Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

1953, 1954, 1955 Edwards America


Despite stylish Italian flair and quality mechanical design, high production costs doomed the Edwards America.
Despite stylish Italian flair and quality mechanical design, high production costs doomed the Edwards America.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

What ultimately emerged from Sterling Edwards long experiment were his "production" models, the 1953, 1954, and 1955 Edwards America. Announced in late 1953, this was another four-seat convertible but with good-looking, rather Italianate lines.

Highlights included a large, rectangular eggcrate grille; slab sides relieved by a pronounced character line ahead of the rear wheel openings; and a boxy back wearing stock 1952 Mercury tail lamps. The instrument panel and steering wheel of the Edwards America were contemporary Oldsmobile items, the upholstery leather.

Edwards retained the Henry J chassis for the first Edwards America but exchanged the hemi for a 185-bhp, 303.7-cid Oldsmobile Rocket V-8. Series production was definitely contemplated, though on a very limited basis, with an as-delivered target price of $4,995.

But Edwards' tiny facilities and time-consuming hand-construction methods precluded reaching even this modest goal, and only five more Edwards Americas would be completed. Two received Lincoln's 205-bhp, 317.5-cid V-8; the other three ran with 210-bhp 1953-spec Cadillac 331s. All rode a Mercury station wagon chassis sectioned to a 107-inch wheelbase, providing greater rigidity.

The production 1953-1955 Edwards America used either a 205-bhp Lincoln V-8 or a 210-bhp Cadillac mill.
The production 1953-1955 Edwards America used either a 205-bhp Lincoln V-8 or a 210-bhp Cadillac mill.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

By 1955, Edwards was forced to charge over $7,800 for an Edwards America, though that included such niceties as electric window lifts, GM's Hydra-Matic transmission, and Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels. But the entire effort amounted to little more than a hobby -- and on a shoestring at that. After developing a pretty lift-off hardtop, Edwards threw in the towel and turned to other pursuits.

Check out the specifications of the 1953-1955 Edwards America on the next page.

For more information on cars, see:


More to Explore