1959 Edsel Ranger Left To Rot on a Field Comes Back to Life After 50 Years

Introduced in 1956 to expand the Lincoln-Mercury Division to three brands, Edsel was discontinued after only three years on the market. Come 2022 and the company is most notorious for being a marketing disaster that cost Ford a whopping $250 million (about $2.3 billion in 2022 dollars).
1959 Edsel Ranger farm find 7 photos
Photo: RevStoration/YouTube
1959 Edsel Ranger farm find1959 Edsel Ranger farm find1959 Edsel Ranger farm find1959 Edsel Ranger farm find1959 Edsel Ranger farm find1959 Edsel Ranger farm find
There are many reasons why Edsel failed, though. Most cars were as expensive as Mercury models, they had controversial designs, and many of them suffered from poor workmanship. As a result, Edsel sold a little more than 118,000 cars over three model years, a dismal figure for the era. For reference, Ford sold almost four million cars over the same three model years.

Despite the short production run, Edsel left no fewer than seven models behind. More than half of them were only sold for one model year, the famous Pacer and Citation included. The Corsair survived for two years, while the Ranger and the Villager are the only nameplates that were sold for (almost) all three model years.

A bit more successful than the rest, the Ranger moved almost 54,500 units, about 45% percent of total Edsel sales. And not surprisingly, Rangers are easier to find than the Bermuda (2,235 examples) or the Roundup (963 units). But because many Edsels were left to rot away in barns and junkyards, finding survivors that haven't become rust buckets is a tough job.

Derelict examples are pretty much out of the question since restoring them doesn't make sense financially but this didn't stop the folks over at "RevStoration" from rescuing a 1959 Ranger that has been sitting for most of its life. Specifically, this four-door sedan was last tagged in 1973, which means it hasn't set wheels on a public road in a whopping 49 years as of 2022.

Parked on a farm field with no protection from the elements, the Edsel is in rough shape, to say the least. Most of the white paint has been replaced by surface rust, while the cabin will need more than cleaning to become usable again. But surprisingly enough, the floors are still in one piece.

The engine, on the other hand, refused to fire up after so many decades without a sip of gasoline. Our hosts managed to get it going but only after working on some of the internals and replacing a few parts. The old 223-cubic-inch (3.7-liter) inline-six still has enough oomph to take the Edsel for a spin, but it sure sounds like it will need a rebuild to run properly. But it's downright amazing that they got it going without tearing it apart completely.

And in case you're wondering, the Ranger was also offered with a V8. While the inline-six dubbed "Mileage Maker" came standard, Edsel also sold it with a 292-cubic-inch (4.8-liter) Y-block and even a 361-cubic-inch (5.9-liter) FE. The latter was quite potent at 303 horsepower. Sadly, this Ranger is not one of those cars and it will probably become a parts donor soon. Until that happens, check out its revival in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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