• Sep 6th 2007 at 1:04PM
  • 11
Fifty years ago this year, Ford spent a lot of money on consultants who told them car buyers would pay a premium for "the smart car for the younger executive or professional family on its way up."

We all know what happened. Ford designed what was internally known as the "E-Car," and set about trying to name it. After more expensive consultants failed to aptly name the car, Ford asked poet Marianne Moore for ideas. She suggested Mongoose Civique and Utopian Turtletop, which were less than acceptable for Ford's super secret new car.

No, Ford's "revolutionary" new car, designed by focus groups, committees and market research, deserved a name that could come from only one method. Brown-nosing.

An employee of Ford's ad agency had suggested the name Edsel for the car in tribute to Henry Ford's son, who had died in 1943. Edsel wasn't considered a candidate, however, until Ford's chairman of the board, Ernest Breech, asked at a meeting, "Why don't we just call it Edsel?" Ford's PR director at the time now says it wasn't a stroke of genius, but instead an attempt to win favor with the Ford family.

The Washington-Post story is a fascinating read, with little tidbits of automotive history you may never have heard and insight into how cars were designed and marketed in the late 1950s.

[Source: The Washington-Post]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      ...I like my cars like I like my women...
        • 8 Years Ago
        Covered in bees?
        • 8 Years Ago
        Built for comfort, or built for speed?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Maybe they thought guys would buy it since it has a vagina for a face.
        • 8 Years Ago
        You need to read the comments about Alpha Romeo coming to the USA, if the Italian design a vagina into the face of a car, it looks like sex on wheels... maybe women are just shaped different in italy.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I am with you Aaron. I think the car is awesome. I would like this, a Fairlane 500, and a Mustang. Oh well, maybe one day!
      • 8 Years Ago
      You've linked to Page 3 of the WP article. The link to Page 1 is here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/03/AR2007090301419.html

      You don't need to log in to view.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I really like the Edsel, my neighbor across the way has a 1958 Pacer and it is a stunning car an almost purple brown and tan. When he takes it out for a drive all heads turn, it was too far ahead of its time in both engineering and styling.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I love the car. I think the Edsel is one of the best looking cars of all time. If I could find one for sale close, I would probably buy it.

      • 8 Years Ago
      I've always liked the look of the edsel myself. I think it was just too radical for the times. Forget the push button shift though... *ugh*
      • 8 Years Ago
      I love my 58 Edsel... when it's not broken... which is often...