EDSELS IN THE MEDIA
Besides advertising and car reviews, the
Edsel (and references to the Edsel) have appeared many times in the media, from movies and
television to music, books, board games and more. Sometimes in a supporting role but
many times as the star. Sure, the Tucker got some publicity a while back, but it's no
match for the following list of hits that the Edsel played a role in..
Edsel Audio Files
Sound Bites from Motion Pictures
- "You bought an Edsel!"
(Kathleen Turner, Peggy Sue Got Married 1986)
- "I'm sorry about yesterday, the
Edsel is a classic,
use it in the best of health."
(Kathleen Turner, Peggy Sue Got Married 1986)
- "It was a calculated risk." "So was the
(Jan Michael Vincent/Burt Reynolds, Hooper 1978)
- "Nobody's gonna believe he drove this
Edsel to Miami.."
(Gerrit Graham, Used Cars 1980)
- "What airline did he fly?" "
(Jack Warden/Kurt Russell, Used Cars 1980)
- "He used to have a green and white
(Deborah Harmon, Used Cars 1980)
- "A green and white..
Oh God!" (Kurt Russell, Used Cars 1980)
- "You buried him back there - buried him in the
(Jack Warden, Used Cars 1980)
- "We will survive. The Edsel is faster than a speeding bullet."
(Robert Corff, Gas-s-s-s 1970)
- "As usual, Charlie bought us the
Edsel of computers."
(Joe Flynn, How to Frame a Figg 1971)
- "Okay, Edsel." (Karen Black, to Richard Harris who told her that he was an
inventor, The Last Word 1980)
- "You checked out in an Edsel." (John Fink, The Carey Treatment,
- In The Love Bug (1968), Jim asks Tennessee, "Is it
okay if I borrow your wheels?". Tennessee replies, "Well, okay but I'm afraid you're
gonna have a little trouble getting it started." They walk outside, where Jim
asks, "Where's the beast? You didn't cut up the Edsel..?!" The
camera pans to the grill in a piece of metal art, and Tennessee says, "It came over
me all of a sudden. Trust me Jim, it'll be happier up there."
Sound Bites from Television
- "They don't even make Edsels anymore!" (Betty Garrett, All in the Family)
- "Francis, I just remembered Captain Block bet on Nixon, he was
the first one in the club to buy an Edsel, he's still a member of
six pyramid clubs.." (Joe E. Ross, Car 54, Where are You? )
- "Did John D Rockefeller keep John D Jr out of the oil business? Did
Henry Ford keep Edsel out of the auto business? Did William
Powell keep Dick out of the movies?" (Sid Melton, The Danny Thomas Show)
- The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) - Rob and Laura Petry make nine separate references, as Rob remembers
details of being knocked to the ground by jewel theives in season 3 episode 12, "The Sound of the Trumpets of Conscience Falls Deafly on a Brain
that Holds Its Ears.. or Something Like That":
Rob: "I didn't even get their license plate off their Edsel. (Light dawns) They had an Edsel!"
Laura: "You saw them drive an Edsel?"
Rob: "A red Edsel... How could I forget a fire engine red Edsel?!.."
Laura: "What do you actually remember? A red Edsel. There must be thousands of red Edsels running around... Somewhere."
Rob: "There may be, but I bet there's only one red Edsel running around with bumper stickers that say 'I Like Ike' and 'Visit Carlsbad Caverns'."
Later in the episode, the car's owner is discovered to just be an unfaithfully married witness.
Laura: "Boy, I feel bad for that man's wife."
Rob: "His wife? I feel sorry for him."
Rob: "He's stuck with a red Edsel!"
- "Jerry would be jealous - he's still driving a '58 Edsel." (Dick Van Dyke, The Dick Van Dyke Show)
- "(like) a '57 Edsel on the showroom of society." (Al Molinaro, Happy Days)
- "We're going to Detroit. They love us there when we wreck Edsels."
(Michael Pataki [Count Mallachi], Happy Days, episode 66, "Fonzie loves Pinky, Part 3")
- "That could be a terrible investment." "Ah, that's what they said about my Edsel!"
(Richard Benjamin/Harold Camp, He & She 1967)
- "This car is a combination Hudson, Edsel, Tucker, REO and Packard." (Lucille Ball,
to Milton Berle, Here's Lucy)
- The Munsters (1965) In the episode "Herman the Rookie",
Lily (Yvonne DeCarlo) tells Marilyn, "The last time a man talked to Herman alone, he wound
up buying a second-hand Edsel."
- The Munsters (1965) In the episode "Hot Rod Herman",
Herman describes the Munster Koach to a drag racer, who responds with, "You could've fooled
me, I thought they brought back the
- The Munsters (1965) In the episode "Yes Galen There Is A
Herman", Herman tells Eddie that Spot needs to watch what he eats, and Eddie (Butch Patrick)
replies, "Yeah, last week he got a hold of an old
Edsel. He was sick for
- The Munsters (1966) In the episode "Fregosi Emerald Curse",
Mother, Dad and Grandpa are talking to a big auto executive who happens to also be sort of a
witch doctor with a "lab" behind his office. He likes to put curses on competitor's fuel
gages and radios. Grandpa asks if he ever put a curse on the whole automobile, and he
replies, "Only once. I assume you've heard of the
- "I still love my Edsel!" (Mrs Brown, Bill Bixby & Ray Walston's
landlord, My Favorite Martian)
- "No drug company wants an Edsel." (Jack Klugman, Quincy)
- Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
Ohio U's Scott Snider writes in with: "There was a short skit where a salesman stopped
at a house, he may have even pulled off the doorknocker, but the person in the house comes
out and says he's not buying, adding 'and get your dirty Edsel off of my lawn!'"
- "It's the Edsel - it won't start!"
(Neil Ross [Mr Namby], Rugrats, episode 47, "Sour Pickles")
- "I know somebody else who came back as an Edsel."
