edsel.com: 1958
1958 EDSELS

Back in 1956, Ford Motor Company realized that there was a void in their selections of mid-size automobiles.  General Motors could keep Chevrolet owners in their fold by offering a path of advancement to Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick and Cadillac, while the Plymouth owner could move up to Dodge, De Soto, Chrysler and Imperial.  But Ford buyers were looking at Mercury, Lincoln and Continental. The perception was that Ford was losing customers to other manufacturers when the time came to trade-up.  They needed a new car line between Ford and Mercury to compete on a level playing field.

In order to correct the problem, Ford instituted plans for an entirely new car division, and an entirely new car.  The design of the car was to be completely unique - distinguishable from any angle.  And the promotional build-up of the car would be like nothing else.

The 1958 Edsel came in two sizes.  "Big and bigger" you might say, but they are actually two distinctly different designs.  The "Senior" Series cars are Citation and Corsair models.  They were built on the large Mercury-based frame.  The "Junior" series cars are Rangers, Pacers and station wagons Bermuda, Villager and Roundup, which were built on the smaller Ford-based frame.

One of the most talked about feature was the "Teletouch" shifter, which controlled the automatic transmission selection electronically from push buttons in the center of the steering wheel hub.  (A series of planetary gears in the column keeps the buttons stationary as the wheel turns.)  Many other Edsel-original ideas are still found on today's cars.

The car was referred to as the "E" car (for Experimental) from its inception.  The name "Edsel" was bestowed by Special Products Division General Manager Richard Krafve, after reviewing a list of nearly 8,000 suggestions from their advertising firm, Ford employees and renowned poet Marianne Moore who was solicited for ideas.  (See the Edsel Ford page for more about the man for whom the car was named.)

After a massive promotional campaign, which included multi-page "teaser" ads in major national magazines, some 2.5 million Americans poured into Edsel dealerships on "E-Day", September 4, 1957.  But it was quickly apparent that few cars were actually being sold.  The public expectation was much higher than the car could live up to, and sales reflected the disappointment.

There was a combination of other factors that led to the name "Edsel" becoming synonymous with "failure" - By the time the first Edsel hit the showroom, the country was in a recession.  (For comparison, 1958 DeSoto sales were down 54% from 1957. Buick was down 33%, Mercury 48%, Oldsmobile 18%, Dodge 47%, Pontiac 28%..  probably the worst year since World War II to unveil a new car line!)  Car-buying habits had turned toward smaller and more fuel efficient cars.  Edsel's styling was radical, and not to everyone's liking.  On the assembly line, Edsel was run between Fords or Mercury's, causing the assembler to have to interrupt his routine and sometimes forget to install some parts.  The Edsel also suffered from parts that wouldn't fit together correctly.   Because of problems with suppliers, many of the early cars arrived at the dealerships with parts missing.  Many dealers were poorly equipped to replace the parts or add on accessories.  Ford Vice President Robert McNamara offered little support to the Edsel Division.  The Edsel was more expensive than other comparable cars, and the price of the loaded, top-of-the-line models that were first on the showroom floor scared many buyers.  There was no owner loyalty to count on.  And, finally, it had a funny name.

The Edsel Division was in a death spiral.  The more cars that failed to sell, the more dealers dropped their Edsel franchise.  The more dealers that folded, the more the public was afraid to buy the car.

After three model years and just 110,847 Edsels later, Ford Motor Company threw in the towel, and went about trying to forget about the whole ordeal.

Today less than 6000 Edsels survive, and each one is a cherished classic.  The 1958 Edsel advertising said it best - "Once you've seen it, you'll never forget it.  Once you've owned it, you'll never want to change."


1958 Edsel Facts:



Quick Link to other sections of the 1958 Edsel Page
Body Specifications
Engine Specifications & Colors
Performance Specifications
Accessories Available
Exterior Colors
Interior Colors
Transmissions
Tires & Wheel Covers
Parts Interchange List


1958 Edsel Specifications & Photos - Model Specific

"Original Base Price" includes delivery charges and Federal Excise Tax
(Click on any Edsel photo to display a full screen view )
Citation 2d Hardtop

1958 Edsel Citation
2-Door Hardtop

Owned by John & Darlene Scott
Knoxville, IA


Model Number: 63B
Total Production: 2,532
Original Base Price: $3,500
Curb Weight (lbs): 4,136
Wheelbase (in.): 124.0
Length (in.): 218.8
Width (in.): 79.8
Height (in.): 56.8


Citation 4d Hardtop

1958 Edsel Citation
4-Door Hardtop

Owned by Charles & Frances Reed
Harpersfield, NY


Model Number: 57B
Total Production: 5,112
Original Base Price: $3,580
Curb Weight (lbs): 4,230
Wheelbase (in.): 124.0
Length (in.): 218.8
Width (in.): 79.8
Height (in.): 56.8


