Corsair shared the shorter Ford-based wheelbase with the entry-level Edsel Ranger model.


The Corsair represented the next-to-highest trim level available within the Edsel brand. In addition to high-grade interior appointments, the Corsair also received additional stainless steel trim and deluxe wheel covers. Available either as a two-door or four-door hardtop, the Corsair, like the premium Citation, shared its roof lines with Mercury models, as well as internal body components. Body parts between the Corsair and Citation models could not be shared with either the Edsel Ranger or Pacer, which were built off of Ford's basic bodies.

Like the Citation, the Corsair was also powered by a 410 in³ V8 producing 345 bhp (257 kW), and also came equipped with Edsel’s Teletouch automatic. Unlike other Ford models that used a column-mounted gear selector, Teletouch placed its drive-selection buttons in the steering wheel hub where drivers were accustomed to finding the horn button. In emergency situations, damage to the transmission that might occur if the driver hit the Teletouch unit instead of the steering wheel's horn ring was prevented by an electro-hydraulic switch activated by internal transmission fluid pressure.

While its roll-out was highly publicized in the fall of 1957, the 1958 Edsel was a marketing disaster for Ford and Ford's corporate strategy for meeting General Motors' product line for product line. Total Corsair output for the model stood at 9,987 units, only slightly better than the Citation. Of these units, 3,632 were hardtop coupes (3,312 U.S. and 320 Canadian-built) and 6,355 were four-door hardtops (5,880 U.S. and 475 Canadian-built). Prices for the Corsair in 1958 ranged from US$3,311 to $3,390.

Production Figures for 1958 Edsel Corsair
Body Style Units
2-Door Hardtop 3,632
4-Door Hardtop 6,355


1959 Edsel Corsair

The 1959 Edsels were introduced in the fall of 1958. However, for the 1959 model year, the Citation and Pacer models were dropped from Edsel's model range for 1959, as was the trouble-prone Teletouch system.

The 1959 Edsel's styling was significantly toned-down, as was the vertical grille assembly, which now featured a fine bar pattern. The Corsair now represented the premium Edsel model range, replacing the discontinued Citation. Unlike 1958, the Corsair now shared its body panels with the Ranger - the two being differentiated by trim and options. The Corsair also gained a four-door sedan and a convertible.

The 1959 Corsair rode on a 120 in wheelbase and the Ford 332 in³ V8 engine was standard, as was a three-speed manual transmission. Replacing the Teletouch transmission was the "Mile-O-Matic", a two-speed automatic.

With total 1959 Corsair output at 9,318, the Corsair was discontinued. For 1959, 2,468 hardtop coupes (2,315 U.S./153 Canada), 1,812 four-door hardtops (1,694 U.S./118 Canada), 1,343 convertibles (all U.S.) and 3,695 four-door sedans (3,301 U.S./394 Canada), were produced. Prices ranged from US$2,812 to $3,072.

Production Figures for 1959 Edsel Citation
Body Style Units
2-Door Hardtop 2,468
4-Door Hardtop 1,812
2-Door Convertible 1,343
4-Door Sedan 3,695


  • Bonsall, Thomas E. (2002). Disaster in Dearborn: The Story of the Edsel. Stamford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-4654-0. 
  • Duetsch, Jan (1976). The Edsel and Corporate Responsibility. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-01950-5. 
  • Gunnell, John, Editor (1987). The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946-1975. Kraus Publications. ISBN 0-87341-096-3. 
  • Heasley, Jerry (1977). The Production Figure Book For U.S. Cars. Motorbooks International. ISBN 0-87938-042-X. 
  • Triplett, Ty (1990). The Edsel Owner's Handbook, Second revision. International Edsel Club. n/a. 

External links