(Ann Sothern, reincarnated as a 1928 Porter, in the pilot episode of My Mother the
- "Harold, if Custer had gone to the Little Big Horn in an Edsel,
he still couldn't have touched you for losing." (Cleavon Little, ABC's
- "The Edsels.. The Pontiacs.. The Testicles.. Yeah, that one’s not going to work.”
(The Temptations (1998), trying to come up with a new band name when “The Elgins” was rejected by Motown.)
Sound Bites from Radio
- "No wonder we've been around as long as the Edsel"
(Speedy Auto Service April 2002 radio ad)
- "Looks like three hubcaps in search of an Edsel"
(Stiller & Meara describing a piece of modern art, Blue Nun Wine 1984 radio ad)
References in the Recording Industry
- Bob Newhart's 1960 comedy album The Button-Down Mind Stikes Back! features
"Ledge Psychology", about how police would talk down a jumper. The policeman correctly
guesses that the jumper is in advertising, as they're frequently suicidal. He recalls,
"Some guy had the Edsel account, I think."
- Billy Joel's 1989 chronologic hit We Didn't Start the Fire includes the line
"Edsel is a no-go".
- The Brothers Four album, "The Brothers Four: In Person", features a track called
The Thinking Man, John Henry. It tells the story of a modern John Henry who
competes against the computer. In the spoken word portion, it covers John Henry's
various jobs, including at Ford where "he thought up the Edsel".
- Canadian DJ Charlie Russell's 1974 song The Bricklin includes the chorus line,
"Is it just another Edsel
wait and see."
- Devo's 1981 hit Beautiful World music video includes a brief clip of an
getting slammed by a '58 Ford Fairlane. (Edsel lovers: Viewer discretion is advised.)
- Huey Lewis and the News' music video for Give Me the Keys is peppered with classic
cars, including a big-series
Edsel convertible in red.
- Timeless rock group Paul Revere and the Raiders's stage show features Paul
behind a keyboard that's designed to look like the nose of the 1958
- Ronnie Milsap’s She Loves My Car has a nice shot of a black 1958
convertible (maybe Kris Trexler’s?) motoring up the freeway with a guitar player.
- In 2001, the band Morris Hendrixson had a concept album centering around a 1958
Edsel, retrofitted with an experimental engine that can fold space and time.
Edsel Literature Files
References in Poetry
- Clive James' The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered calls out the
Edsel in the same breath at clinkers, dregs, bummers and
References in Fiction
- Going Home to the Fifties by Bill Yenne (ISBN: 0867195657) Features a
reproduction of a red 1959 Edsel Corsair ad on the back cover.
- Saint Ben by John Fischer (1993, Bethany House Publishers) The 1958
Edsel is used as a metaphore for nine-year-old Ben, who sees a lot of himself in
the car's appearance and appeal. "A must-read", according to the person submitting the
reference, who thought enough about the book to start researching the car's history!
- Wake Up Little Susie by Ed Gorman (2000, ISBN: 0786706651) A
murder mystery with a 1958
Edsel as a key player.
- The Worst Goes South by James Stevenson (1995, ISBN: 0688130607) This
children's book features the worst person in the world.  And he drives a 1959
- Mage: The Hero Discovered by Matt Wagner (1984, Comico) Comic book hero
with a 1959 Edsel, which appeared on
the cover of issue #12.
References, Misc. Publishing
- Shoebox Cards (a division of Hallmark) issued a Valentine's Day card for 2010 featuring
four feisty older ladies cruising in a red 1958 Pacer convertible.
- The 1976 Topps trading card Happy Days series included card #41, a frustrated
master mechanic Fonzie (Henry Winkler) with the caption, "I can't fix your car,
guys! You'd be better off with an
- On December 14, 2011, Topps released its American Pie series of trading cards featuring memorable Americana,
including card #61 entitled, "The Edsel Flops".
- The 1972 Parker Brothers board game Dealer's Choice let players wheel and deal
in used cars, including a 1959
- When Odie the dog was introduced to Garfield in the August 10, 1978 comic strip, he was compared to an
- Mad Magazine (Number 81, September 1963) Announcing the 1963-3/4 Edsel Suburban
- Mad Magazine (Number 97, September 1965) Tactics to selling a lemon, in
"Edsel: A Nightmare Relived".
Edsel Video Files
- Adventures in Odyssey
Cartoon series from "Focus on the Family" video. Episode 12, "A Stranger Among Us",
involves a '58 Edsel chase scene, ending with the car going off a cliff.
- Airplane II (1982)
The Lunar Shuttle is jumpstarted from a
- Aloha Summer (1988)
Coming of age in 1959 Hawaii, with a
1958 Bermuda Wagon
- American Grafitti (1973)
Cindy Williams drives a 1958 Corsair
4-door into Mel's Diner.
- Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
A '59 Ranger 4d sedan police car is in several scenes)
- Back to the Future II (1989)
1958 Pacer 4d hardtop is featured
on a video billboard.
- The Bat (1959)
Vincent Price drives a 1959 Edsel
but it's only seen from the front so the model is unknown.
- Blacktop (2000)
Meatloaf in a Peterbuilt semi takes on a red/white 1959 Ranger 4-door sedan!
- Blood Ties (1991)
Features a vampire family that drives a white '58 Edsel.
- The Case of the Christmas Caper (1995)
Starring the Olsen twins, Mary Kate and Ashley, features a red and white
'58 Citation convertible
that serves as the transportation for Santa's elves.
- Crazy Mama (1975) Starring Cloris Leachman, A
1960 Edsel police car
loses its door and is rolled over, while in another scene the
Edsel wears a metallic blue and
white paint job.
- Coupe de Ville (1990) Three brothers take a Cadillac
across America, and nearly collide with a red/white 1958 Edsel Ranger driven by an old man.
- Diary of a High School Bride (1959) A blue
1959 Corsair convertible is featured,
even on the movie poster.
- Duece Coupe (1992) Foltz drives his father's dark
blue & white 1958 Pacer convertible.
- Far From Heaven (2002) Good closeups of Jim Massaro's
like-new green Pacer 4-door hardtop. There's reportedly a Citation 4-door in the film as well.
