By 1959 America had lost her confidence; the economy nose-dived, Russia was first in space, there were race riots in Little Rock, and Ford was counting the cost of its disastrous Edsel project—close to 400 million dollars. “The Edsel look is here to stay” brayed the ads, but the bold new vertical grille had become a countrywide joke. Sales didn’t just die, they never took off, and those who had been rash enough to buy hid their chromium follies in suburban garages.
Without that infamous grille, the Bermuda wouldn’t have been a bad old barge. The rest looked pretty safe and suburban, and even those faddish rear lights weren’t that offensive. At $3,155 it was the top Edsel wagon, wooing the WASPs with more mock wood than Disneyland.