1959 Ed­sel Ranger

Why this im­per­fect Ed­sel was a de­cid­edly de­cent buy


US sa­loons are great value.

In many ways a 1950s Amer­i­can sa­loon rep­re­sents the best value of any big sa­loon from that decade, with plusher mod­els hav­ing high lev­els of equip­ment. To­day, Ford Mus­tangs and Chevro­let Corvettes make up most Amer­i­can car in­ter­est at auc­tions so any­one on the hunt for a good-value 1950s sa­loon can be in with a shout.

Its ap­pear­ance prob­a­bly put some bid­ders off...

This Ed­sel of­fered scope for im­prove­ment but was in no way a nasty, rusty bas­ket-case. The body­work did not ap­pear too bad with no sign of tin­worm get­ting a hold of the front and rear arches, door bot­toms or bon­net and bootlid. The doors had no hinge droop and the boot lid and bon­net opened and closed well. Glass (which can some­times be a prob­lem to source) was good, too. The down­side was the very thick gold metal­lic paint, which had an al­most suede ap­pear­ance in some places. Un­for­tu­nately, the bumpers had been painted at the same time, which al­tered the car’s ap­pear­ance greatly.

...and me­chan­i­cally, it needed some work.

The 4.7-litre (292 cu­bic inch) V8 was said to be poor for start­ing and run­ning, while the run­ning gear was in the same or­der. The en­gine bay was just about pre­sentable. How­ever, the up­side is the avail­abil­ity for re­place­ment parts, so this shouldn’t prove too tricky for a hands-on en­thu­si­ast buyer.

Even for a project, this was very good value.

Yes, there were me­chan­i­cal fet­tling and body­work issues that needed to be ad­dressed, but this was one of those lots cry­ing out for a fresh start. Tak­ing fu­ture ex­pen­di­ture into con­sid­er­a­tion, this was well bought, es­pe­cially when you con­sider that nor­mally even project ex­am­ples fetch more than this no-re­serve bar­gain did, as the prices­be­low show. Def­i­nitely well bought, for who­ever’s about to re­store it.

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