- Female Trouble (1974)
John Waters film that includes Divine driving a 1959 Edsel wagon.
- Flim Flam Man (1967)
1959 Ranger 2-door sedan plays the Sheriff's personal car that later becomes the Flim
Flam Man's getaway car.
- Frances (1982)
Ford Motor Co presents Frances Farmer, played by Jessica Lange, with an Edsel
(see note below)
- Freakazoid! (1995)
During the intro scenes of the secondary character, The Huntsman, you see him run by and jump on a
1958 Edsel 2-door hardtop.
- Gas-s-s-s (1970)
A psychedelic film starring Ben Vereen and
Cindy Williams, a bunch of hippie-types riding cross-country in a
1958 Pacer 4-door in search of
Nirvana. In the words of contributor Dave Shrensky, "To call this
film a "B" movie would be an insult to every other "B" movie!"
- Girls Town (1959)
A Bermuda wagon is driven by
nuns out to rescue Mamie Van Doren's sister from the evil Mel Torme.
- The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966)
Don Knotts drives a '58 Citation 2-door.
- Guns, Girls & Gangsters (1959)
Mamie Van Doren drives a 1958 Citation Convertible.
- Hey Boy! Hey Girl! (1959)
A '58 Bermuda is raffled off to raise funds for a boys' camp.
- High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008) The
singing teens use the hood of a yellow
1959 Edsel as a dance floor.
- Honky Tonk Freeway (1981)
Beverly D'Angelo takes a pink 1959 Ranger 2dr sedan though the drive-thru crematorium.
- How I Got Into College (1989)
Includes an Edsel riding down the road, smoke billowing from the exhaust.
- Just a Dream (2002) A red/white
'59 Ranger 2d hardtop is shown
broken down in the opening scene, and its driver uses the excuse that the car breaks down
frequently to cover the fact he's having an affair. Directed by Danny Glover.
- Killing Car (1993) A green 4-door
1958 Corsair is driven by a woman who kills
just about everybody. Subtitled from French, the movie is stunningly bad. Acting, lighting, sound, directing..
the movie poster even shows a Buick. The Edsel deserves better.
- La Leggenda di Al, John e Jack (2002)
"The Legend of Al, John and Jack", an Italian film shot in New York City, includes several
scenes of the three main actors (an Italian comedy trio) driving a gold and white small-series
- Last Clear Chance (1959) A
red 2-door 1959 Corsair is used to demonstrate
the dangers of driving while tired, in this instructional video featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
- Malabana ["Malavana" for US release]
(2002) Features a stunning red
'58 Pacer convertible. (see
- Mermaids (1990) Cher's daughter's teacher drives one.
- Netherworld (1992) Stars the World's Fastest 1959
Ranger (see note below)
- Norwood (1970) Glen Campbell, Kim Darby and Joe
Namath, features Glen driving in many scenes his 58 Pacer sedan.
- Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985) Pee Wee Herman takes
a ride in a 1959 Corsair convertible
which ends up going off a cliff in the dark. The top pops up and floats them down like a parachute
(timecodes 33:51 to 40:03). (See also "Weekend Warriors", listed below.)
- Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
Peggy's dad comes home with a blue-on-blue
'58 Pacer 2-door hardtop.
- A Perfect World (1993) A 1959 Villager gets its side back
window shot out of it about 15 minutes in to the film.
- Pootie Tang (2001)
"Dirty D" drives his dirty red/white 1959 Ranger 2d hardtop into a car wash.
- The Rescuers (1977)
When Bernard and Miss Bianca are flying through New York on Orville the albatross, there is a short glimpse of a
1959 Edsel stopped at a red light.
- Roadhouse 66 (1984) Judge Reinhold's girlfriend has
- Shag (1989) Yellow/brown 1958 Villager cruises Myrtle
- Terror from the Year 5000 (1958) A scientist rents a
dark 1958 Corsair from Hertz. Featured on "Mystery Science Theater 3000" in Season 9 (1997).
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) Chainsaw store
owner drives a '59 Ranger 2dr sedan.
- Three Fugitives (1989) The doctor drives a copper 1959
Corsair 4dr hardtop in a chase scene that lasts about 3 minutes. He gets away, but the car
takes a beating.
- This Boy's Life (1993) Features a green & white
1959 Villager (see note below)
- Tough Guys (1986) Eli Wallach drives a smoking
1959 Ranger 4-door hardtop.
- Underground Aces (1981) Includes a chase scene with
a red 1959 Corsair 4dr hardtop.
- Used Cars (1980) Opening shot, a close-up of a white
1959 sedan on a pole. (This car
is "acting" as a 1958 Edsel. If you look
close enough, there's even EDSEL
lettering going down the grille!) Later this car is lowered,
where it becomes a '58 Ranger hardtop, white with blue roof
and scallop. When the Edsel is buried soon after, it reverts back to the
white '59 4-door. The Edsel is later exhumed and sent charging across the
land, except it's back to the
At the end of its journey, it changes one last time to the
with a fake blue scallop before crashing into a power transformer
- Weekend Warriors (1986) Stars the oddly painted
tri-tone 1959 Corsair convertible. (See
also "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure", listed above.)
- The Alfred Hitchcock Hour In the 1964 episode, "Anyone for Murder?", a 1958
Citation 2dr hardtop follows the main characters' car through traffic for a long time.
- The Alfred Hitchcock Hour In the 1965 episode, "Final Performance", a 1959
Ranger 4dr hardtop is stopped by the sheriff and won't start. It's towed to town where
it's eventually repaired, but the car's owner can't pay and makes a getaway in the Edsel.
- The Andy Griffith Show Barney drives a
1958 Edsel convertible back for a
college reunion with Andy.
- The Big Easy Marla Maples-Trump behind the wheel of a fast 1959
(See note below)
- Black Harbour (1998) The 7th episode of season 3,
"Field of Dreams", focuses on getting a 1958 Edsel running. An early version
of Edsel.com can be seen as they search the web for parts.
