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Friday, September 5, 2014

September 4: The Edsel arrives on this date in 1957


    By now, the failures of Ford's Edsel brand launched on this date in 1957 have passed into legend; everything from the timing of starting a near-luxury brand in a recession to the horse-collar grille design and infamous alternative names — "Utopian Turtletop," anyone? It's one of the greatest failures of American business. And yet, there's a thriving community of Edsel aficionados dedicated to preserving them who stoutly defend the Edsel's virtues.
     What killed the $250 million Edsel project wasn't just one failure, but an epic confluence of bad luck and bad execution, especially in quality; with 18 new models launching at once, Edsels broke often, and even Popular Mechanics reported its test car's trunk filled with water after a rainstorm. They don't make cars — or TV specials for them — like this anymore.

    Photo: hz536n via Flickr