Citation 2d Convertible

1958 Edsel Citation
2-Door Convertible

Owned by Roland Houde,
Andover, MA



Model Number: 76B
Total Production: 930
Original Base Price: $3,766
Curb Weight (lbs): 4,311
Wheelbase (in.): 124.0
Length (in.): 218.8
Width (in.): 79.8
Height (in.): 56.8


Corsair 2d Hardtop

1958 Edsel Corsair
2-Door Hardtop

Owned by Bill Graham
Nashville, TN


Model Number: 63A
Total Production: 3,312
Original Base Price: $3,311
Curb Weight (lbs): 4,134
Wheelbase (in.): 124.0
Length (in.): 218.8
Width (in.): 79.8
Height (in.): 56.8


Corsair 4d Hardtop

1958 Edsel Corsair
4-Door Hardtop

Owned by Jose & Dora Hernandez
Boise, ID


Model Number: 57A
Total Production: 5,880
Original Base Price: $3,390
Curb Weight (lbs): 4,235
Wheelbase (in.): 124.0
Length (in.): 218.8
Width (in.): 79.8
Height (in.): 56.8


Pacer 2d Hardtop

1958 Edsel Pacer
2-Door Hardtop

Owned by Clark James
Elnora, Alberta


Model Number: 63B
Total Production: 6,139
Original Base Price: $2,770
Curb Weight (lbs): 3,724
Wheelbase (in.): 118.0
Length (in.): 213.1
Width (in.): 78.8
Height (in.): 56.4


Pacer 4d Hardtop

1958 Edsel Pacer
4-Door Hardtop

Owned by Rollo & Emma Sabisch
Seattle, WA


Model Number: 57B
Total Production: 4,959
Original Base Price: $2,828
Curb Weight (lbs): 3,857
Wheelbase (in.): 118.0
Length (in.): 213.1
Width (in.): 78.8
Height (in.): 56.4


Pacer 4d Sedan

1958 Edsel Pacer
4-Door Sedan

Owned by Gary Gilmore
Dearborn, Michigan


Model Number: 58B
Total Production: 6,083
Original Base Price: $2,700
Curb Weight (lbs): 3,826
Wheelbase (in.): 118.0
Length (in.): 213.1
Width (in.): 78.8
Height (in.): 56.4


Pacer 2d Convertible

1958 Edsel Pacer
2-Door Convertible

Owned by Don Wicklund
Port Coquitlam, BC


Model Number: 76B
Total Production: 1,876
Original Base Price: $2,993
Curb Weight (lbs): 3,909
Wheelbase (in.): 118.0
Length (in.): 213.1
Width (in.): 78.8
Height (in.): 56.4


Ranger 2d Hardtop

1958 Edsel Ranger
2-Door Hardtop

Owned by Jens Floto
West Germany


Model Number: 63A
Total Production: 5,546
Original Base Price: $2,558
Curb Weight (lbs): 3,724
Wheelbase (in.): 118.0
Length (in.): 213.1
Width (in.): 78.8
Height (in.): 56.4


Ranger 2d Sedan

1958 Edsel Ranger
2-Door Sedan

Owned by Steve Newell

Model Number: 64A
Total Production: 4,615
Original Base Price: $2,484
Curb Weight (lbs): 3,729
Wheelbase (in.): 118.0
Length (in.): 213.1
Width (in.): 78.8
Height (in.): 56.4


Ranger 4d Hardtop

1958 Edsel Ranger
4-Door Hardtop

Owned by David Fleischer
Centerville, Utah


Model Number: 57A
Total Production: 3,077
Original Base Price: $2,643
Curb Weight (lbs): 3,796
Wheelbase (in.): 118.0
Length (in.): 213.1
Width (in.): 78.8
Height (in.): 56.4


Ranger 4d Sedan

1958 Edsel Ranger
4-Door Sedan

Owned by Alan Humphrey
West Middlesex, PA


Model Number: 58A
Total Production: 6,576
Original Base Price: $2,557
Curb Weight (lbs): 3,805
Wheelbase (in.): 118.0
Length (in.): 213.1
Width (in.): 78.8
Height (in.): 56.4


Villager 6P Wagon

1958 Edsel Villager
4-Door 6-Passenger Wagon

Owned by Michael Cowles
Oakland, CA


Model Number: 79C
Total Production: 2,294
Original Base Price: $2,933
Curb Weight (lbs): 3,827
Wheelbase (in.): 116.0
Length (in.): 205.4
Width (in.): 77.1
Height (in.): 58.8


Villager 9P Wagon

1958 Edsel Villager
4-Door 9-Passenger Wagon

Owned by Steve & Jill Miller
Benton Harbor, MI


Model Number: 79A
Total Production: 978
Original Base Price: $2,955
Curb Weight (lbs): 3,900
Wheelbase (in.): 116.0
Length (in.): 205.4
Width (in.): 77.1
Height (in.): 58.8


