Register now to get rid of these ads!

Projects What if? -The 1959 Edsel Stranger

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Spooky, Nov 29, 2021.

  1. Spooky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,865

    Spooky
    Member

    Howza all-

    Well, as long time HAMB members know, I have always been into Edsels. Being a sorta outcast as a youth, they called out to me. Way back, and I mean it, we are talking the birth of the Jalopy Journal, for a spell my car was on the original feature page. That car was a 4 door sedan that I had found in Aurora, Co. Long story short, I wrote a few pieces about it on this wonderful slice of interwebs and shared the adventures I had in the car.

    About 4 years ago, the engine was really tired. The trans needed work and our time had run its course, and I sold it. Time. That swing of the clock waits for no one.

    THEN-

    A special friend of mine spoke of her '59 2 door hardtop she had. It had to go. Car seemed solid, it had a 390 FE and C6 trans. At the time it was riding on Cragar mags, had Borla mufflers that ended just beneath the back seat. It was, well, LOUD. And with no carpet or headliner reminded me of my Dad's '55 Ford Fairlane figure 8 car. sound wise. $4k was the asking price.

    I leapt at the chance and it was delivered to my garage.

    Poor car. Gawdamn, At one time as Wizzard noted, we think it was in a field with the windows down and maybe up to the floor pans in black berries or parked in the Columbia, I dunno. The hack jobs ran a "new" harness over the existing from front to back and made no qualm at short cuts or same coloured wire from bow to stern.

    Oh, lucky me! Wiring! Well, I nailed down 98 % of it wich with the help of an original Edsel manual and a purchased OEM harness, I nailed it. My pal Wizzard helped with a few final leads to make it complete. Which entailed a 1 wire GM alternator. We added a battery and that ol FE fired up!

    Rust issues, well, yes. The quarters will need attention. There is a hunt as we speak for some nice front fenders. The trunk floor needs some patches as does the floorboards. But, over all, it is a solid start. My friend I purchased the car from dropped the price to $3,000 as a gift to me.

    Last summer, I drove the car a handful of times my job at All American Classics. My gal and I took Olive (yeah, that is the car's name) out for some drive time and put a few hundred miles here in the PNW.

    I am rambling here, sorry everyone, but here are some cool details. From the factory, Olive was a gold car with a factory green interior. Has power wipers and was a 292 car. With that colour and option package it was one of 500 made in 1959, the last reported car according to the Edsel registry was found in a wrecking yard in Montana 1995. To their records, mine is the 2nd to show up. Kinda cool.

    So, what are my plans.

    Well, "What if?" A young talent was hired on at the Edsel Division in January of 1958 as the dismal truth was starting to be shown of the cars future. The young man is a determined to make the '59 car more than off the shelf parts and a homogenized Edsel. He approaches the higher ups and is given a week to show his vision of what the '59 could be. Car will have push buton door handles from a '62 Thunderbird, the wheel covers are a mesh up of FoMoCo items, engine details focusing on performance are again FoMoCo items. And the tail lights. In the spring of '59 the Edsel division had a design created before the '59 Chev cat's eyes were even drawn.

    I have a whole fiction story in the coffers about my cars journey, and how it came to be, but for now, I want to share and hope everyone digs the journey I have embarked on.

    Spooky
     

    Attached Files:

  2. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,370

    badshifter
    Member

  3. aircap
    Joined: Mar 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,616

    aircap
    Member

    Dive in the deep end and make it happen!
     
    41 GMC K-18 and Spooky like this.
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,288

    squirrel
    Member

    that's a good lookin' 59. I say that as a former owner of a crappy looking one.
     

  5. 41 GMC K-18
    Joined: Jun 27, 2019
    Posts: 1,919

    41 GMC K-18
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Olive is very cool!
     
    Spooky likes this.
  6. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,048

    RJP
    Member
    from PNW

    Nice Edsel. Like the back story too. Many years ago, I had a 54 Nash Metro that somebody had swapped in an R22/5sp. Swap was done so well it looked factory. Used to tell people it was one of two built while Nash was looking for a partner to help them develop a small urban/compact car. I was amazed at how many people knew of the collaboration between Toyota and Nash/AMC, and had actually seen the other (nonexistent) Metro in some museum somewhere....;):D
     
    SS327, Lepus, 41 GMC K-18 and 3 others like this.
  7. Gahrajmahal
    Joined: Oct 14, 2008
    Posts: 441

    Gahrajmahal
    Member

    Good chrome and trim, and in my mind (also owning a low production car) this is the hardest part. I love it! And I would have jumped at the chance to own it too.
     