- Cadillac Jack & Ponder (1998)
(Tri-tone 1958 Pacer 2-door in the opening scene (See note below))
- The Car's the Star (1998) The British classic car
television series hosted by Quentin Wilson focused an episode on the history of the Edsel.
The full episode is online: Part One and
- CBS... 50 Years from Television City (2002)
Includes a 1958 Citation convertible in its retrospective highlights from 1957's
The Edsel Show
- CHiPs Criminals drive a 1959 Edsel in the first chase scene of the episode.
- CHiPs Alan Humphrey writes, an Aqua '59 Ranger 4-door is featured
throughout the episode. The car was stolen, and the criminals
had to have the Edsel repaired before it could be sold. The part was purchased from a
parts shop that specialised in Edsel parts. They ordered a u-joint for the
repair. The salesman, when asked by Ponch and John, said that he hadn't had much call
lately for Edsel parts. The mechanic at the garage laughed too and when asked said that
is was a sort of green colored Edsel.
- Classic American Cars of Cuba (2002)
PBS documentary features a red/white
1958 Pacer convertible.
- Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (2016) A black
1959 Villager is used as local transportation.
- Doctor Who (2011) In the 2011 season opener,
"The Impossible Astronaut", the Doctor drives a red and white
1959 Villager as his primary vehicle.
- The Donna Reed Show The 1st series family car was a '58 Bermuda!
- The Edsel Show (1957)
Live, Sunday, October 13, 1957. CBS-TV 8:00 P.M. E.D.T. From TV Guide:
"This one-hour musical review is presented by the Edsel Division of the Ford Motor
Company to introduce the Edsel, its new line of automobiles. The show is being done
as a benefit for Gonzaga U., Spokane, Wash. Gonzaga's best-known alumnus, Bing Crosby,
co-stars on the show with Frank Sinatra. Also performing are Rosemary Clooney, Louis
Armstrong, Bing's No. 4 son Lindsay Crosby, who also sings, the comedy dance team of Mr. Conn
and Mr. Mann, pianist Buddy Cole, the Four Preps and the Norman Luboff Choir. Camarata
is musical director, and choreography is by the noted dancer Eugene Loring."
- Eight is Enough Eldest son drives a Citation convertible into the family
- High Class Type of Mongrel (1959)
Features a 1958 Villager.
- I Still Dream of Jeannie A hitchhiking Jeannie is picked up in a blue/white
- Ironside In the episode "Puzzle at 24,000", guest star Desi Arnaz
plays a small-town doctor and 1959 Edsel owner. In an attempt to dissuade the doctor
from investigating a murder, the murderer tampers with the Edsel, cutting the front tie rod,
and causing Desi to drive the car through the side of a house. Desi survives...
the Edsel is mangled.
- Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee (1994)
An aqua & white 1958 Edsel makes an extended appearance on the reservation, and may be driven
by a vaguely relevant character. Further research is advised.
- Lock Up (1959) While investigating real cases from the
files of renowned Philadelphia defense attorney Herbert L. Maris, one of the lawyers drives a
1959 Ranger 4dr hardtop.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 Edsel-related movies shown on the
Satellite of Love include "Last Clear Chance" and "Terror from the Year 5000", which
each have their own entry on the Edsels in the Media page.
- Perry Mason Several Edsel episodes:
1958 Corsair convertible is driven by a psychiatrist's assistant.
A gold and black Citation convertible is driven by a bank embezzler.
Citation 4dr hardtop is driven by a detective.
Two-tone 1959 Corsair 4dr hardtop driven by a female gambler ends up in a ravine.
- The Powers of Matthew Star A blue/white 1958 Ranger 2dr hardtop crashes
into another car after chasing Matthew.
- Rocko's Modern Life (2000)
During a heated battle between Rocko and his neighbor Ed to become the town dog catcher, Ed
runs a commercial claiming that Rocko is responsible for the 1958 Edsel and other tragedies
such as the Hindenburg.
A cartoon '58 Edsel collapses on the showroom floor.
- Rugrats (1998)
A cartoon '58 Edsel is towed away with bad brakes.
- Rugrats (2000)
A 1958 Citation (with "EDZEL" in the grille)
won't start, and can't be repaired.
- Saturday Night Live
"Fuzzy Memories" sketch features a Bermuda wagon, and a boy sticking his head out the
window as it drives down a two-lane highway.
- Scarecrow & Mrs. King A KGB agent is locked in the trunk of a blue/white
1959 Ranger 4dr hardtop.
- Simon & Simon
1958 Corsair 2-door in two scenes, in the episode "Reunion at Alcatraz".
- Starski & Hutch (1976)
Paul Elia reports: In the episode "The Las Vegas Strangler", a Red '58 2dr
Citation convertible with a white & gold insert is substituted for the trademark red
Torino in an undercover stint in Vegas.. In one shot they pull up in front of a drug
store and try to hurry inside, but Starski can't get the driver door to
shut. He slams it 3 or 4 times and finally just leaves it open and goes
inside. The rest of the episode shows them jumping out of the drivers
seat over the door because it won't open! (See more notes below)
- This Is Your Life (1958)
Frances Farmer is presented with a
at the end of the show. (See notes below)
- This Is Your Life (1958)
Harry Momita is presented with a green and white
1958 Corsair 4-door hardtop
for being a "Japanese immigrant with an unwavering devotion to the USA". This car is
believed to be VIN
on the road in Texas.
- To Tell The Truth
Edsel Owners Club co-founder Edsel Henry Ford fooled most of the panelists as to his real
- When Good Ghouls Go Bad (2001)
Christopher Lloyd drives a green 1959 Edsel in this Fox Family Halloween Special.
- Wonderful World of Disney NightowlBruce@juno.com writes in with: As I
recall, somehow a guy makes friends with a wild wolf and winds up driving it around in the back
of a 1959 Villager. At the end of the movie, the wolf got out and went back into the
wild. The car was probably at least 5 or 8 years old in the movie, just a typical old
car at the time. It may have been a film and not made for TV, but I know I'm right about
the Edsel and the wolf and that it was Disney.
