No-joke Edsel |

No-joke Edsel

The Edsel has became synonymous with “huge flop” and is the butt of numerous jokes.

Named after Henry Ford’s son, there was nothing exciting or glamorous in its branding. It’s “horse collar” grill was described then as “an Olds sucking on a lemon.”

However the real reason for the jokes has to do with it being a sales failure rather than any serious problems with the car. When Rene Kronland’s father bought his ’58 Edsel Pacer in 1968, it had already achieved automotive notoriety. But he didn’t care. He wanted a safe, heavy car for his wife to drive back and forth to work.

After a few years, they parked it in the back yard and bought another car. He thought about selling it but had fallen in love with this unusual automobile and finally decided to õrestore it after he retired. He obtained some paint in the original colors as well as original Edsel fabric for the upholstery.

Although he got the car back on the road, it was not finished when he passed away in 2003. Again it sat in the back yard. Two years ago, Rene’s husband Wally had it transported to Grass Valley and put it on the road.

So far, he has only done some cleaning and minor maintenance, but he plans to complete the restoration Rene’s father started. One of the first projects will be to rebuild the original 361 CID FE engine that was unique to Edsels. In the meantime, the Kronlands drive it locally for parades, car shows and just cruising. All the while, the car gains in value. For them and those Edsel collectors all across the country, Edsels are no longer a laughing matter.


For more information about the Roamin Angels Car Club, go to, call 432-8449 or write to Roamin Angels, PO Box

1616, Grass Valley, CA 95945

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