    41 GMC K-18 and Spooky like this.
  8. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 5,843

    guthriesmith
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Very cool story and car! I have recently come to learn more about and appreciate the Edsel's since my son is now driving a 59 4-door sedan as his daily. I will definitely be following along on your journey here. Also, the car my son ended up with came with a 59 2-door hardtop parts car. We are a long ways from you so getting any needed parts to you might not make any sense, but figured I would let you know in case there were any small parts you might need.
     
  9. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 811

    cfmvw
    Member

    Some years back I had an OT Saturn with no engine and a VW TDI drivetrain that my son and I put together. We used to have fun telling people it was a Canadian-spec car!
     
    Kroombit, RJP and Spooky like this.
  10. dave 62 pb
    Joined: Nov 5, 2013
    Posts: 246

    dave 62 pb
    Member

    Looks like you have a good base to start on , i too had to do a lot of welding and making repair sections for my trunk
    Still have the 223 and 2 speed in mine at the moment but have 351 Windsor and C4 to go in at some stage when i get time,
    Keep the pics of work coming , good luck

    Dave
     
    Spooky and guthriesmith like this.
  11. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 35,178

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Good to see you still around!
     
    kidcampbell71, OG lil E and Spooky like this.
  12. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,143

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    Cool car. I too have a 59 Ranger 2 door hard top I started building and then got pretty side tracked with some other projects. It is in the process of being built into a radical custom, and I hope to get back on it fairly soon, though I won't be putting a build thread on here. I look forward to seeing your progress.

    I also have a pristine front clip I won't be using, I wish you were closer.
     
  13. Spooky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,865

    Spooky
    Member

    WOW! Same here! And thanks guys
     
    OG lil E and guthriesmith like this.
  14. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,812

    31Apickup
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Off a local bike trail you could see a roof of a car covered in blackberries, then one day they were all cut away and it was a pink 59 Edsel 2 door. It came up on the local Craigslist for $800. It didn’t sell now it’s completely covered by blackberries again.
     
  15. Stan Back
    Joined: Mar 9, 2007
    Posts: 1,245

    Stan Back
    Member
    from California

    . . . had swapped in an R22 . . .

    Whatsa R22?
     
    kidcampbell71 and guthriesmith like this.
  16. Good to know that Ol Girl gets to stretch Her legs once in a while. I keep looking down the driveway but haven't seen her yet.
     
    Spooky and guthriesmith like this.
  17. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,804

    belair
    Member

    Those tail lights really work good in that car. Who would've thunk it.
     
    Spooky and guthriesmith like this.
  18. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,728

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Very pretty lines. A bud here in Atwater cut the top off an Edsel 4 door, made a neat Phaeton out of it.
    It's in the 'mild semi-custom' camp...
     
  19. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 5,843

    guthriesmith
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    And, what @belair said. Those 59 Chevy taillights work great on a 59 Edsel! I would have never thought of that.
     
    kidcampbell71, Sancho and Spooky like this.
  20. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,056

    partsdawg
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Minnesota

     
  21. Stan Back
    Joined: Mar 9, 2007
    Posts: 1,245

    Stan Back
    Member
    from California

    . . . was produced from 1981 through 1997.

    By who???
     
  22. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,812

    31Apickup
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  23. Spooky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,865

    Spooky
    Member

    Here is a prototype photo from the Edsel design studios in early 1958.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. I passed one up a few years ago, the sister car to my Custom 300. I couldn't spring for the $8000 asking price, my $5000 cash offer was rejected. Someone got it...
     
  25. Greg Rogers
    Joined: Oct 11, 2016
    Posts: 492

    Greg Rogers
    Member

    That's really nice. I'm wondering if those wheel covers are 65 Coronet 500? In pics that's what they look like.
     
    SS327 likes this.
  26. Spooky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,865

    Spooky
    Member

    The wheel covers are 54 Merc with Galaxie knock offs and a Edsel medallion center piece. The Edsel pieces were used on the C pillars on '58 Citation models.
     
    Just Gary, OG lil E and Sancho like this.
  27. Dang! Those 59 Chevy tail lights look factory! Neat car, I'll be following along.
     
    Spooky and guthriesmith like this.
  28. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 5,843

    guthriesmith
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Hmm...I wouldn't have figured out the hubcaps, but see it now. And, my son just happens to be likely going to put a set of 54 Merc caps on his 59 Edsel as well. Those were at least his favorite of the ones we had hanging on the wall.
     
    Spooky and Sancho like this.
  29. Jrs50
    Joined: Jun 4, 2019
    Posts: 231

    Jrs50
    Member

    I was reading @guthriesmith tread on his son's car and everytime I saw a photo of the rear all I could think about was these taillights on it.
     
    Spooky likes this.
  30. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 5,843

    guthriesmith
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Yep, we may try to find a set. :D
     
    Spooky likes this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.