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Edsel – Dale’s Daily Data

(photo by Cogswell@flickr)

It was back in the early 1950’s when the Ford Motor Company began development of what they called the “E” car. “E” standing for experimental. The designers were instructed to create a car that was highly recognizable from every angle and different from anything else on the road and when it debuted it certainly was that and more. Nobody had ever seen anything like it before. The most obvious thing people noticed was the very ugly front grill that looked like a horse collar.

It was probably the most high tech car on the road. It featured state-of-the-art innovations such as the “Tele-Touch” push-button automatic transmission.

Long lines formed at newly built dealerships and created more showroom traffic than any car in history. And there was even a live TV show to introduce it on CBS hosted by Bing Crosby with appearances by Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Louis Armstrong and Bob Hope.

It was back on this date in 1956, the Ford Motor Company decided on the name “Edsel” for the new model they were developing. It was intended as a tribute to Edsel Bryant Ford, who served as company president from 1919 until his death in 1943. Edsel Ford was the oldest son of company founder Henry Ford.

Ford produced 115-thousand Edsels for the first two years and less than 3-thousand in the third year before giving up on it. And the Edsel nameplate forever would become synonymous with business failure.

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