1959 Edsel Corsair Convertible
Displacement: 332 Cubic Inches
Horsepower: 225 BHP
Cost New: $3,072
The Edsel became a huge marketing disaster for Ford. Intending to mimic the General Motors product line, Ford added Edsel to its lineup in 1958. The idea was to retain customers who wanted to move up from the base Ford brand to a mid-priced car. The company was losing part of the market to the other automakers, and the Mercury had more in common with the Lincoln than with Ford. The Edsel was supposed to fill that gap.
A large part of the failure of the Edsel was the recession of 1958. Times were tough, and few people were able or ready to invest in a pricier car. The Edsel did suffer from quality control issues early on, and the world knew that Ford had spent over $250 million (in 1957 Dollars) to develop the new car. It is still considered one of the greatest failures in automotive history.
In 1959, Edsel went from four models to only two. the unique "horse collar" grill from the previous year was toned down, and the two more expensive body styles were dropped. No longer based on the Mercury, the new Edsels shared a large number of parts with the base Ford cars to reduce cost. This doomed the brand, making the Edsel little more than a higher-priced Ford, and not a separate brand. Ford pulled the plug in November of 1959, with only a few thousand 1960 Edsels produced.