Bermuda 6P Wagon

1958 Edsel Bermuda
4-Door 6-Passenger Wagon

Owned by Randy Rarick
Haleiwa, HI


Model Number: 79D
Total Production: 1,456
Original Base Price: $3,155
Curb Weight (lbs): 3,853
Wheelbase (in.): 116.0
Length (in.): 205.4
Width (in.): 77.1
Height (in.): 58.8


Bermuda 9P Wagon

1958 Edsel Bermuda
4-Door 9-Passenger Wagon

Owned by Stan & Mary Fornof
Rantoul, IL


Model Number: 79B
Total Production: 779
Original Base Price: $3,212
Curb Weight (lbs): 3,919
Wheelbase (in.): 116.0
Length (in.): 205.4
Width (in.): 77.1
Height (in.): 58.8


Roundup 6P Wagon

1958 Edsel Roundup
2-Door 6-Passenger Wagon

Owned by Kevin Rogler
Scituate, RI


Model Number: 59A
Total Production: 963
Original Base Price: $2,841
Curb Weight (lbs): 3,761
Wheelbase (in.): 116.0
Length (in.): 205.4
Width (in.): 77.1
Height (in.): 58.8




[To the Top of the 1958 Page]


1958 Edsel Specifications

[To the Top of the 1958 Page]


1958 Engines

Edsel engines were assembled in Cleveland, OH, Dearborn, MI and Wayne, MI.

E-400

E-400 V8


Standard for Ranger, Pacer, Villager, Bermuda, Roundup

361 cid (5.911 litre)
303 hp @4600 rpm
400 ft-lb Torque @2900 rpm
10.5:1 Compression Ratio
4.0469 x 3.500 Bore/Stroke
4-bbl Holley carburetor
Pushrod overhead valve
Features an angle-wedge combustion chamber
(The block is 100 degrees from the cylinder head instead of 90 degrees)
Crankshaft: 5 main bearings, end thrust taken by #3
Firing order: 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8
Cylinder numbering (front-to-rear): Right 1-2-3-4 Left 5-6-7-8
18mm Champion spark plugs, 0.34 gap
Cam Angle (degrees): 26 - 28.5
Breaker Point Arm Spring tension (ounces): 17-20
Centrifugal Spark Advance - Start (degrees): 1 @400 rpm
Centrifugal Spark Advance - Full (degrees): 10.5 @2000 rpm
Vacuum Spark Advance - Start (inches of vacuum): 1
Vacuum Spark Advance - Full (inches of vacuum): 14
Ignition Timing with standard transmission: 3 deg BTDC
Ignition Timing with automatic transmission: 6 deg BTDC
Idle speed in Neutral (rpm): 475- 500
Minimum compression pressure at cranking speed (lbs): 180
Oil Pressure (lbs): 45 - 50
Valve Angle - Intake (degrees): 30
Valve Angle - Exhaust (degrees): 45
Valve Spring height - installed (inches): 1-53/64
Valve Spring pressure (lbs @ inches): 250 @ 1-25/64
Valve Lift (inches): 0.399
Valve Stem clearance - Intake (inches): 0.001 - 0.0025
Valve Stem clearance - Exhaust (inches): 0.003 - 0.004
Valve Stem diameter - Intake (inches): 0.3715
Valve Stem diameter - Exhaust (inches): 0.3697

Piston Wrist Pin diameter (inches): 0.975
Rod Bearing Shaft diameter (inches): 2.4380-2.4388
Rod Bearing clearance (inches): 0.0006-0.0024
Main Bearing Shaft diameter (inches): 2.7484-2.7492
Main Bearing clearance (inches): 0.0006-0.0024
Shaft End Play (inches): 0.002-0.006

Engine Bolt Torquing (Always use clean, lubricated threads for accuracy)
Spark plug (ft-lbs): 15-20
Cylinder Head (ft-lbs): 75
Intake & Exhaust Manifolds (ft-lbs): 23-38
Rocker Arm Shaft bracket (ft-lbs): 45-50
Valve Cover (ft-lbs): 2-2.5
Connecting Rod Cap (ft-lbs): 45-50
Main Bearing Cap (ft-lbs): 95-105
Flywheel to Crankshaft (ft-lbs): 75-85
Vibration Damper or Pulley (ft-lbs): 130-145
Average miles per gallon: 15.2


Engine Colors
Yellow (1972 GM Color code 52, Dupli-Color code DS-GM-167):
Block, heads, water pump, intake manifold, oil filler tube, oil pan
Off-White (Mix four parts Derusto Gloss White #874/D-23 and one part Derusto Gloss Almond #884/D-34): Air Filter cover, valve covers
Reddish-Orange: E-400 Stenciled on embossed letters
Gloss Black: Brackets, generator, fan, pulley, starter motor, flywheel cover, inner fender aprons, radiator
Semi-gloss Black: Frame, front suspension, core support, etc.
Natural: Transmission bell housing, distributor, exhaust manifolds, fender attaching bolts


E-475

E-475 V8


Standard for Citation & Corsair

When Ford Motor Company celebrated their 25 millionth V8 engine, it was an E-475!

