National Edsel Archives and Museum
Edsel Historical Documents

Welcome to our vault of historical Edsel documents. The Museum is always looking for Edsel documents of historical significance, so if you have one to share with the world, email us.

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Onion skin copy of a memo dated April 17,1956 from L.D. Crusoe, Executive Vice President of Car and Truck Divisions at Ford, to R.E. Krafve, Vice President and General Manager of Edsel Division, regarding the start-up date for the E-Car (not yet named Edsel at that time). An April-June 1957 intro date had been planned, but this letter reveals the change in thinking that resulted in a September 1957 introduction instead.

Pre-introduction memo to Fairfax Cone of Foote,Cone & Belding regarding E-Car advertising. Note that this was written prior to the naming of the Edsel. (June 28, 1956)

Once the Edsel was named, Ford sent out an Employee Information Bulletin to let the Ford employees in on the news. The original owner used the bottom and the back of this page to sketch out his 1956 Christmas decorations. That was, perhaps, the only reason this memo was not tossed away.
Announcement by Henry Ford II to all Ford Motor Company Dealers about a new member of the Ford Family of fine cars, the Edsel. (November 19, 1956)
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Photo of Edsel Ford from announcement
Photo of Edsel Division management from the announcement

Here is an architectural-type print from the Edsel design studios that was colored by none other than assistant Edsel designer Robin Jones. Jones had colored the Pacer convertible to show the type of car that he would like to order. Notice that he colored one wheel red while the other was black, to see the effect that the different colors had on the look of the car. In the end Mr. Jones did not order the convertible and a Post-it note attached to the drawing tells why. Jones writes,"I was tempted to order a Pacer convertible like this, but I realized if I did, I would never get the single seater '57 Thunderbird that I most wanted, so I got a Pacer 4 door hardtop that I wouldn't keep long, allowing me to get the 'Bird."
A photo of Roy A. Brown, Chief Stylist for the E-car project, at work on the Edsel. (from 1958 Official Reference Manual for Edsel Salesmen)

1958 Edsel Design Study Model

The Edsel Dealership Facilities Guide was issued to dealers to instruct them on the proper setup of their Edsel dealerships. It covers every aspect of designing, building and decorating a modern dealership building and displaying the Edsels to their maximum advantage. Here is the cover and a few representative pages. This copy was originally owned by R.G. Johnson, Service Manager, Boston District.
Introduction and Contents
New Car Sales Area
Show Window Lighting

A Letter of Intent was executed in June 1957 between Edsel Division and Mr. Morton Manes, concerning an Edsel dealership in Jamaica, New York. This eventually became Koeppel Edsel, Inc. and a photo of Mr. Manes was included in this New York Area Edsel Dealer ad.
The Edsel Owner Identification Card, dated July 1957

This magazine article from Motor Trend's August 1957 issue, shows a photo taken by a 17-year-old boy who sneaked over the fence at Ford's proving ground. Also shown is Motor Trend's February prediction of what the Edsel would look like.

This Letter was signed by Richard Krafve, General Manager of Edsel Division, and mailed or given to Ford executives around August 27, 1957 ( We have the original envelope with the Pitney Bowes stamp with that date.) Krafve encourages these executives to become one of the first Edsel owners. The letter was delivered with this 1958 Edsel Features Booklet, which was apparently produced for use within the Ford Motor Company as notations in the cover state that it was prepared by the Training Department, Industrial Relations Staff of Ford. It includes only black and white photos since it was not for use with the general public.

1958 Edsels on display at the Ford Rotunda. Click on photo for a larger view.

The Edsel Sell-O-Graph, an Edsel salesman cheat sheet
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To view several documents relating to the purchase of an Edsel on October 12, 1957, click here.

Here is a repair order form from Caliendo Motor Co., in Wichita, Kansas.

Edsel Division Service Department Technical Bulletin - "Teletouch Control Trouble Shooting" (November 8, 1957)
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Official Entry Blank Edsel "Wagon Train Pony Contest"
Official Rules Edsel "Wagon Train Pony Contest"
(Contest closed April 30, 1958.)

Prior to the Edsel introduction in September, 1957, dealers were given this Edsel New Car Service Record so they could report sub-standard quality in any cars that they received.

The back of the hard copy of the form provided a Business Reply Card for sending the report to Edsel Division.

The reverse of the dealer's copy was for Pre-delivery and 1000-mile inspection of the same vehicle.

However, by November 1958, the Edsel Division existed no more, and the M-E-L Division sent this letter to tell the District Representatives to have dealers scrap the remaining copies of the form.

This advertising piece is remarkable because it actually brags about Edsel sales as being over 50,000 in the first 10 months. It ignores the fact that Edsel Division had hoped to sell 200,000 cars in the first year!

Here's an ad from "Automotive News" in their 1958 Almanac Issue that also brags about "sales at record pace!" It describes the Edsel front end treatment as "America's first jet-grille design", whatever that means. Pictured are 12 happy Edsel owners from all across America. If you know any of these folks, have them contact us, we'd like to get their comments now!
This advertising flyer from The M-G-K Motor Company in Cumberland, Maryland welcomes you to "Figure Your Own Deal". By filling in the blanks, the buyer hopefully comes to the conclusion that he can't afford NOT to buy an Edsel!
This 1959 advertising flyer compares the 59 Edsel Corsair to Buick, Dodge, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac models.
Here's an original 1959 Window sticker from Krieger Edsel Inc. in Columbus, Ohio. Does this car still exist? Let us know if it is yours!

Also from Krieger Edsel, is this 1959 Price List for cars and accessories.

From Win Elliott Edsel, also in Ohio, this is a dealer giveaway 1959 Edsel Puzzle that previewed the second year's models.

Here is a listing of Authorized Edsel dealers in the Chicago area for 1959. It includes the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices for '59. Also from the Chicago area comes this 1959 Warranty Certificate. It's a bit different from the 1958 one up above. Both of these items are fron David Fleischer's collection.

Perhaps one of the last promotional efforts for the Edsel, this small brochure lists 70 big reasons to go Edsel in '60. Interestingly enough, the brochure's disclaimer statement mentions "Edsel Division of Ford Motor Company" which did not even exist at the time of the 1960 model unveiling.
Reasons 1 to 16
Reasons 17 to 39
Reasons 40 to 54
Reasons 55 to 70

Ford's Surrender - After scrapping the Edsel, Ford sent a certificate to all owners of 1960 model Edsels purchased before November 19, 1959 (the day that Ford announced that the Edsel was no more). The certificate allowed the Edsel owner a $300 discount on any domestically produced Ford Motor Company passenger car. The offer was good indefinitely, and thus ended Ford's Edsel adventure.

Letter outlining the certificate plan, sent to Ford dealers
Facsimile of the Allowance Certificate

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