ON THE ROAD IN THE BIGGEST MERCURY EVER BUILT: THE 1959 PARK LANE HARDTOP
The recession of 1958 hit fast and hard, and while it affected every American car builder with the exception of Rambler, it clobbered Ford harder than most. The company launched Edsel to the yawning indifference of everyone; 63,110 Edsels sold in 1958, making it the second-best new-marque launch ever (behind Plymouth), but it was calamitous against sales estimates of 200,000. The reasons why are beyond the scope of this story, but with $400 million spent in development, Edsel was a disaster. The Continental Division folded into the Lincoln Division; the new combined Lincoln-Continental division’s new unit-body cars lost Ford $60 million from 1958 to 1960.
Read Jeff’s article here