The Edsel Pacer is an automobile produced by the former Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln Division (M-E-L) of the Ford Motor Company of Dearborn, Michigan and sold through its Edsel marque in 1958. The Pacer was built off the shorter narrower Edsel platform, shared with Ford and the Ranger.
Pacer is one of two Edsel model names reused by manufacturers other than Ford, as was Citation. The Corsair, a 1958-only Edsel model, used a name previously applied to the Henry J by the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation.
The Pacer represented a step up from the basic Ranger model. In addition to the Ranger's base trim appoints, the Pacer received contoured seat backs, nylon upholstery cloth, color-keyed rubber floor mats, and extra stainless steel exterior and interior trim pieces and window moldings. A basic heater (as a US$92 option) and radio (at US$95) were available, and air conditioning was optional as well (at $417). A tachometer was optional.
All Pacers rode on Ford's 118 in (2997 mm) wheelbase and shared the Ranger’s engine choices, with a 303 hp (226 kW) 361 cu in (5.9 L) FE V8 (with two-barrel carburetor) as standard. (The 345 hp (257 kW) 410 cu in (6.7 L) MEL V8, standard in the Corsair and Citation, was not available.) A three-speed manual transmission was also standard. Buyers also could upgrade to a three-speed automatic transmission with a standard column-mounted gear selector, or choose Edsel’s highly promoted but trouble-prone Teletouch automatic, which placed its drive-selection buttons in the steering wheel hub, as a US$231 option.
While its roll-out was highly publicized in the fall of 1957, the 1958 Edsel was a marketing disaster for Ford and for Ford's corporate strategy for meeting General Motors product line for product line. Total Pacer output in U.S. and Canada for the model stood at 20,988 units, of which 1,876 were U.S.-built convertibles, 7,141 four-door sedans (6,083 U.S./1,058 Canada), 6,717 hardtop coupes (6,139 U.S./578 Canada), and 5,254 four-door hardtops (4,959 U.S./295 Canada). Prices for the Pacer ranged from US$2,700 to $2,993. Despite being among the best selling 1958 Edsel models, the Pacer was discontinued at the end of the 1958 model year. The premium Citation model was also dropped, as was the trouble prone Teletouch system.
The model year of the Edsel's introduction was a post WW II high point of sorts for the Ford Motor Company. Three full-size platforms of distinctly different interior widths were in use each by Lincoln, Mercury and Ford, a situation that lasted until Ford received a much wider platform in 1960. Edsel shared both Mercury's and Ford's platform in 1958 and so offers an insight into their differing interior dimensions.