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Projects How easy is it to restore an Edsel?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by chstitans42, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. chstitans42
    Joined: Feb 7, 2011
    Posts: 715

    chstitans42
    Member
    from Anna, TX

    A buddy of mine is interested in buying his first 50s car, a 1958 Edsel. Other than the info you can find on the websites, I was thinking the HAMB could for sure give me some insight on these cars. The one is question is a 1958 Edsel Ranger 4-door sedan.

    1. From current or prior owners, how easy/hard is it to find parts? This is my number one concern due to the fact they are no as mainstream like 55-57 Chevys.

    2. Ive seen prices for these things all over the place, some say they can be worth some money but others say they are pretty much worthless. What is your opinion?

    3. Do these cars share any parts with 58-60 fords or Mercurys? IF so, what parts?

    4. Anyone have any idea on the tele-touch transmission shifter? Any diagrams or parts to get it working? how to troubleshoot?
     
  2. How easy is a tricky question :rolleyes:

    Paint and body work will always be a constant on any car, doesnt matter what it is. That kinda work on an Edsel is the same as doing a 57 Chevy.

    It sounds like what your fishing for is PARTS availiability.

    The more door that you speak of shares a bunch of parts with its Ford counterpart.

    The Ranger is based on a Ford platform and not the larger Mercury.

    They built a bunch of the 58 Edsels and there are people who do support them.
    Contact me off list and I will give you a few names.These guys also know the Teletouch unit.

    Best suggestion I can offer is to join the two Yahoo groups that are Edsel specific.Some great knowledge there.

    Look in Yahoo under Edsel Restoration and Preservation and also Edsel owners group.

    Those guys tought me a lot about my Edsel Roundup.

    Oldmics
     
  3. How easy is it to screw a cat? A lot depends on whether it is dead or alive and how many people you have helping you!
     
  4. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,898

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Unless the car is inexpensive and already in very good condition, this needs to be seen as a labor of love, IMO, because a Ranger 4 door is not a "hot property" at resale time, compared to the cost of decent standard of restoration quality.
     

  5. A less than desirable 4 door Edsel and how easy is it to restore?

    Ever hear the term jumbo shrimp or military intelligence..they are both oxymoron's.

    It's gonna be expensive and parts are going to be hard to find,I would pass unless I really,,make that REALLY wanted one. HRP
     
  6. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 1,115

    birdman1
    Member

    the push-button shifter is about the only mechanical part different from a ford or Merc of similar years. Glass, fenders, doors interchange but not hoods or trunk lids, grills,etc. If you are not of the "cookie cutter" bunch, this is a real head turner ,even if sitting next to the glorious "Tri-Five chebys! "
    The transmission itself is an easy and cheap rebuild, as are the engines except the 410.
    many people like to run down the Edsel, but I was there when it came out, and remember it as the best looking and most desired car of 1958(besides the New T-Bird). If you need help, email me and I will do all I can hscheffler2@gmail.com :D:D:D:D
     
  7. Don Martin
    Joined: Nov 2, 2006
    Posts: 157

    Don Martin
    Member
    from West Tenn

    Saw one at Bonneville last year cut up and built into a roadster. Looked like a fun car and good use for an Edsel.
     
  8. 'Easy' is a question-begging term.... How good is the starting point? And how nice does the end product have to be?

    There's a lot of chrome die-cast on these (big $$$ to replate), and that Teletouch will swallow more $$ than you might think; remember that Ford tossed it after the first year. And is this a full-blown 'restore' or just a 'fix it up nice' deal? That 4-dr sedan will never be worth what a 2-dr hardtop is, and will cost roughly the same to fix.
     
  9. 28TUDOR
    Joined: Jan 25, 2007
    Posts: 419

    28TUDOR
    Member

    I wouldn't buy it, a four door cost more to build and sells for less than a two door. Unless that's just the car he wants.
     
  10. my47buicksuper
    Joined: May 23, 2013
    Posts: 291

    my47buicksuper
    Member
    from sunny fl.

  11. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,851

    Squablow
    Member

    How does a 4 door cost more to build?

    Most of the mechanical pieces were shared with Ford (as stated already) so that stuff you'll be fine with. Trim parts you'll have to find used, but there are plenty of guys parting them out, so you'll probably be fine there.

    Really, it comes down to the condition of the car and what the end goal for the car will be, more than the fact that it's an Edsel.
     
  12. J'st Wandering
    Joined: Jan 28, 2004
    Posts: 1,772

    J'st Wandering
    Member

    One observation. Majority say that a four door edsel isn't worth fixing. Therefore there should be plenty of parts cars out there if no one is building them.

