Tell us about your dream car (one that actually exists or existed). Assume price and availability are no obstacle.
Mine is the 1958 Edsel Citation convertible. Why, you might ask? Probably because it was the preeminent symbol of American post-war excess and hubris. Too many cooks may have spoiled this broth, but what they created was absolutely iconic, for better or worse. I mean, just LOOK at this thing…! You’d never NOT be noticed driving around town!
If you don’t know the history of the Edsel brand, it was conceived by Ford Motors in the mid 1950s as an intermediate semi-luxury marque to slot in between the Ford and Mercury brands. Ford hoped to cut into the business of Chrysler and GM, but wound up creating something that ultimately became synonymous with failure. “Edsel” was the first name of Ford founder Henry Ford’s son, and the marque bore his name despite the objections of Edsel’s son and then-current Ford president Henry Ford II.
After a disappointing first year of sales (due both to the negative reaction of the public and a nationwide recession in 1958), the Edsel line was revised in 1959 to make the iconic horse-collar grille less prominent. It was revised again in 1960, bearing almost no resemblance to the car that was rolled out with huge fanfare in 1957. After dismal sales in 1960, the marque was extinguished, and the planned Edsel Comet, released in 1960, was rebranded as just “Comet”, becoming the Mercury Comet in 1962.
Beyond just the looks of the Edsel line, the cars were plagued with some reliability issues. The designers had replaced the standard column-shift lever with a series of five buttons arranged on the center of the steering wheel in a half-circle: Park, Reverse, Neutral Drive, and Low. Not only was this a bad decision due to the fact that drivers were accustomed to the car’s horn being there, resulting in them mashing the buttons when they attempted to honk, but the servo motor that the buttons operated could easily be overloaded if the driver did not press them in sequence (i.e., to shift from Park to Drive, you would have to press P, then R, then N, then D).
So why would I want this wreck to be mine? Well, thanks to modern technology and a decent aftermarket, these issues can be made negligible. Plus, this would never be an every-day driver. Ideally, I’d take this out on weekends and loan it out for parades. No one would forget it!
So, now it’s time for you to tell us about YOUR dream car!