Meet the two big new V8s for the 1958 Edsel in this original Ford Motor Company television spot.
When the Edsel was introduced by the Ford Motor Company—on E-Day, September 4, 1957— its mission included two ambitious objectives. First, the Edsel was designed to be fresh and new in every way, starting with its unusual styling (weird might be a more accurate term, some would say). Next, the Edsel attempted, as much as possible for one car make, to be all things to all car buyers. The broad product range featured four model lines, with the junior Pacer and Ranger based on the Ford passenger car platform, while the deluxe Corsair and Citation were built on the larger Mercury chassis. And there were two new V8s, each one based on an entirely different engine family. The Edsel was “the most beautiful thing that ever happened to horsepower,” the ad writers boasted.
As this original Ford spot briefly explains, the two new Edsel V8s were the E-400 and the E-475, each named for its lb-ft torque rating. The E-475 was built on FoMoCo’s MEL engine architecture (read more about the MEL V8 here). With a bore and stroke of 4.20 inches by 3.70 inches, it displaced 410 cubic inches and developed 345 hp. The E-400, a member of the more familiar FE engine family of 1958-76 (which included the famed 390 and 427 CID V8s) displaced 361 cubic inches and was rated at 303 hp. With a 4.05-in bore and 3.50-in stroke, it was essentially the Ford division’s 352 CID V8 with a .050 overbore.
But as things turned out, both engines proved to be one-year wonders. When Edsel sales sputtered and fell far short of their target in 1958, the product line was radically downsized to just two models for ’59 and the two Edsel-exclusive V8s were discontinued, alas. “To sensibly test the potential of these high-torque engines is something no man should miss,” the announcer declares. Video below.
Article courtesy of Mac's Motor City Garage