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1960 Edsel Ranger Two-Door Hardtop

  • 1 of only 295 Ranger two-door hardtops for the short 1960 model year
  • Original Ranger V-8 power
  • Previously owned by the president of the International Edsel Club
  • Extremely rare and desirable
  • Nicely presented and benefitting from a sympathetic restoration

VIN: OU13W701799

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In the fall of 1957, the automotive world was alive with the entry of a brand-new make of automobiles being introduced by Ford Motor Company. Presented in four series with 18 different models, the Edsel was set to take the American car market by storm with the prediction of 200,000 sales in the first year alone. However, a combination of events upset these heady plans. Edsel was positioning itself in the medium price field, just above Chevrolet, Plymouth, and Ford, and just below such luxury brands as Cadillac, Lincoln and Imperial. At the moment of Edsel's release, an economic recession was in full swing and, throughout the industry, sales in this segment and others took a pretty good hit. As one observer of the day noted, "Edsel sales started off kind of slow and grew worse after that." Even before the car was released, there were plans for trimming the lineup, and even talks of discontinuing the car as early as October 1957.

As a trimming down of the 1959 models was taking place, in March 1958, it was decided to scrub development of a 1960 Edsel as a car with unique style and design, and to adopt the already approved 1960 Fords as a starting point for a new design. Talented stylist "Bud" Kaufman was given the task and a meager budget to create a good-looking car starting with the approved Ford Fairlane sedan, plus the 1960 Ford's Sunliner convertible and futuristic looking Starliner hardtop. Kaufman did not disappoint and on October 15, 1959, the "New-Nifty-Thrifty" 1960 Edsel was released. Only the Ranger series remained with a pair of Villager station wagons included, presenting five basic body styles with two- and four-door sedans, a convertible and two- and four-door hardtops. While the sedans and four-door hardtop shared a basic body shell with Ford's lower priced Fairlane series, the 1960 Ranger two-door hardtop was a whole different animal. It shared bodies with the legendary NASCAR-winning Ford Starliner. Featuring a fastback design with the C-pillars and an expansive rear backlight, these cars captured style and speed even when standing still. Setting the Edsel apart from the 1960 Ford was a heavy diecast chrome front grille, large vertical oval taillights and back-up rear lights, as well as a stainless-steel body side sweep-spear starting on the front fender and ending behind the wheel opening on the rear quarter panel.

This beautiful example is 1 of just 295 Ranger two-door hardtops assembled during the very short 1960 model year; it rolled off the Louisville, Kentucky assembly line October 9, 1959. Finished in a rich Cadet Blue metallic with the contrasting Polar White roof, the interior is fitted with the original Moroccan grain dark blue vinyl bolsters, the back seat emblazoned with the giant circled "E" and fitted with black pebble cloth inserts. Under the hood, the highly detailed original 292-cubic-inch, 200-horsepower, Y-block V-8 purrs like a kitten and is backed up with the economical and reliable Mile-O-Matic two-speed automatic transmission. Other factory appointments include the Lever-Temp heater/defroster, push-button AM radio, padded dashboard, and full wheel covers. Research shows this car was sold new in Southern California and in the early 1980s was acquired by Edsel aficionado, Charlie Wells in Ohio. It was later purchased by the late Chuck Arndts, who was president of the International Edsel Club at the time. Our consignor acquired the car over a decade ago from the Arndts Estate and has maintained this Edsel in every possible way. Presenting a straight and solid body, the car starts easily with the turn of the key and drives just as smooth and sure as it did 64 years ago when it was a new car. Rarely does the chance arise to acquire such a unique mid-century starship on wheels as this stunning 1960 Ranger two-door hardtop.

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