Roy Brown - designer for the Edsel

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Success has many fathers. Failure is an orphan. Maybe that's why this fellow was somewhat unknown, but there's a lot of guys who visit this site that can tell you who designed every aspect of the Mustang, for instance.

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Posted · Report post

At least this article was clean and true. I saw another one the other day (sorry for not posting it) that said he was the lead designer on the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car. This article had it's fact right. I honestly kind of liked the look of the Edsel and had I been alive back then might well have owned one. But i'm wierd so... :P

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Posted · Report post

it was quite an "in your face" design in it's time.

since car have gotten smaller and smaller since the late 60's it's hard to remember just how long and wide Detroit iron really was.

ever stand next to a 1960 Pontiac Bonneville? like an aircraft carrier!

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Or how about the original Buick Roadmaster? My uncles, drunker than hootie owls, rolled one into a ditch one night. The seven of them got out, rolled the car back on it's wheels and there wasn't a dent to be found! Those things were tanks and I have to say, I was born about 40 years late for my era!

As for the topic at hand, I think Roy was probably very proud of his design even if noone else could see it's worth. There have been thousands of designs through the ages that never even got considered, much less made. :)

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if I were raising a family in 1958 I would most definitively owned an Edsel. If I weren't I'd have owned a 58 Vette !

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Nice article Joe. Thanks for the link to it.

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Naming the new division "Edsel" was definitely a mistake, and the name sure doesn't fit with Ford, Mercury, nor Lincoln. I never thought the grille was as horrible as it was made out to be, but as mentioned in the linked article, with all the hype leading up to the car's debut, it was bound to fail.

Didn't FoMoCo try the separate division thing with the Continental before it was re-named what it really was all along, a Lincoln?

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The styling wasn't all that different for it's time. The grill would probably been changed or modified at the first opportunity. It's been proven that people will by anything, if the price is right. Evidently, it wasn't.

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Posted · Report post

l enjoyed the article thanks...

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Personally, I always liked the Edsel. It's too bad that it earned such a horrible reputation from so many people who really don't know better.

Thank you, Mr. Brown, for your vision.

Charlie LArkin

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Posted · Report post

Remember the Chrysler Airflow? It was hated in its day just as much as the Edsel was.

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I always thought it was a good looking design for the times. As said by others I'm sure he was proud of his design.

But the design is not what killed it. it was because it was rushed into production and a lot of the new innovations like the steering wheel mounted push buttons for the transmission did not have time to have all the bugs worked out. There were other issues too but slip my mind at the moment. But people back then would not put up with
recall" issues like we have today!

Back then you had about one shot with the car buying public and they dumped you like a rotten potato!

Today they just take it back to be fixed and just keep on buying from the same car over and over.

I knew an older gentleman in the late 70's that had three, two were limited production cars. He bought them new when the dealer was all but giving them away.

As he said the public was laughing at those who bought the Edsel and now the Edsel owner's are laughing at the public! :)

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I'm not so sure those of you who say you'd own one, would have in 1958. Auto styling was in hot competition. Fads, public perceptions and "mob mentality" (for lack of a better term) were far more intense than during the internet age because there was less cultural clutter. So if the Edsel had awkward aesthetics, it was doomed, regardless of internal advancements. If a consumer compared the looks of a '58 Belvedere and a '58 Edsel, it's easy to see where the excitement would be, given the times (the rocket age). And the way marketing went in 1958, looks were everything. For a new product, it was dated.

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Well, I always kinda liked the Edsel. This February I even had a rare opportunity to ride in a 58 convertible that is being used as a daily driver on the streets of Havana:

DSC_0252-1_zps38da7078.jpg

R.I.P. Mr. Brown.

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