1959 Edsel Ranger Donated to Museum of Automobiles

Jill M. Rohrbach
Do you ever wonder how some cars get their names? A recent addition to the Museum of Automobiles atop Petit Jean Mountain was named for a car company owner’s father. The car is a 1959 Edsel Ranger. This Edsel is equipped with a 200 hp – 292 cubic inch V-8 engine, along with a three-speed manual transmission. It is an all original car, having been driven only 67,583 miles. The original base price was $2,692.00.

The Edsel was introduced by Ford Motor Company on Sept. 4, 1957 to honor Henry Ford II’s father, Edsel. That date was also Henry Ford II’s 40th birthday.

According to the Museum of Automobiles, the Edsel was short-lived, built only three years 1958-1960. In 1955, when it was developed, sales of lower-medium-price cars were booming. By the time Edsel appeared in late 1957, the market had bottomed out. New car sales were in a slump.

The Edsel Division started with a goal of selling 100,000 of the first year 1958 models. Instead, it produced only a little over half that amount by the end of calendar year 1957. In calendar year 1958, only 26,563 Edsels were built. Production was less than 30,000 vehicles in 1959, and it disappeared for good by the end of November that year.

The last Edsel produced was a 1960 model which was built at the Kentucky facility on
November 30, 1959.

The ’59 Edsel Ranger on display at the Museum of Automobiles was donated to the museum by Ron Fuller of Little Rock, in memory of his Father Lloyd L. Fuller. It is now a part of the museum’s permanent collection.

The Museum of Automobiles is open seven days a week, year round. Hours are 10 a.m. to
5 p.m. For additional information contact Buddy Hoelzeman at the Museum of Automobiles at 501-727-5427.

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