410 cid (6.7 litre)
345 hp @4600 rpm
475 ft-lb Torque @2600 rpm
10.5:1 Compression Ratio
4.2031 x 3.703 Bore/Stroke
4-bbl Holley carburetor
Pushrod overhead valve
Features a cylindrical-wedge combustion chamber
(The block is at 90 degrees, while the head contains an angled combustion area)
Crankshaft: 5 main bearings, end thrust taken by #3
Firing order: 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8
Cylinder numbering (front-to-rear): Right 1-2-3-4 Left 5-6-7-8
18mm Champion spark plugs, 0.34 gap
Distributor Point gap (inches): 0.015
Distributor Rotation: Counter-clockwise
Cam Angle (degrees): 26 - 28.5
Breaker Point Arm Spring tension (ounces): 17-20
Centrifugal Spark Advance - Start (degrees): 1 @400 rpm
Centrifugal Spark Advance - Full (degrees): 10.5 @2000 rpm
Vacuum Spark Advance - Start (inches of vacuum): 1
Vacuum Spark Advance - Full (inches of vacuum): 14
Ignition Timing with standard transmission: 3 deg BTDC
Ignition Timing with automatic transmission: 6 deg BTDC
Idle speed in Neutral (rpm): 475- 500
Minimum compression pressure at cranking speed (lbs): 200
Oil Pressure (lbs): 45 - 50
Valve Angle - Intake (degrees): 30
Valve Angle - Exhaust (degrees): 45
Valve Spring height - installed (inches): 1-53/64
Valve Spring pressure (lbs @ inches): 185 @ 1-27/64
Valve Lift (inches): 0.441
Valve Stem clearance - Intake (inches): 0.001 - 0.0025
Valve Stem clearance - Exhaust (inches): 0.003 - 0.004
Valve Stem diameter - Intake (inches): 0.3715
Valve Stem diameter - Exhaust (inches): 0.3697
Piston Wrist Pin diameter (inches): 0.975
Rod Bearing Shaft diameter (inches): 2.5992-2.6000
Rod Bearing clearance (inches): 0.0007-0.0025
Main Bearing Shaft diameter (inches): 2.8994-2.9002
Main Bearing clearance (inches): 0.0008-0.0026
Shaft End Play (inches): 0.004-0.008

Engine Bolt Torquing (Always use clean, lubricated threads for accuracy)
Spark plug (ft-lbs): 15-20
Cylinder Head (ft-lbs): 90
Intake & Exhaust Manifolds (ft-lbs): 23-38
Rocker Arm Shaft bracket (ft-lbs): 45-50
Valve Cover (ft-lbs): 2-2.5
Connecting Rod Cap (ft-lbs): 45-50
Main Bearing Cap (ft-lbs): 95-105
Flywheel to Crankshaft (ft-lbs): 75-85
Vibration Damper or Pulley (ft-lbs): 130-145


Engine Colors
Green (similar to 1978 Porsche "Fern Green" - DuPont code 273, Porsche code 45639AH):
Block, heads, water pump, intake manifold, oil filler tube, oil pan
Off-White (Mix four parts Derusto Gloss White #874/D-23 and one part Derusto Gloss Almond #884/D-34): Air filter cover, valve covers
Reddish-Orange: E-475 Stenciled on embossed letters
Gloss Black: Brackets, generator, fan, pulley, starter motor, flywheel cover, inner fender aprons, radiator
Semi-gloss Black: Frame, front suspension, core support, etc.
Natural: Transmission bell housing, distributor, exhaust manifolds, fender attaching bolts

[To the Top of the 1958 Page]


Edsel Automatic Transmission

Transmissions



[To the Top of the 1958 Page]


Performance Specifications

Acceleration times when equipped with the E-400 and automatic transmission
0 - 30 MPH in 3.7 seconds
0 - 45 MPH in 6.6 seconds
0 - 60 MPH in 10.2 seconds
50 - 80 MPH in 11.3 seconds

Acceleration times when equipped with the E-475 and automatic transmission
Motor Trend:
0 - 30 MPH in 3.4 seconds
0 - 45 MPH in 6.3 seconds
0 - 60 MPH in 9.7 seconds
50 - 80 MPH in 10.9 seconds

