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1960 Edsel


The standard 1960 Edsel engine was the tried and true Y-block 292-cid V-8. This "Ranger V-8" generated 185 bhp at 4,200 rpm and 292 pound-feet of torque at 2,200 rpm with its two-barrel carburetor and 8.8:1 compression ratio.

The Edsel Corsair was deleted from the 1960 Edsel lineup.
The Edsel Corsair was deleted from the
1960 Edsel lineup.

Offered as an $83.70 credit option for all models except the convertible was the 223-cid "Econ-O-Six." Equipped with a single-throat carb and an 8.4:1 compression ratio, it made 145 bhp at 4,000 rpm and a peak 206 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 revs.

For an extra $58, any Edsel could be ordered with the "Super Express V-8," a 352-cid unit with four-barrel carburetion and a 9.6:1 squeeze. Its tops of 300 bhp and 380 pound-feet of torque came at 4,600 and 2,800 rpm, respectively.

All three powerplants were identical to engines used in the 1960 Ford, except that the valve covers did not carry FORD lettering, and air cleaners were painted in different colors.

To shift the 1960 Edsel, a three-speed manual unit was standard in all models with all engines. For an additional $189.60 one could order the two-speed aluminum-cased Mile-O-Matic automatic with any power unit. Also, the three-speed Dual-Power automatic transmission was available for $230.80, but only when paired with the optional V-8.

While an overdrive transmission was offered on 1960 Fords, one was not listed on the option list for the Edsel. However, the 1960 Edsel Maintenance Manual devotes an entire chapter to this feature. While the economy unit was not officially offered by Edsel in 1959 either, several original cars have been found with them installed, but to date, no 1960s have ever been recorded with factory-installed overdrive.

Throughout 1959 there continued to be great turmoil at Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln surrounding the Edsel. McNamara was gathering support for discontinuing the car at the end of the model year. It was Henry Ford II who championed a 1960 model because he was committed to the dealers. More than once he had promised them that a 1960 Edsel would be produced, and Henry II was not a man to go back on his word.

Primary focus at the division was on the compact Comet, scheduled for introduction as a 1960 model. Rumors abounded that the 1960 Edsel might be a compact, and indeed such an Edsel might have had a fighting chance.

This 1960 Edsel ragtop carried Buttercup Yellow exterior paint.
This 1960 Edsel ragtop carried Buttercup
Yellow exterior paint.

But Ben D. Mills, head of Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln, assured dealers and the public that the 1960 Edsel would remain a full-sized car. Pilot model assemblies began at Louisville on August 7, 1959; regular production commenced there on September 15.

Throughout 1959, as in 1958, independent Edsel dealers, many of whom had been GM or Chrysler dealers, were abandoning ship, and existing Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealers took on the Edsel marque.

On October 15, 1959, the 1960 Edsel finally arrived for public introduction. By this time there were 1,468 Edsel franchises, but fewer than 2,400 cars had been built. This meant that there were fewer than two Edsels per dealer.

To get an idea of the disastrous effect this had on Edsel sales, continue to the next page.

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