The Edsel Ranger was an automobile produced by the former Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln Division of the Ford Motor Company of Dearborn, Michigan, and sold through its Edsel marque in 1958. Rangers were built off the shorter Edsel platform, shared with the Ford Fairlane as was the Pacer.
|Manufacturer||Ford Motor Company|
|Body style(s)||2-door convertible|
|Engine(s)||292 in³ V8|
361 in³ V8
|Wheelbase||118 in (2997 mm) (1958)|
120 in (3048 mm) (1959-1960)
|Curb weight||3,545 lb (1,608 kg)-3,836 lb (1,740 kg)|
The Ranger was the base trim option for Edsel in its first and second years as an automotive marque. Rangers were available in two-door coupes, four-door sedans, and two and four-door hardtops. The model range did not offer a convertible in 1958 or 1959, but did offer the body style in 1960.
Ranger is one of two of Edsel's model nameplates re-used by Ford, Villager being the other.
The Ranger's base trim appointments included arm rests, a cigarette lighter, rear-view mirror, two coat hangers and black rubber floor mats. On the exterior, Rangers received chrome around the rear quarter panel cove molding. Two-tone paint was also optional. The main visual cue that makes it possible to tell the difference between most Rangers and the upmarket Pacer was the lack of stainless trim on the front doors and fenders. A very rare, optional, Ranger-only door trim was available from dealers early in the model year to be used together with the Pacer fender trim. A basic heater was available and air conditioning was optional as well.
The Ranger rode on Ford's 118 in wheelbase and a 361 in³ V8 was standard, as was a three-speed manual transmission. Buyers could upgrade to a three-speed automatic transmission with a standard column mounted gear selector, or could choose Edsel's highly promoted but trouble-prone Teletouch automatic, which placed its drive-selection buttons in the steering wheel hub.
While its roll-out was highly publicized in the fall of 1957, the 1958 Edsel was a marketing disaster for Ford and for Ford's corporate strategy for meeting General Motors' product line for product line. Total U.S. and Canada Ranger output for the model stood at an estimated 21,301 units. Of those units, 4,615 were U.S.-built two-door Sedans, 7,414 were four-door sedans (6,576 U.S./838 Canada), 6,005 were two-door hardtops (5,546 U.S./459 Canada), and 3,667 were four-door hardtops (3,077 U.S./190 Canada). Prices ranged from US$2,484 to $2,643.
In regrouping for the coming model year, the best-selling Pacer and the premium Citation models were dropped for 1959, as was the trouble prone Teletouch transmission feature.
For 1959, the Ranger and the new top-line Corsair both shared the same 120 in wheelbase. Styling for the cars became more conservative, with the horsecollar grille being replaced by a shield shape filled with rows of bars. Body styles for the Ranger remained at two-door sedans and four-door sedans, and two and four-door hardtop bodies. 7,778 two-door sedans (all U.S.-built), 14,063 four-door sedans (12,814 U.S./1,249 Canada), 5,966 hardtops (5,474 U.S./492 Canada), and 2,451 four-door hardtops (2,352 U.S./99 Canada)were produced for 1959 in the U.S. and Canada. Prices ranged from $2,629 to $2,756.
Introduced on October 15, 1959, the 1960 Edsel Ranger was now the only car Edsel offered, while the Edsel Villager name applied to two station wagons, a six and a nine passenger model. The decision was made to eliminate not only the Corsair, but the vertical grille element as well. By this point, the 1960 model shared so many body panels and interior trim features with the Corsair, that the defining things that made the Edsel an Edsel were its taillights, grille and name badges. The Ranger also gained the convertible bodystyle from the Corsair.
On November 19, 1959, Ford discontinued the Edsel marque and the final car rolled off the assembly line by the end of the month. For its shortened and final model year, a total of 2,571 Ranger units were produced (all in the U.S.), the rarest models being the convertible. 777 two-door sedans, 1,288 four-door sedans, 295 hardtop sedans, 135 hardtop coupes, and 76 convertibles were produced for 1960, and prices ranged from $2,643 to $3,000.
Because of the low production volumes in its three years, all Rangers are collectible; however, the 1960 Ranger convertible is frequently found as being counterfeit.
The process for converting a 1960 Ford Sunliner convertible into a 1960 Edsel model involves the simple swapping of trim parts and refashioning of the rear fenders, a simple task for those who have an Edsel parts car. Edsel enthusiasts are generally wary of 1960 Edsels that have been "found" or are offered at lower prices than the going rates. Buyers and enthusiasts can check the manufactures code to verify if the VIN matches Edsel production numbers for November 1959.
Bonsall, Thomas E. (2002). Disaster in Dearborn: The Story of the Edsel. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-4654-0.
Duetsch, Jan (1976). The Edsel and Corporate Responsibility. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-01950-5.
- 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.
- Edsel.com History, specifications, resources for owners.
- Smith Motor Company Virtual Edsel Dealer
- The International Edsel Club
- "Auto Biography" — Failure Magazine examines the history of the Edsel (March, 2002)
- Edsel.US Restorer's discussion group