Popular Mechanics:
Using Regular (90-Octane) gasoline:
0 - 20 MPH in 2.8 seconds
0 - 40 MPH in 6.4 seconds
0 - 60 MPH in 11.0 seconds
0 - 80 MPH in 17.2 seconds
Quarter mile in 18.2 seconds
Using Super (97-Octane) gasoline:
0 - 20 MPH in 2.6 seconds
0 - 40 MPH in 6.1 seconds
0 - 60 MPH in 10.2 seconds
0 - 80 MPH in 15.9 seconds
Quarter mile in 17.6 seconds
Using Premium (105-Octane)gasoline:
0 - 20 MPH in 2.6 seconds
0 - 40 MPH in 6.1 seconds
0 - 60 MPH in 10.0 seconds
0 - 80 MPH in 15.5 seconds
Quarter mile in 17.4 seconds

Fuel Economy

When equipped with the E-475 and automatic transmission

Miles-per-gallon using Regular (90-Octane) gasoline:
Steady 30 MPH: 17.15
Steady 50 MPH: 14.65
Steady 70 MPH: 12.1
Traffic (10 stops per mile, 15 MPH average): 8.5

Miles-per-gallon using Premium (105-Octane) gasoline:
Steady 30 MPH: 17.5
Steady 50 MPH: 15.2
Steady 70 MPH: 12.5
Traffic (10 stops per mile, 15 MPH average): 8.3

Annual fuel bill (based on Premium gas at 33 cents/gallon): $245.00

[To the Top of the 1958 Page]


Exterior Colors

The 1958 paint codes are listed on the dataplate in sets of three -
the first is the main body color, the second is the roof color, and third is the rear scallop color. (Except for Citations and Corsairs built in Los Angeles, which have no scallop color listed in their color codes.) For convertibles, most Edsel color codes have a space in the middle position to indicate no paint. Citation convertibles built in Wayne, MI have the middle code set to the main body color code.

*A dozen Roundups were set aside as Edsel Service vehicles, and painted Edsel Green and White. These were given paint code "SSS".
At least one early Pacer was found to have a paint code of "P" - primer!

Color Combinations Available
(Note that Frost White and Snow White are interchangeable color codes)

Single-Tone
Refer to the color chart above for available colors.

Two-Tone
Two-Tone Paint option had either the body, roof or scallop painted a different color than the other sections.

Black with Red, Coral, Copper, Gold, White or Yellow
Silver with Red, Coral, White or Yellow
Red with Black, Gray or White
Turquoise with White
White with any color except Yellow
Powder Blue with White or Royal Blue
Horizon Blue with White
Royal Blue with White or Powder Blue
Ice Green with White or Spruce Green
Spring Green with White or Driftwood
Spruce Green with White or Ice Green
Brown with White, Driftwood or Yellow
Driftwood with White, Spring Green, Brown or Yellow
Yellow with Black, Gray, Brown, Driftwood or Coral
Coral with Black, Gray, White or Yellow
Chalk Pink with White or Brown
Copper with Black or White
Gold with Black or White

Exceptions:

Tri-Tone

Pacer hardtop
CAE - Red body, Black roof, White scallop
DAE - Turquoise body, Black roof, White scallop
QER - Yellow body, White roof, Coral scallop (Discontinued in 1957)
RAE - Coral body, Black roof, White scallop

Citation and Corsair hardtops
CEB - Red body, White roof, Silver scallop
DEA - Turquoise body, White roof, Black scallop
UAE - Copper body, Black roof, White scallop
XEA - Gold body, White roof, Black scallop
TEM - Pink body, White roof, Brown scallop (Not available on Corsair)

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Interior Trim

Each 1958 Edsel series had their own unique interior material. The Citation and Corsair featured vinyl bolsters made of "hand-crushed" pattern vinyl with various inserts.

All front seats are split 60/40, usually with the driver's seat back two-toned and the passenger's solid.

There are no Blue, Green or Brown interiors available for Edsel Convertibles.
Consequently, there were very few convertibles ordered in these colors.


Carpet

Originally the Citation and Corsair models were the only '58-model Edsels to come equipped with carpet.  By the end of September 1957, the Edsel Division allowed Ranger and Pacer sedans and hardtops to have carpet installed as an option.
A second letter to Edsel dealerships in January 1958 stated that carpet would now be standard equipment in the Ranger and Pacer sedans and hardtops.

[To the Top of the 1958 Page]


1958 Edsel Part Interchange List

All Models - The E-400 used the same major components as the 1958 Ford, including water and fuel pumps, heads and exhaust manifolds.  The E-475 is similar to the 1958-1961 Lincoln and Mercury 430 cid V8.  All parts will fit, except the pistons, which are 0.100 inches larger in the 430.  The Mercury 383 engine is also a similar match, except for the carburetor, crankshaft and pistons.  The 383 carburetor will fit the E-475, but expect a 5-15% drop in horsepower.
Transmissions for the E-475 are compatable with the 1958 Lincoln.  Pumps and tail housing controls are a match on the 1958 Mercury single-drive range, but the transmission case is not because of Mercury's push-button shifting control.

Citation/Corsair - Windshield, doors and side glass can be found on the 1957 and 1958 Mercury of the same body type.  (Rear glass is unique to Edsel.)  Wheel rims are identical to 1957 to 1960 Mercury.  410 Engine exhaust manifold to muffler inlet gasket is identical to the current Nissan gasket number 20692-1E810.