Television Commercials, For Edsels
Edsel Division, 1958 Model
- They'll know you arrived...
(Download temporarily unavailable)
Edsel Division, 1959 Model
Television Commercials, Using Edsels
- Atlantic Gasoline (1958) Each note in their happy
jingle features a different shot of a
1958 Bermuda wagon.
(Video from Romano Archives)
- Cuban Holidays Showing in England is an ad for Holidays for
the Over-50, filmed in Cuba using a 1958 Red and White convertible.
- Dunkin Donuts Satan drives a red 1958 Citation convertible..
- Franklin Mint '58 Pink/White Citation convertible in 2 scenes.
- Libby's (1969) A series of commercials for Libby's
vegetables and juices feature a
convertible driven by secret agent, broadcast as part of a 1969 Woody Allen comedy special.
- Nextel (2004) Shown during NASCAR races, this "It's
good to be a fan" spot includes fans arriving in a
1958 Pacer 2-door.
- NTSB Lamp in the Crash Dummies' home is made from a '58 grille.
- Tennessee Lottery (2004) A pink 1958
Edsel's in the "Tennessee's Ticket to Fun" promotion.
- Triumph (1970s) As the voiceover talks about the racing prowess
of the Spitfire, it's passed by a series of "non-performance" cars including a white
Television Quiz Shows
(Answers are at the bottom of the page)
- Greed March 2000
Of these cars, which four were first available: Edsel, Mustang, Beetle,
Eldorado, Corvair, Corvette
- Super Password
The clues: Fancy, Fifties, Failure, Ford, Model.
- The Weakest Link 2002
Which Ford flop was named after Henry Ford's son?
- Who Wants to be a Millionaire March 2000
Which automobile was the focus of consumer advocate Ralph Nader's book?
Edsels in Video Games
- Grand Theft Auto 2 features "Eddy", a 2-door sedan that's clearly modeled after
the 1958 Edsel.
- Maniac Mansion for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
There's a "Weird Edsel" in the Edison's
garage. It comes into play during one (or more) of the many end-game
sequences. (If you put the meteor in the trunk before launching the car, you get an alternate ending
that shows the front of the Edsel.)
A sample from YouTube is available
Edsel Internet Videos
- Edsel Promotional Film: Introducing the
- Edsel Promotional Film: Actor-portrayed executive plans to introduce the
- Edsel Promotional Film: Tom McCahill Test Drives the
- Vintage Vehicle Show Interviews Bob Thompson and his
- "Defending the Lemon" looks at the history of the
- Collage of
Edsels with The Edsel Show
- A fan records a
1959 Edsel convertible
- A fan records a
1959 Edsel Ranger
Edsels in the Mist
- The Astro-Zombies (1968)
A 1958 Villager is seen
as a goon is run down by a Cadillac.
- The Atomic Cafe (1982)
Archive footage fills this period piece, and includes a
1958 Edsel radio being tuned, followed by
a street view of this car passing another 2-tone
1958 Ranger, around the 33-minute mark.
Forty-two minutes later in the film, a light colored 1958 Edsel
can be seen as people evacuate a diner.
- Back to the Future II (1989)
"Futurized" 1959 Ranger
4-door briefly turns a corner.
- Coal Miner's Daughter (1980) Rear of a '59 in plain
view in a parking lot scene.
- Coupe de Ville (1990) At the beginning, just before
they pick up their little brother, they drive by a parked off-white 1959 Corsair
4-door. Shortly after the screen says "11 years later", there's a red 1959 Ranger that
can be seen turning the corner of the block.
- Cujo (1983) A 1958 Villager is parked in a farm yard.
- Dark City (1998)
A few scenes show the back of a 1959 Edsel in this low-light sci-fi production.
- The Day it Came to Earth (1979)
Tom Champion's turquoise/white Pacer convertible is shown.
- Dogfight (1991) 1959 Villager appears in this, one of
the last River Phoenix films.
- Eva's Bayou 1958 Villager outside the bar when the doctor gets shot.
- The Flamingo Kid (1984)
A white/red 1959 Corsair convertible is parked in the club's parking lot.
- Glory Road (2006) A Mist Green and White
1959 Ranger 4-door hardtop drives by in
- Godfather Part II (1974) A '59 rolls by on the
streets of Havana while Michael Corleone stands in foreground.
- Hairspray (1988) Red
1960 Ranger 2-door HT parked in front
of the gymnasium.
- Havana A Powder Blue and White
1958 Ranger is seen in the streets.
- In Cold Blood (Remake) The opening shot, a street scene from
above, clearly shows a parked '59 in the foreground.
- La Cucaracha An Edsel appears in a street scene.
- The Love Bug (1968) Edsel grille welded into Tennessee's sculpture made from junk.
- Love Field (1992)
A bluish-green colored 1959 Ranger 4-door sedan is parked in front of the hotel room.
- Love with the Proper Stranger (1963) An Edsel taxi is
parked outside Natalie Wood's apartment building near the end of the film.
- Middle of the Night (1959) In the middle of the film,
driving behind Kim Novak and Frederick March's car is the unmistakeable grill of a 1959 Edsel.
- Naked Gun 2-1/2 (1981)
Photo of a '58 convertible
between Michael Dukakis and the Hubble Space Telescope, in The Blue Note bar.
- A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon (1988) River
Phoenix passes a parked Red/White/Black Pacer 2-door hardtop.
- 1969 (1988) Reportedly a white 1958 Edsel appears
in the film.
- North by Northwest (1959)
Cary Grant is sent down a hill at night in a car with no brakes. As he
tries to keep the car on the road, he almost hits a 1958 Edsel.
- Nothing But Trouble (1991)
An advertisement for the 1959 Edsel is on a table.
- One from the Heart (1982)
There's a blue 1958 Edsel front end in the Reality Salvage yard.
