Ford Edsel - Thursday, February 12, 2015

Welcome back to the American Treasure Tour blog.  It feels like just yesterday we were talking about our Willys Knight advertisement.  Today, we are moving on to the 1959 Ford Edsel.  Poor Edsel Ford.  Henry's only son Edsel had a hard considering that his father was the most influential car manufacturer of all time.  For one, his dad seemed to resent the pampered childhood and education he paid for.  For another, although Henry groomed Edsel to replace him as head of the mighty Ford Motor Company, he gave him a consistently hard time.  And even that didn't work out.  Edsel died of cancer in 1943, predeceasing his father by four years.  

Then, there was the car.  The Ford Company named the Edsel in honor of the junior Ford envisioning that it would level the playing field between the struggling car producers and their competitors at General Motors and Chrysler.  Well, the car was a major bust. Nobody wanted it such that its very name became another word for failure.  Production was ended after only three years - 1958, 1959 and 1960.  But this ad tried to convince Americans otherwise, with its glowing description of a car for the ages.

QUESTION:  Like so many cars that were considered failures during their production run, the Edsel has become a highly coveted collector's item.  How many remain in existence?
A)  Approximately 100
B)  Approximately 1,000
C)  Approximately 10,000
D)  Approximately 100,000

BUILDING A MONUMENT.  On this day in 1914, a stone was set in place in Washington, D.C. for a structure designed to honor a great American president.  The president was, of course, Abraham Lincoln (the first stone for Washington's Monument was placed in 1848), and it would take six years to complete.  During construction, they realized that the original plans for a ten-foot-tall statue of Lincoln would be dwarfed by the massive building, so they did some redesigning, and created the nineteen-foot-tall statue visitors now see there.  Robert Todd Lincoln, Abraham's only son to live into adulthood, was there at the opening ceremony in May of 1922, as was current President Warren Harding.  History would not regard Harding's presidency nearly as well as it had Lincoln's, yet both of them died in office.

BECAUSE....  And if you're wondering why February 12th was selected as the day to begin construction of the Lincoln Monument, it's because our tallest president was born today, in 1809.  Of course, he wasn't 6'4" when he was born.  He was just a little baby, like all of us on our day of birth.  In fact, it's safe to say no one could have imagined that this tiny baby boy born in a log cabin in Kentucky would ever amount to anything when his parents introduced him to the world on that cold day in 1809.  Of course, as late as November of 1860, there were many who might still have agreed with that sentiment.  Today, he is one of the best-respected men to have ever held the highest office in the land.  Happy Birthday, Abe!

QUOTE:  Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln

ANSWER:  C)  10,000.  A mint condition Edsel convertible now sells for around $100,000!