Pacer/Ranger - Doors and all glass can be found on the 1957 and 1958 Ford Fairlane and Fairlane 500 models of the same body type.  Wheel rims are identical to 1957 to 1960 Mercury.

Bermuda/Villager/Roundup - Sheetmetal from the firewall back is the same as the 1957 Ford wagons.  Doors and all glass is the same as the 1958 Ford wagons.  The front doors can also be found on the 1957 and 1958 Ford Custom and Custom 300 sedans.  Wheel rims are identical to 1957 and 1958 Ford.

If you have an interchange tip, please contact admin@edsel.com!

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Tires & Wheel Covers

1958 Edsel used several different brands of tires including B.F. Goodrich, Firestone and Goodyear.  Blackwall tires were standard, with whitewalls of 2.25 inches wide available as an option.  All Edsel tires were tubeless - a big advancement in the 1950s.

All Ranger/Pacer/Villager/Roundup/Bermudas used 8.00 x 14 4-ply as the standard, and 6-ply as an option.  Corsair/Citation used 8.50 x 14, 4 or 6 ply.

Conversion chart

(Thanks to Gary Lancianese for the 2003 tire code update.)

Many Edsel owners have reported a marked improvement in handling with radial tires in place of the bias-ply, and if the rims are in good solid shape, they will accommodate the radial tires without a problem.
But you should be aware of the following warning from radial tire manufacturers:

"When replacing bias ply tires with radial, please refer to the auto manufacturers recommendations.  Rims designed for bias tires can crack because of the extra stress placed on them with radial tires.  Interchangeability is not always possible because of rim sizes, wheel well clearance and load ratings.  Never mix tires of different size or construction (radial and bias) on the same vehicle.  Vehicles designed for bias ply tires may drive considerably different on radial tires.  Caution should be used."

Edsel Hubcap


The full wheel cover was optional. Fifteen and a quarter inches in diameter, it has an embossed "E" in a flat black circle in the center of the cover. They were also used on some 1959 and 1960 Edsels, if the spinner was applied (see below).

Twelve chrome ridges separate "Argent"-painted sections surrounding the wheel cover. (Argent spray lacquer is available from Ford dealers, paint code D7AZ-19000-A.)

Edsel Wheel Cover An added option was the "spinner".  A chrome circle
suspended above the wheel cover with three chrome tines
made the wheel covers look sharp.  Unfortunately they also
made them quite heavy (about 8 lbs each) and, according to
a few owners, prone to flying off at highway speeds.

When the spinner is applied, a circular plate painted as
the main body color (or sometimes the secondary trim color
if the body color is white) is attached between the cover
and the spinner.  A hole in the center allows the "E" to still
be displayed.

[To the Top of the 1958 Page]


Factory Installed Accessories

The Edsel was one of the most gadget-laden medium-priced cars of the '50s. This made the dealers happy because the mark-up on accessories was almost 32%, and depending on how many features were added, the price of the car could jump hundreds of dollars!

Here is a list of the available optional equipment and accessories, sorted by their retail prices:

Dial-Temp Heater/Air Conditioner (Citation/Corsair) $460.15
Dial-Temp Heater/Air Conditioner (Ranger/Pacer/Wagons) $417.70
Teletouch Automatic Transmission (The only option for Citation and Corsair) $231.40
Column Automatic Transmission $217.70
Overdrive Transmission $127.45
Radio (Signal Seeking "Town & Country", w/Electric antenna) $119.50
Power Windows - All 4 (Not available on Roundup) $100.95
Radio (5-tube standard, w/manual antenna) $95.25
Dial-Temp Heater/Defroster $93.45
Power Steering (Standard on Citation and Corsair) $84.95
Power Seats $76.45
Power Windows - Front only $55.65
Whitewall Tires 8.50 x 14 $44.25
Power Lubricator (Not available on Ranger/Pacer) $42.50
Whitewall Tires 8.00 x 14 $40.35
Power Brakes $38.25
Tinted Glass (Required with Air Conditioning) $34.00
Tri-tone Paint (Hardtop Pacer/Citation/Corsair only) $30.85
Wheel Covers with Spinner applique $27.70
Spotlight (Left or Right) $26.75
Two-tone Paint (Top and Scallop) $26.60
Power Antenna $24.40
Dual Exhaust (Standard on Citation convertible) $23.45
Padded Dash and Sun Visors (Standard on Citation) $22.65
Seat Belts (Front seat only) $22.50
Foam Rubber Cushions (Standard on Citation/Corsair) $21.25
Speed Warning Light $18.00
Two-tone Paint (Top or Scallop only) $17.00
Rocker Panel Mouldings (Not available on station wagons) $16.75
Dual Rear Deck Antennas $16.00
Rear Speakers (Not available on convertibles or wagons) $16.00
Electric Clock (Standard on Citation) $15.95
Tachometer $14.95
Wheel Covers $12.75
Heavy Duty Battery $12.65
Low Oil Warning Light $12.50
Carpet (Standard on Citation and Corsair) $12.30
Electronic Trunk Release $12.00
Positive-Action Windshield Wipers $11.70
Windshield Washer $11.50
Front Seat Foam Cushions $10.70
Rear Seat Foam Cushions $10.55
Oil Filter (Standard on Citation and Corsair) $9.15
Front Bumper Guards $8.95
Rear Bumper Guards (Not available on station wagons) $8.95
Back-up Lights $8.50
Low Fuel Warning Light $8.25
Padded Sun Visors $8.00
Extra Cooling Fan $7.60
Compass $7.10
Color-keyed Floor Mats (Front & rear) $6.95
Paper Air Cleaner $6.75
Traffic Light Viewer $5.90
Hooded Side Mirror $5.85
Courtesy Lights (Standard on Citation, Corsair and Pacer convertible) $5.35
Spotlight Bracket (Required with Spotlight) $5.00
Exhaust Deflectors $4.40
License Plate Frames $4.05
Adjust-O-Ring Side Mirror $3.95
No-Glare Rear-view Mirror $3.70
Engine Compartment Light $3.30
Luggage Compartment Light $3.30
Locking Gas Cap $2.95
Rear Door Child Safety Lock Covers $2.95
Oval Side Mirror $2.75
Parking Brake Warning Light $2.75
Curb Feelers $2.50
Glove Box Light (Standard on Citation) $2.25