- A Perfect World (1993)
At the beginning, a faded green '59 Villager is parked in front of the criminal's car.
- Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985) Besides the star '59
convertible Pee Wee Herman drives, there's a white/pink 1958 Citation convertible with
front bumper guards at the drive-in theater, timecodes 1:21:22 to 1:22:26.
- Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
Nicholas Cage passes a tan
1959 Ranger 4-dr sedan
- Psycho (1960)
A 1959 Edsel is in the car lot where Janet Leigh changes cars.
- Ray (2004)
A green 1959 Edsel is passed when
Ray and the family go to the new house.
- The Sandlot (1993) A
1958 Edsel sits in front of
the drug store.
- The Shaggy Dog (1959)
When Wilby Daniels turns into the dog at the dance he escapes to the parking lot and
crawls by a 1958 Citation more than once.
- The Shawshank Redemption (1994) A white
1959 Villager is
seen in the parking lot from the warden's window
- Strangers When We Meet (1960)
A Talisman Red with dark trim 1959 Edsel 2-door hardtop is seen just after the opening credits
as the camera pans across a neighborhood.
- Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
In an aerial shot of the fair, a Coral/White 1958 Edsel can be seen on the left.
- Thirteen Days (2000) Kevin Costner political
thriller includes a passing
1960 Ranger sedan
while the credits are still rolling. A second Edsel - the back of a parked
1958 Citation - is also seen later in
the film. (A blue/white '60 in the White House parking lot looks a lot like an Edsel,
but upon closer inspection is actually a Ford Fairlane.)
- We Are Marshall (2006) As the funeral procession
is coming towards the camera, the rear of a small-series 1958 Edsel can seen.
- What's Love Got to Do with It? (1993) The front of a
1958 Edsel can be seen, parked on the curb behind the bus that Tina Turner gets off of.
- Wizard Beau Bridges film, where a black '59 comes up close as 3 kids are
- The World According to Garp (1982) An Edsel is
parked in the street as a piano is hoisted up to a window.
- Adventures of Ozzy & Harriett A 1959 Corsair convertible passes behind
the Nelson boys as they search barber shops for a mysterious man.
- America's Funniest Home Videos (1991/92)
Jere and 5-year-old Gennie Gauss sing with Chuck Berry in a 1958 Pacer convertible (see notes).
- The Buena Vista Social Club 1958 Pacer in a twilight street scene
- The Celebrity Apprentice (2015) The season finale
promotes Universal Studios with a shot of a turquoise and white
1959 Edsel Ranger
parked in the streets of the theme park.
- Counting Cars (2014) The crew takes pictures with a Talisman Red
1959 Edsel Ranger at a tourist spot
along Route 66 in Arizona, in the "Get Your Kicks" episode.
- Counting Cars (2015) A Jonquil Yellow
1958 Edsel Ranger
catches the eye of Danny "The Count" Koker as he walks across the parking lot.
- Crime Story (1986)
Yellow/Grey 1958 Ranger 2d HT, Black/White 1959 Ranger 2d HT, Turquoise/White 1959 Ranger
4d HT in Chicago & Vegas background footage. In the series pilot episode, a blue 1958
Edsel comes into view as a 1959 Ford pulls away.
- A Day Called X (1959) CBS production of a Portland,
Oregon nuclear strike, narrated by Glenn Ford. Includes a shot of a 1958 Edsel.
- Dukes of Hazard Unconfirmed sighting of a '59 Edsel when the police follow
the Dukes into a junkyard, in the first episode that Daisy tries to get a recording contract.
- Green Acres 1958 Edsel radio calling out market prices was installed under
the dashboard of an apple truck.
- Home Improvement 1959 horsecollar & grille adorn a garage
in the wild that's filled with other failed ventures.
- The John Henson Project (2004) Set prominently
features a 1958 Edsel wheel cover with
- HG Wells' War Of The Worlds Scandal - The Day That Panicked America Video
documentary. While describing folks tuning in to Orson Wells' 1939 broadcast, a shot is
shown of a hand tuning a 1958 Edsel radio (the same footage from the movie
The Atomic Cafe listed above.) What
a '58 car has to do with a '39 radio broadcast is unclear.
- How Sex Changed the World (2013) A
1958 Pacer convertable is decked out for a wedding.
- Junkyard Wars (2003) A white 1959 Edsel appears
behind the contestants.
- King of the Hill (2003) Unconfirmed, but it looked
like the taillights of a cartoon Edsel wagon.
- Leave It To Beaver Jere Gauss has analyzed the first three seasons and found:
Episode 1X34, Beaver's Bad Day, Initial air date: June 4, 1958
At 00:54, 1958 Edsel Bermuda in driveway background, in a teaser before the credits.
At 19:09 to 19:52, Same scene again in full this time. The Bermuda has whitewall tires,
full wheel covers, backups delete, perhaps tinted glass.
It sports the 1956 California license plate "PBW240".
This is not the Beav's driveway. Wally and Beav are walking
somwhere else in the neighborhood in their Sunday best suits.
Episode 2X6, Her Idol, Initial air date: November 6, 1958
At 22:32 a 1958 Edsel Citation convertible drives by slowly.
At 23:10, the Citation convertible drives back the other direction.
The Edsel is in the background as seen from a city park. Beaver is
talking to two friends in a tree. The Citation has its top up and
you can see it has spinner wheel covers.
Episode 3X10, Beaver's Fortune, Initial air date: December 5, 1959
At 4:55, a 1959 Edsel Ranger passes in the foreground with Beaver and Larry downtown.
At 5:49 to 6:34, a 1959 Edsel Ranger is parked in the background with Larry in the foreground.
- Life's Most Embarrassing Moments 1958 Pacer Convertible photo hangs
on the wall of the set.
- Mad Men (2014) A turquoise and white 1960 Ranger can
be seen in the street behind the phone booth.
