1958 Edsel Citation

1958 Edsel Citation

The 1958 Edsel Citation is a notable entry in the annals of American automotive history, often remembered for its distinctive design and the ambitious, albeit short-lived, brand that it represented. The Edsel Citation, part of Ford Motor Company’s Edsel division, was introduced during a time of economic uncertainty and fierce competition in the auto industry. Despite its relatively brief production run, the Edsel Citation remains a fascinating example of mid-20th-century automotive innovation and marketing.

The Birth of the Edsel Brand
The Edsel division was conceived by Ford Motor Company in the mid-1950s with the aim of filling the gap between the Ford and Mercury lines. Named after Edsel Ford, the son of Ford founder Henry Ford, the brand was launched with great fanfare in 1957. The Edsel was marketed as a car of the future, boasting advanced features and a distinctive design intended to set it apart from the competition.

However, the Edsel’s timing was less than ideal. The late 1950s saw a recession in the United States, and consumers were becoming more conservative in their spending. Additionally, the Edsel faced intense competition from established brands. These factors, combined with some controversial design choices, contributed to the Edsel’s lackluster sales and eventual discontinuation.

The 1958 Edsel Citation: A Closer Look
The 1958 Edsel Citation was the flagship model of the Edsel line, designed to offer a blend of luxury and performance. It was available in three body styles: a two-door convertible, a four-door hardtop sedan, and a two-door hardtop coupe. The Citation was positioned as a premium vehicle, intended to compete with higher-end models from other manufacturers.

Design and Features
The Edsel Citation was instantly recognizable due to its unique styling. One of the most distinctive features was its horse-collar grille, which became a polarizing element among consumers and critics. Other notable design elements included its scalloped taillights and the “boomerang” side trim.

Inside, the Citation offered a host of advanced features for its time, such as a push-button transmission selector located in the steering wheel hub, known as the Teletouch system. The interior was designed with comfort in mind, featuring luxurious materials and a spacious cabin.

Variants of the 1958 Edsel Citation
As mentioned, the 1958 Edsel Citation was available in three primary variants:

  1. Two-Door Convertible: This variant was aimed at buyers looking for a stylish and open-air driving experience. The convertible top was power-operated, adding a touch of convenience and luxury.
  2. Four-Door Hardtop Sedan: This variant offered more practicality, with easier access to the rear seats and a more traditional body style. It was ideal for families and those who preferred a more conventional look.
  3. Two-Door Hardtop Coupe: This variant combined the sleek styling of a coupe with the practicality of a hardtop. It was designed for those who wanted a sportier look without sacrificing the convenience of a hardtop.

Specifications and Performance
Engine Options

The 1958 Edsel Citation was equipped with powerful engine options to deliver impressive performance for its class.

  1. 410-cubic-inch (6.7L) MEL V8 Engine: This engine was the standard powerplant for the Citation, producing 345 horsepower. It featured a four-barrel carburetor and was designed to provide strong acceleration and high-speed cruising capabilities.

The Citation came with a three-speed automatic transmission, which was operated via the innovative Teletouch system. This push-button transmission was a notable feature, though it was sometimes criticized for being overly complex.

Performance Metrics

  • Horsepower: 345 hp
  • Torque: 475 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: Approximately 10 seconds (varied based on conditions and testing methods)
  • Top Speed: Around 120 mph

The 1958 Edsel Citation, despite its commercial failure, remains a symbol of 1950s American automotive ambition and innovation. Its unique design, advanced features, and powerful performance make it a memorable chapter in automotive history. Today, the Edsel Citation is a sought-after collector’s item, appreciated for its distinctive style and the story it tells about a bold, if ultimately unsuccessful, experiment in the automotive industry.

Whether viewed as a cautionary tale or a nostalgic piece of Americana, the 1958 Edsel Citation continues to fascinate car enthusiasts and historians alike.

Source: FordHeritageVault
This Article use tools from Chatgpt

Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.