Tag Archives: Ranger

E Day – Ford Edsel

With a surplus cash from the success of the Ford Thunderbird Ford executives decided to create a new intermediate line of vehicles to compete with Oldsmobile which included a network of over 1,000 dealers through which the new brand was to be distributed. Fifty five years ago today amidst much fan fare Ford launched it’s new baby to an unsuspecting American public with much fan fare which included labeling September 4th 1957 “E Day”.

Edsel Ranger, Goodwood Revival

Fifty years after the event Time said of the Edsel “Ford’s marketing mavens had led the public to expect some plutonium-powered, pancake-making wondercar; what they got was a Mercury.” More unkindly some described the Edsel as looking like an Olds sucking a lemon.

Edsel Ranger, Goodwood Revival

To get sales of the vehicle “unlike any other car you have ever seen” underway Ford on October 13th organised a television special live from Television City in Hollywood “The Edsel Show” which combined the talents of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Rosemary Clooney to “pump” it’s target market. Highlights included Frank Sinatra smoking a cigarette standing next to Louis Armstrong while performing a “number”.

Edsel Ranger, Goodwood Revival

For 1958 model year the Edsel was available in four flavours Citation and Corsair based on a Mercury platform, with the smaller Pacer and Ranger based on a Ford 118 inch platform. Today’s featured base model Ranger is powered by a 5.9 litre / 361 cui 303hp FE V8 which could be ordered with Teletouch automatic transmission operated by button’s on the hub of the steering wheel.

Edsel Ranger, Goodwood Revival

Ford needed to sell 200,000 Edsels to break even on it’s $400,000,000 dollar investment in the new range, despite the second largest brand launch, exceeded only by Plymouth in 1928, to date with over 60,000 sales in the 1958 model year it quickly became apparent that the Edsel concept was struggling to fly.

Edsel Ranger, Goodwood Revival

In November 1959 with just over 120,000 models built Ford pulled the plug on the Edsel. Among the many reasons for it’s failure was a pricing policy that did not clearly fill a gap between the Ford, Mercury and Lincoln Brands, in particular the most expensive Fords being too closely priced to the cheapest Edsels. It is estimated Ford lost of the order of $350,000,000 dollars on the project.

Thanks for joining me on this “E Day” edition of Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres, Tuesdays regular MG blog will appear on Thursday, I hope you will join me again for a continental curiosity tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Testing ! Testing ! – Mallory Park

I managed to make a second pilgrimage to Mallory Park for a test session with my friend Tim, of the Bristol Pegasus MC, last week.

Riley, Ford Ranger, Mallory Park

Among the many delights was the sight of a Vintage Riley driven in anger alongside a Ford Ranger from the Pickup Truck Racing Series.

Ford Ranger, Mallory Park

Micheal Smith from Hartlepool puts his nominal #93 Ford Ranger, featuring a space frame with a spec motor based on the, GM (!), Vauxhall 16 Valve engine, through it’s paces prior to last weekends PTR races at Thruxton.

Chevrolet Corvette, Mallory Park

Castle Combe outright lap record holder Nigel Greensall was testing a new paddle shift gear selector in this 2008 Trans Am Spec Corvette which is due to appear in the French VdeV GT series at Paul Ricard Circuit in September.

Allard, Cougar, Chevrolet, Mallory Park

Best sounds of the day came from this 427 Chevy Big block powered Allard J2 Replica about which very little appears to be known.

Formula Vauxhall Lotus S2, Mallory Park

Lou Watts was out in this Series 2 Spec Formula Lotus Vauxhall easily distinguished by the high frontal cockpit, these spec vehicles were in use from the late 80’s to early 90’s in a series that rivalled Formula Ford 1600 and Formula Ford 2000. Lou races this car in Monoposto Racing Club Series.

Revis, Mallory Park

Harking back to the junior open wheel series of the 1950’s was this chain driven Revis Formula 3 car powered by a Jap single cylinder 500 cc / 30.5 cui motorcycle engine connected to a Norton gearbox. Richard Bishop Miller traced the previous owner of this car to Canada where he eventually purchased it before restoring it.

GN CoGNac, Mallory Park

Finally another fascinating special, from the 30 odd cars that appeared at Mallory last week, was this 1930’s GN CoGNac powered by a straight six AC motor. This car has recently been acquired by Tony Lees who was driving it for the first time.

My thanks to Dutchy, mikeC, David McKinney and Alan Cox at The Nostalgia Forum for additional information on the CoGNac.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘testing’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me tomorrow for a visit to the Bugatti Trust at Prescott. Don’t forget to come back now !