- Masters of Sex (2015) The Showtime series about Masters and Johnson includes a 1959 Villager in the parking garage in the episode "Through a
- Once Upon A Time (2013) A customized
1959 Ranger 2-door hardtop is parked outside the mechanic's garage in
- Perry Mason (1959-1960) Several episodes with background Edsels. "The Case of the...:
...Bedeviled Doctor", a
1959 Corsair convertible in the apartment building parking lot.
...Mythical Monkeys", a
1959 Corsair convertible is parked two cars away from a suspect's Buick.
...Romantic Rogue", a
1958 Citation 4dr hardtop in the Esquire Motel parking lot.
...Shattered Dream", a
1958 Citation 4dr hardtop in the gem cutter's parking lot.
...Spurious Sister", a
1959 Corsair 4dr hardtop "crashed" down an embankment.
...Watery Witness", a
1959 Corsair convertible is owned by a movie actress.
1958 Pacer 4dr hardtop in a motel parking lot.
1958 Pacer 4dr hardtop parked outside the courthouse during a zoo kidnap case.
1959 Corsair hardtop parked at the Fishing Club.
1959 Villager wagon is parked on the road on "Founder's Day".
1959 Corsair convertible rented by an older woman who finds the body of her cousin.
1959 Corsair 2dr hardtop next to a suspect's Buick in a restaurant parking lot.
- Quantum Leap A 1959 Corsair - maroon with turquoise spinner appliques! - in
the episode "Justice".
- Route 66 A 1958 Corsair 2dr hardtop is parked outside the 5th precinct
police station in New Orleans.
- Route 66 A 1959 Ranger is parked at the airport as a plane lands.
- SCTV In the "I Was a Teenage Communist" sketch, opening scenes show
photos of 1958 Citation Convertible and Ranger 2d sedan.
- 77 Sunset Strip In the episode "The Kookie Caper", Kookie (Edd Byrnes)
parks a yellow
1959 Corsair in the lot. It
wasn't filmed in color, but they say it's yellow later in the episode.
- 77 Sunset Strip In the episode "Lovely Lady Pity Me", there's a 2-tone
1958 Citation parked behind the
- Superman: The Animated Series In the second episode of the first season, a car tire explodes,
and as it careens towards a gas station, a
1958 Edsel pulls out of the station parking lot.
- That Night (1993 TV movie) 1958 Pacer is passed by
Juliet Lewis' wildly driven '58 DeSoto.
- Where the Action Is (1966)
Jere Gauss found a kinescope of this Dick Clark series episode (#291, first aired August 11,
1966) which includes a segment of the Knickerbockers covering the Animals hit "We Gotta Get
Out of This Place" filmed at a city park in Huntsville, Alabama. The atmosphere shot
immediately preceding the group's number includes a parking lot where a light colored 1958
Pacer or Corsair with a dark scallop drives through in the background, at timecode 10:56
For the nitpicker in you: In "Peggy Sue Got Married", she goes back to the year 1960.
Yet her dad's new car (complete with new car sticker) is a 1958 Edsel...
Likewise, in the Andy Griffith Show episode, "The Return of Barney Fife", Barney drives into
Mayberry in his stock turquoise 1958 Edsel convertible. Andy asks him if the
car is a 1961 model, and Barney replies,
"It's a '60 but it has a '61 grille". (Huh?!)
Perhaps not surprisingly, Don Knotts is the current record holder for appearing in the Most
Edsel Reference projects (3: The Andy Griffith Show, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, and How
to Frame a Figg.)
In "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure", Pee-Wee Herman "drives" his '59 Edsel convertible while the
gear shift is clearly in Park.
Is it coincidence that the same team of Robert Zemeckis/Bob Gale/Steven Speilberg
promoted the 1958 and 1959 Edsels in both "Used Cars" and "Back to the Future II"?
And what's up with the Edsel-bashing over at Nickelodeon?? There are now at least
three references to cartoon Edsels that are lemons. Granted, nearly every
Edsel owner has experienced the performance (or lack thereof) of these cartoon models, but
it still stings..
Behind the Scenes
As of September 2006, the Edsel used briefly in Back to the Future II is
on display in the Universal Studios
(California) Backlot Tour.
Edsel owner Jere Gauss submits:
"I don't know the exact air date, but I think it was some time around 1991-1992,
America's Funniest Home Videos ran about a three second segment of me and my 5-year-old
daughter Gennie in the front seat of my Pacer convertible, top down, up on jack stands,
singing along with Chuck Berry's "No Particular Place To Go". Fellow Edsel owners
Phil Skinner and Jeremy Janss participated in the filming, with Phil behind the camera, and
Jeremy on a creeper with his legs sticking out from under the Edsel, a transmission on the
ground next to him. I still have the original 8-mm video copy from the shoot (because
I paid them $3 to send it back), and I still have the "America's Funniest Home Videos" t-shirt
they sent me as well!"
Jere also provided more details of the Starsky & Hutch Edsel episode:
"There was a two-part episode of the Starsky and Hutch TV series, which aired on
September 25, 1976 (production code 23), Episode 2X24, where the pair was driving a Citation
convertible around Las Vegas. The Edsel was owned by Ralph Cantos from Los Angeles, and
the production crew was pretty rough with it. I can remember Ralph complaining about the
damage they inflicted!
Ralph also rented this car to the company that produced the hour-long drama/comedy
Eight is Enough. The car appeared being driven into the family's Sacramento
driveway by the oldest son. Episode and air date unknown for the moment."
And details behind 1985's Pee Wee's Big Adventure:
Fellow Southlander Max Miller provided his cars to the film (both the main
1959 convertible and the background '58 Citation convertible with the CA license "MAXS
58"). Jere sold a fired ceramic 1959 Edsel convertible to this production company
after they called about providing them with a miniature of Max's 1959 Corsair.
