1958 Edsel Pacer Convertible / Specs, Photos, Styling Details

Featured is a very nice looking 1958 Edsel Pacer Convertible. There were three Edsel models for 1958. These were the Pacer, Ranger and Corsair.

edsel pacer specifications
1958 Edsel Pacer Convertible

The Edsel Pacer was ranked above the Ranger. The Corsair was based on the Mercury platform and powered by the larger of Edsel’s two V-8s..

The Pacer had brighter trim than the Ranger, better looking interiors and some additional standard equipment. Edsel Pacer prices began at around $2,700. This was for the four-door sedan and went up to about $3,700 for the car featured here, the two-door convertible.

For 1958 the Corsair did not offer a convertible. There were also no Edsel Pacer two door sedans but there were available a two or four door hardtop.

The year 1958 represented the first of three years for the Edsel line of cars. Every Edsel car manufactured were built either at a Ford or Mercury plant. Edsel did not have their own dedicated factory even though the brand was a separate division of Ford. This did present a problem. This fact actually caused some slowing of Edsel production as well as other problems since when an Edsel came down the assembly line items like trim, wiring ,etc had to be switched and there were cases when other than Edsel parts ended up on Edsel automobiles.

58 edsel specsThe 1958 Edsels went on sale in September 1957 and were launched with an extensive advertising campaign.(Ford would do much of the same years later with the Mustang). The advertisements run were meant to create an air of expectation like never before for a new car. You could say that the ad campaign was effective since customer traffic for the new brand was good but somehow the sales were not quite as good. There were reasons for this and some of the reasons were out of Ford Motor Company’s control.

One major reason was timing. The U.S. went through a recession in 1958. Introducing an entirely new line of automobiles during an economic recession is problematic. All major automakers experienced significant sales declines in 1958 and the new Edsel automobile was greatly affected as well.

The 1958 Edsel Offered Many New Features

While the recession of 1958 put a damper on sales, it should be noted that the 1958 Edsel came with many new features not seen on other automobiles.

Some of these included an electronic hood release from inside the car. A speedometer that glowed when a preset speed was achieved. Front seats that were divided 60/40 giving the driver more comfort and room. An Edsel buyer could also have optional seat belts at an additional cost. Buyers also had an option for a Teletouch automatic transmission which operated by push buttons. Teletouch is an electromechanical gearshift system where buttons in the center of the steering wheel activate a shift motor on the transmission that engages the appropriate gear. This was a very bigl difference with the operation of a transmission and it proved to be unpopular with many owners. It actually gained the reputation of being unreliable which is something you don’t want to experience shifting gears.

1958 Edsel Pacer Convertible Specifications

1958 Edsel Pacers were powered by a 361 cubic inch V-8 that delivered 303 HP with a four barrel carburetor. The engine was named the E-400.

58 edsel pacer convertibleTransmission options included a column shifted three speed manual which was standard on the Pacer. Also an option for the three speed manual was a Borg-Warner overdrive. Also an option as mentioned above was an automatic with the new “Teletouch” push-button control.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums.

For 1958, Ford built 63,110 Edsels. In 1959, production dropped almost a third to 44,891, and for 1960, just 2,846 Edsels were built, bringing total production to 110,847. This is a relatively low production number for a new model however the Edsel model lasted only three years.

Additional Auto Museum Online articles are found on the links below..

1958 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

1959 Edsel Corsair Convertible

Reference material for this article includes.. Henry and Edsel : The Creation of the Ford Empire by author Richard Bak…1958 Edsel Sales BrochuresDisaster in Dearborn: The Story of the Edsel by Thomas E. Bonsall.

1958 Edsel Pacer Convertible Collector Popularity

edsel photosToday, Edsel’s are popular collectible automobiles. Not many were produced and that makes them rare, especially the convertible.

The story of the Edsel and it’s short run will always be a part of Ford Motor Company automotive history. That in itself makes the model somewhat interesting. The car was not a sales success but the circumstances of it’s lack of satisfactory sales is interesting indeed.

Being quite rare there are not a lot of price comparisons for the Edsel Pacer Convertible. What we currently see is an asking price in the range of $50,000. By comparison a 1958 Edsel Ranger Hardtop might be found in the $15,000-$20,000 range. All prices of course vary due to overall condition, restoration, mileage and originality. With the Edsel the particular model is also a big driver of price.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)