Accessory Groups


By packaging some accessories together, the Edsel manufacturing process took less time
than building a completely customized car. The savings were passed on to the consumer.

Better Sight Set $23.10 (For Citation, Corsair, Ranger, Pacer)
Engine & Luggage Compartment Lights, Back-up Lights, Non-Glare Rear View and Hooded Side View Mirror

Better Sight Set $20.05 (For Villager, Bermuda, Roundup)
Engine Compartment Light, Back-up Lights, Non-Glare Rear View and Side View Mirror

Warning Light Set $35.55
Door Ajar, Low Fuel, Low Oil, Parking Brake, Speed Warning Lights

Dress-Up Group 1 (Not available on station wagons) $48.70
Wheel covers, Rocker Panel Mouldings, Front & Rear Bumper Guards, License Plate Frames

Dress-Up Group 2 (Not available on station wagons) $62.80
Same as 1, but also includes Spinner applique on wheel covers


Accessories That Never Made It To Production

Air Suspension
Several prototypes were designed with "Edsel-Aire" ride (4-wheel airbag suspension with auto-leveling valves) but no production or pilot cars ever had the option installed.  An intra-company communication dated January 8, 1958 on file at the Benson Ford Archives at Dearborn lists the sales item numbers for forty advance production Edsels with air suspension installed: seventeen Citation four-door hardtops, sixteen Pacer four-door hardtops, two Pacer sedans, one Pacer convertible, one Ranger two-door sedan, one Corsair two-door hardtop and one Corsair four-door hardtop, plus four additional Pacer four-door hardtops that were shipped to various regional service centers to be retrofit with air suspension kits shipped from San Jose.  San Jose built one air suspension Edsel, Louisville assembled the rest of the junior series, and Wayne assembled all of the seniors.  Two nine-passenger Bermudas were ordered from Louisville initially, but cancelled.
Edsel Division Product Engineering reports chronicled the testing frequently, even to the point that, in early October, eight air suspension Edsels were placed in "varying degrees of service".  In January, 1958 three air-suspended Edsels were transported to Bemidji, Minnesota to test the system in very cold weather.
Since the system failed, an alcohol inhaler system was briefly proposed to salvage the program.  It turned out to be too little too late, since air suspension for Edsel never reached regular production.
In the early 1980's, Dave Jenkins, retired advertising account executive for Foote, Cone and Belding in Chicago related an account to a group of Edsel owners in Los Angeles about a FoMoCo-owned air suspension Pacer he was allowed to drive for a while.  He said the car was eventually removed from its chassis, and had a conventionally sprung frame rolled under it, upon which the car was returned to the possession of FoMoCo and probably sold as a demonstrator.  Dave saved some of the components from that air suspension system, and they supposedly survive today.
On a side note, many hundreds of Fords were produced beginning January 2, 1958 with a similar system.  They were never shipped to areas where temperatures ever dropped to less than 10 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, as related in the Edsel Division Product Engineering reports.

Dual Inside-Outside Thermometer
One sensor on the gauge, one on the horsecollar grille.  This was another almost-made-it-to-production accessory.

Headlights-On Warning Signal
Considered standard in today's cars, this indicator would buzz if the ignition was turned off while the headlights were still on.