    I am in the same boat as others. I would not put money into a four door. When he finds a two door, my answer will change. Besides, he will know where there is a donor car. ;)

    Neal
     
  13. chstitans42
    Joined: Feb 7, 2011
    Posts: 715

    chstitans42
    Member
    from Anna, TX

    The car has decent paint, needs buffed. There is no rust on the car other than a few bubbles on the rear wheel arches. The car is 100 complete. The interior needs carpet and maybe a headliner, but the door panels dash and seats have been redone to driver quality condition. The main thing the car needs is the door glass, but I have found that from auto city classic for 45 each. The dive train is all original E400. Engine will start and run with gas poured into the carb. Comes with a new fuel pump and brake booster. All chrome and emblems are there. Tires might need a looking at but at least hold air. The trans has a floor shift on it which means the teletouch has been disconnected. The owner says it was a running and driving car 8 months ago before the brakes went out. It can be picked up for a little over $1000
     
  14. chstitans42
    Joined: Feb 7, 2011
    Posts: 715

    chstitans42
    Member
    from Anna, TX

    How does a four door cost more? More weather stripping and an extra seat of glass and window cranks? Just curious
     
  15. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,258

    slowmotion
    Member

    I'm not an Edsel fan at all, but it might be worth gambling a grand or so, considering your description. I would NOT put big bucks in it. Just get it sound & reliable, then drive or flip.
     
  16. xpletiv
    Joined: Jul 9, 2008
    Posts: 938

    xpletiv
    Member
    from chiburbs

    I'll be right there!!

    I wish. Too far away, but if it was in my neighborhood=without hesitation.

    Moredoor= ++
    Edsel= +++
    Condition= ++
    Cost= no brainer
     
  17. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,851

    Squablow
    Member

    For that price I'd say go for it. Clean it up nice and have very little money in a driver.
     
  18. 6,576 were made....now if it was a 1960 Ranger 4dr (EB).....only 31 were made, the lowest production of any Edsel. (76 convertibles)
     
  19. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,851

    Squablow
    Member


    There were 59 9-passenger 1960 wagons produced, that's the lowest production Edsel. There were 135 4 door hardtops and 1288 4 door sedans made in '60. Where are you getting 31 Ranger 4 doors from?
     
  20. legion
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 41

    legion
    Member

    Not to be a jerk, But "head for the hills" on that thing... no body wanted that car when it was new. There are so many cars out there to choose from... and this is coming from a Ford guy.
     
  21. xpletiv
    Joined: Jul 9, 2008
    Posts: 938

    xpletiv
    Member
    from chiburbs

    And...just a ?
    Why would it matter how many were made, weren't there millions of those '20s Fords made, too?
    Ah, you mean there would be more parts available, I see.
     
  22. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,898

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    While your comment reflects a widely held belief about the first year Edsel sales, it isn't quite accurate.

    The fact is, 1958 model year Edsel sales captured a share of market (% of total auto sales) that was pretty much on target for it's market segment(s).

    What happened, though, is that 1958 was a particularly bad year, economically speaking, the beginning of a three year recession, that took such a toll on all auto sales that numerical volume of Edsel fell below expected levels and became a financial burden for FOMOCO.

    The car did become the butt of many jokes about it's 'horse collar' grille, actually one of the more charitable and printable names for it. The combination of the ailing economy and declining popularity of the Edsel spelled it's doom.
     
  23. Dakota Boy
    Joined: Sep 8, 2010
    Posts: 173

    Dakota Boy
    Member
    from Racine, WI

    Its funny how cars that are hated eventually come back around and start getting attention…. Hell, there are lots of people who think Gremlins are cool now. I'd much rather see a fairly rare vehicle that someone has fixed up than have to look at some of the more "popular" cars such as Camaros, Mustangs, etc..
     
  24. porky55
    Joined: Aug 23, 2013
    Posts: 269

    porky55
    Member

    Buy it. If you like it who cares about everybody else. I like more doors, no one else wants them so I get them cheaper.
     
  25. WTSHNN
    Joined: Oct 19, 2011
    Posts: 105

    WTSHNN
    Member
    from Chicago

    He wants to restore?


    www.aaca.org

    Find the forums, there will be plenty of people on there with all the info he needs.

    -Tim
     
  26. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,475

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    If you like it, buy it.

    Edsels were basically Fords or Mercuries. Most mechanical parts are available from normal sources and are not expensive. Parts that are specifically Edsel are mostly trim, chrome, body sheet metal. These are not so easy to come by, but you say the car you are looking at is complete and does not need any of these hard to find parts.
     
  27. xpletiv
    Joined: Jul 9, 2008
    Posts: 938

    xpletiv
    Member
    from chiburbs

    No sense in being a Lemming. Get it!
     
  28. TANNERGANG
    Joined: Jan 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,269

    TANNERGANG
    Member
    from alabama

    Heard a guy that had restored one say that an edsel was the only car he knew of you could spend 5 years and $100,000 restoring and it was still worth $12,500 if the restoration wasn't over 6 months old............
     
  29. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    There is guy on here who specializes in Teletouch shifters, can't recall the name at the moment.
     
  30. 58ClubVictoria
    Joined: May 28, 2011
    Posts: 51

    58ClubVictoria
    Member

    Ford, Edsel and Mercury running gear will pretty much interchange. However, it is a lot easier to find Ford body parts than Edsel and Mercury. More were made and more after-market reproductions are available for that reason. My question is similar to what has already been asked - as to what his reason for restoring an Edsel is. If it is the car he has always wanted then he should go for it. But the resale value is not going to be good. It costs about the same to restore a two door hardtop as a four door sedan but the two door hardtop restored will bring twice the money as a four door sedan. Generally top dollar will start with the convertible then the two door hardtop then the two door sedan with the four door hardtop next and finally the four door sedan last.
     

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