The Edsel turns 50

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15 Responses to “The Edsel turns 50”

  1. OM says:

    …Actually, most experts these days theorize that the reason MacNamara torpedoed the Edsel from the start was because the grille remined him of his own distinct schnozzola, albeit from a nose-on view and upside-down.

    …Hmm. Edsel. Keeping the Cuban Blockade nuke-free, Vietnam. World Bank. Wasn’t the first gaffe evidence the guy’s a bigger walking cluster-frack than Joe Btzflk?

  2. Anonymous says:

    The car didn’t fail because of the times. It didn’t fail because someone didn’t want it to succeed.
    It failed because it was really ugly.
    That’s the whole thing.
    What was the second car Henry let Edsel design?
    Right. There wasn’t one.

  3. Wine Mule says:

    Enough revisionism! The Edsel was a failure. It failed because it was ugly, overpriced, and built by people who substituted bad market research for engineering vision.

  4. GaryInMiami says:

    The Edsel has always been an inspiration to me.

    Unlike most people, I think of the Edsel as being oddly successful.

    That’s because the really smart people learn more from failures (aka experiments and research) than from successes.

    When I’m stuck on a problem all I have to do is look at the model Edsel I keep in my office and suddenly I’m thinking in new ways. Voilà, my problem is solved.

    I know it’s weird but it works for me!

    ~gary.

  5. maus says:

    I grew up in the heyday of cable television and was memetically fed on old 60s cartoon and comedy reruns, as well as crates of cheap, used Mad Magazine books.

    I’m sure I’m not the only 20something out there who has been culturally imprinted upon by the glut of past media that used to outnumber new media on channels like Nickelodeon and who feels a twinge of nostalgia at the sight of this ungainly monster.

  6. rich says:

    As an Edsel owner (and BoingBoing fan), I’d like to say “thanks” for writing a concise and accurate description of why the Edsel “failed.” So many media outlets got it wrong, so nice work!

    Also worth noting: Robert McNamara essentially killed off the Edsel even before it launched. He hated the “E Car” project from the beginning. It never really had a chance, even without the other issues.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You have to admit, everyone knows about the Edsel.

    And I do remember hearing that the buzz was that the extravagant grille was in fact modelled on Mrs. Ford’s twat. perhaps apocryphal, but that was one more reason not to be associated with this car.

  8. aha says:

    The Edsel failed because most guys want to drive a vagina–but not, you know, figuratively.

  9. GoogleNewsGirlyGIRL says:

    Would be cool to drive around Philly in one!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I drive a ’59 Edsel around my town in Florida. There are a surprising number of driveable Edsels in this state. It’s a lot of fun except for the 6 months of hot Summer. No AC :-(

    - Andrew

  11. Joe Millionaire says:

    I always remember Henry Ford “You can have any color you want, as long as it’s Black!”

  12. Gilbert Wham says:

    I love the Edsel, and have never seen what people find ugly about it.

  13. Steve Zembek says:

    The Wikipedia link is missing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edsel

  14. David Pescovitz says:

    Thanks, Steve! Fixed!

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