1958 Edsel Pacer Convertible with Continental Kit
The Edsel brand became launched on September 4, 1957 with 18 models
and an established separate Edsel Division of Ford. After Ford
President Henry Ford II and his brothers, Benson and William Clay,
introduced the new 1958 Edsel Citation convertible to enthusiasts,
Edsel's second 1958 ragtop was a Ford-designed Pacer model version.
Only 1876 units were built, and were $800 less than the fore-runner
Citation. Designer Roy Brown's objective was to come up with a car
that looked nothing like anything else on the market. In that
approach, he was successful. But public acceptance became another
challenge for the new Ford division, as history indicates.
Price-leading twins, Ranger and Pacer, were based on Ford's
118-inch Fairlane chassis. The engine utilized for Ranger and Pacer
models were Ford's 361cid V-8's producing 303-hp. Ironically, after
the first introduced, Edsel slashed to 10 models and eliminated
both Pacer and Citation. Over time, nonetheless, Edsels have
gathered most dedicated followers.
As a result, numerous restorable, exceptional cars survived with
'58's and '59's, the easiest to find. But enthusiasts remain
cautious. Edsels from 1960 are very rarely found. There exists
numbers of Ford-based and Canadian production fakes. However, if
still found, the 1958 Pacer or Citation convertibles can be quite
expensive and high-return investments. Be aware too if found with
factory AC notably with hardtops can add +15% more to value
The exemplary 1958 Pacer Convertible featured here has a newly
rebuilt 361 V-8 (July 2000) with refurbished standard transmission,
new white-wall rubber all around, perfectly functioning new
convertible top, fitted skirts, working heater and radio, power
antenna and excellent Black acrylic enamel paint. There was 33,000
original miles on the car before complete restoration. Present
owner of the Pacer has driven and maintained the car for 27-years.
Extra parts, historic information, early photos and advertisements
go with purchase, including an extra generator, starter, and water
Check out the following number breakdown and information that was
provided to us by former Edsel Club president and current KBB
editor Phil Skinner!
Starting with the serial number W8UR728469 we find:
W=261 cid/303 HP "E400" V8 engine. (The E400 was based on the
engines advertised foot/pound torque rating).
8=1958 model year
U=Louisville, KY assembly plant (where the majority of Edsels were
28469=28,469th Edsel "scheduled" for production at the Louisville
The body code line breaks down as follows:
Body: 76B=Convertible/Pacer series
Color: A A=Single Tone Raven Black
Trim: AN=White and Black "Boxcalf" Grain vinyl seats with
black-white painted dashboard, black garnish moldings
Date: 20C=March 20, 1958 as the day this car was "scheduled" for
Trans: 1=3-speed manual transmission
Axle: C=3.56:1 rear axle ratio (on very early production models
this was a 3.89:1 ratio, but was brought down a notch around
A total of 1,876 Edsel Pacer convertibles were produced for the
1958 model year. The standard drive train was the 361 cid "E400"
engine with the three-speed manual transmission. When first
released, the press loved the design of the Edsel. However, due to
some poor initial assembly quality combined with some internal
issues at Ford Motor Company as well as a major recession, Edsel
sales did not take off as predicted. Within weeks of the car's
release it had already become the subject of jokes and its
reputation had been cast. However, Ford Motor Company did invest a
lot of effort and time into improving the Edsel, including placing
dedicated Edsel inspectors at Louisville and those cars produced
after January 1, 1958, saw incredible improvements in fit, finish
and overall quality.
The E400 engine was rated at 303 HP, and was considered a solid
performance engine. It was the first version of the "Big-block" FE
V8 engines to hit the market. While most of the Pacer convertibles
were fitted with automatic transmissions, either a column-shift
unit or the push-button Teletouch, customers looking for peak
performance could order the Overdrive unit, or for the ultimate in
get-away starts, the 3-speed manual shifter.
According to The Edsels Database Registry, over 230 Pacer
convertibles have been found. To date just six of these cars have
been found with the 3-speed manual transmission. Using basic
mathematics, this would indicate that about 47 Pacer convertibles
were produced with this transmission, but experts feel that the
real number is probably about half of this projected figure.
This is a very unique opportunity to purchase a manual transmission
equipped version of the Pacer convertible. In fact, it is the only
such car I have ever seen over for sale in my 35 plus years of
involvement with the Edsel hobby. It comes from a long-term
ownership by a person who have loved and driven this car with car
for many years. FOR SALE at $67,200.00!
NOW REDUCED WAY DOWN TO $49,500.00!! That is a great price for this
really rare car.
Evaluated by Hagerty Price Value Guide, April 2015, and increasing
in monthly value, the 1958 Pacer Convertible is a solid Condition
2. Such quality cars can easily win local or regional shows, and
can be closely evaluated into Condition 1 vehicles that have been
driven or aged a bit. Seasoned observers would have to look closely
for flaws. General public would find few if any negatives about
quality. Paint, chrome, glass and interior appear excellent. No
smoke at start up. No unusual noises coming from the engine or
drive-line. Vehicles drive as a new car of its era. A word
description of a Condition 2 car is Excellent. Be aware that with
inexpensive improvement and detailing, the 1958 Edsel Pacer
Convertible could easily become a Condition 1 car at $88,000 into
$90,000 value within coming months. For exceptional investment, buy