Vin Car Pic: 1958 Edsel

Teletouch transmission controls in the 1958 Edsel. (Ford archives)

The Edsel would not become the “entirely new kind of car” for which Ford had high expectations, but it did debut some innovative features. According to the history provided by Wikipedia, the technology and design features included the rolling-dome speedometer; warning lights for such conditions as low oil level, parking brake engaged, and engine overheating; and the push-button Teletouch transmission shifting system in the center of the steering wheel (a conventional column-shift automatic was also available at a reduced price).

The rolling-dome speedometer. (Ford archives)

Other Edsel design innovations include ergonomically designed controls for the driver and self-adjusting brakes (which Ford claimed for Edsel as a first for the industry, even though Studebaker had pioneered them earlier in the decade). Edsels also offered such features, advanced for the time, as seat belts (which were available at extra cost as optional equipment on many other makes) and child-proof rear door locks that could be unlocked only with the key.

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