Electric Door Locks
The Edsel was going to use the Lincoln and Continental door lock system, but because the locks had no "electric unlock" functionality, the idea was dropped.

Vac-U-Start
Designed to automatically re-start your Edsel if it were to stall, by just shifting to Park or Neutral.  Unfortunately, the car would start even if you didn't want it to.  Amazingly, this accessory was installed on a few 1957 Lincolns!

Integrated Power Steering for the E400
Edsel integral power steering (where fluid pressure is converted directly into steering force rather than using an external control valve to operate a hydraulic ram) was, in fact, first installed December 4, 1957 for the E475 only.  The Edsel Division Product Engineering progress reports state unequivocally that the integral power steering for junior series was never implemented, having been dropped as a proposed regular production option (RPO) item on February 4, 1958.
Integral power steering (XR-49) is a separate concept from the crankshaft-driven power steering pump but, as it turned out, belt-driven pumps available at the time were inadequate to drive the system.  Since the crankshaft-driven pump was already developed for use with Lincoln and Mercury, the E475 got the combined system with little added engineering effort.  FE blocks as of that date (332, 352, 361), on the other hand, used exclusively belt-driven pumps, so Edsel Division would had to have single-handedly, as it were, engineer and procure a specific pump for FE block in order to incorporate the integral power steering system for the junior series.
With sales already dismal by December 1957, the wise decision was made to scrap plans for the costly development of XR-49 power steering system for Edsel Ranger, Pacer and wagon.

Dual-Range Teletouch
A six-button Teletouch Automatic transmission shifter, to accompany the new Cruise-O-Matic 3-speed automatic.  Commonly thought to be never produced, Dual Range transmission is mentioned in the Edsel Division Product Engineering progress reports until as late as January 21, 1958, when the date for first installation was projected as May, 1958.  At least one each junior and senior series engineering prototype were fitted with the dual-range transmission in late June 1957, but it isn't known if the selectors were lever or push-button.
From the actual existence of a few Dual-Range Teletouch parts in private collections today, and the listing of the correct Dual-range Teletouch service parts in the July 1958 MEL Parts and Accessories Price and Master Reference List, it might be inferred that a few Edsel engineering test vehicles with the system actually did enter service and stay there.  Nevertheless, the 1959 and 1960-issued Master Parts Catalogs don't list these parts at all.  There are also unconfirmed reports of a small number of dual-range Teletouch Edsels that had survived.  It is known that the dual range transmission was to be coupled with the 2.69:1 gear ratio rear axle and this is how they were tested, but on February 4, 1958, both of these options were deleted as RPO items for all Edsels.

Padded Header
The headliner would have a foam pad glued underneath it with a depression built in, presumably so that the sun visors would fit flush with the inside roof.  This was dropped as an option on February 4, 1958.

Balanced Traction Differential
Originally targeted for introduction December 2, 1957, the Ford Division rejected the option for its 1958 models that same month, making the availability of a limited slip third member for Edsel unlikely until at least the 1959 year.  No installations on 1958 Edsel were ever reported.

Economy Rear Axle Ratio
This 2.69:1 gear cluster was intended to mate up with the aforementioned dual-range transmission, but both were deleted as proposed Edsel options on February 4, 1958.

Integral Air Conditioner with "Spot Cooler"
This item was at one time proposed for Edsel introduction on April 15, 1958.  The system had already been introduced for 1958 Ford and Mercury, but added tooling expense and a glut of the older style vented-above-the-dash cooling/heating units made the spot cooler type impractical for 1958 Edsel.  This system was, however, installed on Edsel beginning in the 1959 model year.  On a side-note, in order to deplete the stock of excess old-style integral air conditioning/heater systems, they were made available as kits for dealer installation by February 1958.  The hang-on style air conditioners (sometimes referred to as "Polar-aire") weren't initially available for the junior series until January 2, 1958 and for senior series cars until January 7, 1958.

Gasoline Heater Booster
While it's true that warm gasoline vapor makes for better fuel-air mixing than cold, not much is mentioned of this option past July of 1957, when it was still a gleam in some pyromaniac's eye.

Available for a Limited Time: Electric Wipers Electric Windshield Wipers were replaced with vacuum-powered wipers on all Citations and Corsairs in production, starting on August 22, 1957.  The common perception places blame on the supplier (Delco-Remy) as being unable to provide the motors for the Edsel.  In fact, electric wipers on the senior series Edsel were never intended to be long-term options.
Jere Gauss explains:

[To the Top of the 1958 Page]


Credits

Thanks to Jere Gauss for the extensive research on accessories, Phil Skinner for much of the interior trim data and color combinations, Russ Waterhouse and Edsel Ford for the engine color codes, Jim Snyder for exterior color checking, Anthony Platt and Mika Aarnio for fact checking, Motor's Auto Repair for engine specifications, Motor Trend for the performance specifications and Popular Mechanics for the body specifications on the 1958 Edsel.