"Evidently, there was some consideration of filming the driving-off-a-cliff sequence with
a scale model Edsel. What they eventually used was Max's car with the convertible top
removed, so my ceramic Edsel ended up on a properties shelf somewhere at Warner Brothers, I
suppose. The ceramic Edsel was a table center piece from the 1983 Portland EOC meet
The Munsters was famous for using the Edsel as a punchline over and over. But
Greg S. reports one "near-Edsel experience" that came too close to libel, and had to be changed
from the original script:
In the episode of the Munsters, "Will Success Spoil Herman Munster?", Grandpa describes his
The Essex was an antiquated and obscure reference even in the mid-1960s, and there is no
evidence to suggest the Essex was a failure or a joke. But unlike the other Edsel
references in the series, this one targeted the car's designer. And since he was still
very much alive, the line had to be changed or they could be looking at a lawsuit!
"One time in Detroit, I made up a batch for this fellow. Next day he sat down and
designed the Essex".
From George Pics:
"I was in Italy and at the Noir in Festival I saw an absolutely stunning red
1958 Pacer convertible with a protagonist role in the movie called Malabana. I
know that the movie will be shown at the New York International Independent Film and Video
Festival in February 2002. I emailed the producers at firstname.lastname@example.org and they sent me a
picture of it; they told me they have more Edsel pictures.
FYI the movie is shot in Cuba, and the Edsel is Cuban!"
See more shots of the "La Leggenda di Al, John e Jack" Edsel
Jack Randall Earles writes in with the
story behind "The Francis Farmer Story":
"On the This Is Your Life classic series, Frances Farmer is indeed
presented with a 1958 Edsel Pacer. "You'll be a busy gal, Frances,
dashing from interview to interview. Pace [home permanent company] and
the Ford Motor Company want to give you this brand new 1958 2-door Edsel
Pacer. With its ease of handling, style, and above all dependability,
this car will get you where you want to go. It's yours to drive home
tonight." [If you can get it started -JRE]
She drove it until 1963, usually shifting into reverse when she tried to blow the
horn on Illinois Street in Indianapolis where she lived. She got into an
accident and locked bumpers with another car in front of her home
causing quite a ruckus, and usually took up two parking spaces in the
lot of WFBM-TV where she worked."
January 2004: The debate rages on about the Edsel used in the Don Knotts film, "The Ghost and
Mr. Chicken". Apparently the story goes that the car lived its life in some Hollywood
storage and made it's way out to Utah where it's still looking fresh from the showroom
floor. But some have pointed out that the car in the film is a Citation 2-door with a
brown interior, Charcoal Brown body and scallop and Chalk Pink roof. The Utah car is a
Corsair with red body and roof, white scallop and red interior. The investigation
In addition to starring in "This Boy's Life" and appearing in "Dog Fight",
the owner of this green & white 1959 Villager,
Ron Osborn writes in with more:
"My car was also used in a VH-1 video, a few years back. The song was
called "Along for the Ride" sung by a local musician named Danny O'Keefe.
It shows my '59 broken down alongside the road, with a gorgeous girl looking
for help, and Danny pulls up in a '56 T-bird and offers her a ride.
Naturally, they leave the Edsel..."
Notes from E475JETAIR@aol.com:
My '59 Edsel was in JFK 4 days, but did not appear in the final
cut. Most recently Marla Trump drove my Edsel in the TV series
The Big Easy. After her driving scene, there was another scene
with a body in the trunk. The actor was glad my Edsel had a big trunk! All
this has been done in my 59 Ranger which is a race car. The world's fastest
59 Edsel. Just 2 weeks before Marla Trump drove it, I won a bracket race in
Tulsa. Best 1/4 mile elapsed time: 11.83 @ 112 M.P.H.
Notes from Ron at email@example.com:
My Ember Red, White and Black 1958 Pacer 2-door was in the opening scene of the
movie Cadillac Jack & Ponder,
about a rodeo cowboy framed for murder. It starred Clint Black and Lisa
Hartman. This TV movie was filmed in November 1997 and aired in March 1998 on
the Sunday Night Movie. Also, my 1966 Ford Galaxie 2-door was in the movie, too.
Special thanks to Jeff Boster, Nicholas Morton and Christopher Brame for many of the
obscure ones (with vidcaps!), Gary Gilmore for the video clips, Jere Gauss for
timecode-level video analysis, Larry Fish for inspiring the Music Industry category,
Phil McGuire for inspiring the TV Game Show category, Ken Baltitas for inspiring
the Internet Video category, Tom Hatfield for inspiring the Video Game category,
Dale & Linda Milliman, Eric Anderson, Doug Rands,
Terie Hipple, Alan Humphrey, Andy Peters, and Scott Snider
for an increasing number of new sightings, and
Alison Organ for checking in from the UK with many more. Thanks also go to
Dave Lee for coming up with missing titles, and Tom Champion for the original
list of Edsels in Film.
Much appreciated are the eagle eyes of Frank Fisher, Jimmy Bowman, Ry Henry,
Patrick Kusek, Bruce Waymire, Roxanne Newmark, Robert Beyer,
Patrick Webb, Ron Markman, Jan Rieber, Matthew Quinn,
Rick Crosby, Lyle Thompson, Warren Frederickson, Cathal Boylan,
Mike Doyle, Rick Potter, Marty Larson, Melanie Bremberg,
Jimmy Edsel, Salvatore Della Volpe, Eric Belrose, Robert Lindholm,
Greg S., Estil Townsend, Bill Krieger, Robert Williams,
Matt McLaughlin, Dave Ellsworth, Len, Dan Dubuque,
John Kreuz, Xeno Foxx, Percivale Porter and George Caswell. Thanks
also to Billy Apgar for the details on his "This Is Your Life" car, to
Paul Sakrison for the digitally-enhanced
Back to the Future Edsel, and to Eric Nelson who pointed out that Skylab is not in the
Blue Note Bar (although it seems in hindsight more of a failed venture than Hubble), and
to Mike Renaut for analyzing the Devo crash footage for correct makes/models.
If you know of more references to Edsel on film or video, please contact
Game show answers:
Super Password: Edsel (Sure it's easy when you have all the clues!)
Weakest Link: (The contestant responded "Edsel" without missing a beat.)
Millionaire: Corvair (But Edsel was one of the answers to choose from.)