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  • Maybe Studebaker should have tried this -

    http://www.autoextremist.com/index.shtml

    Peter Carlson, The Washington Post, Edsel lovers. There was a great piece in yesterday's Washington Post by Peter Carlson entitled The Flop Heard Round the World, which documented the spectacular failure of the 1958-1960 Edsel, the $250 million disaster ($2 billion in today's dollars) that damn near ruined the Ford Motor Company. Carlson's story is a brief but detailed primer on how the Edsel came about and all of the thinking that went into it before it was launched with a resounding thud to the American market. The marketing and PR war stories mentioned are priceless, including the classic story about one PR-advertising brainstorming session that came up with idea involving a free pony giveaway. Carlson reported it this way: "But the Edsel folks did not give up. No way. After months of sluggish sales, the crack PR team gathered to brainstorm ideas for selling Edsels. They were battered and weary and devoid of ideas until an adman named Walter 'Tommy' Thomas blurted out a suggestion. 'Let's give away a [bleeping] pony,' he said. Much to Thomas's amazement, his idea was not only accepted, it was expanded. The geniuses at Edsel decided to advertise a promotion in which every Edsel dealer would give away a pony. It worked like this: If you agreed to test-drive an Edsel, your name would be entered into a lottery at the dealership, with the winner getting a pony. Ford bought 1,000 ponies and shipped them to Edsel dealers, who displayed them outside their showrooms. Many parents, egged on by their pony-loving children, traipsed in to take a test drive. Unfortunately, many of the lucky winners declined the ponies, opting instead for the alternative - $200 in cash - and soon dealers were shipping the beasts back to Detroit. Now the Edsel folks were not only stuck with a lot of cars they couldn't sell, they were also stuck with a lot of ponies they couldn't give away. The cars were easy enough to store, but the ponies required food. And after they ate the food, they digested the food. And then...another fine mess for Edsel." Ah yes, you can't make this (horse) **** up, folks. It's definitely worth the read.
    64 Champ long bed V8
    55/53 Studebaker President S/R
    53 Hudson Super Wasp Coupe

  • #2
    I don't remember the local Edsel dealer giving away any ponies, but they did advertise that if you test drove an Edsel they would give you a scale model Edsel. I was 13 at the time and I wanted the model, so I persuaded my mother to take me to the Edsel dealership. She pleaded with the salesman not to make her drive the car and he just gave me the model.

    Talk about poor decisions, the local Edsel dealer had been carrying Kaisers, then switched to Hudson in 54, but took a chance on Edsel instead of Rambler for 58. He was only an Edsel dealer for one year (1958) and then went back to AMC. I have heard the he was one of two dealerships in Virginia that actually made money selling Edsels.

    Leonard Shepherd
    http://leonardshepherd.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't remember the local Edsel dealer giving away any ponies, but they did advertise that if you test drove an Edsel they would give you a scale model Edsel. I was 13 at the time and I wanted the model, so I persuaded my mother to take me to the Edsel dealership. She pleaded with the salesman not to make her drive the car and he just gave me the model.

      Talk about poor decisions, the local Edsel dealer had been carrying Kaisers, then switched to Hudson in 54, but took a chance on Edsel instead of Rambler for 58. He was only an Edsel dealer for one year (1958) and then went back to AMC. I have heard the he was one of two dealerships in Virginia that actually made money selling Edsels.

      Leonard Shepherd
      http://leonardshepherd.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Giving scale cars away was pretty common back then (as you know and stated)..
        I remember getting a '65 (64&1/2?) Mustang model when they first came out...
        (AMT manufactured them, having been a tail light supplier for years)..
        Ahh.... To think back on how I painted it all with AMT paints and a brush, smashed it into all sorts of stuff, and eventually lit it on fire and watched the burning plastic ooze out all over the backyard patio[}]...
        Funny what you remember, isn't it[V]
        Jeff[8D]


        quote:Originally posted by lstude

        I don't remember the local Edsel dealer giving away any ponies, but they did advertise that if you test drove an Edsel they would give you a scale model Edsel. I was 13 at the time and I wanted the model, so I persuaded my mother to take me to the Edsel dealership. She pleaded with the salesman not to make her drive the car and he just gave me the model.

        Talk about poor decisions, the local Edsel dealer had been carrying Kaisers, then switched to Hudson in 54, but took a chance on Edsel instead of Rambler for 58. He was only an Edsel dealer for one year (1958) and then went back to AMC. I have heard the he was one of two dealerships in Virginia that actually made money selling Edsels.

        Leonard Shepherd
        http://leonardshepherd.com/

        HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

        Jeff


        Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



        Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

        Comment


        • #5
          Giving scale cars away was pretty common back then (as you know and stated)..
          I remember getting a '65 (64&1/2?) Mustang model when they first came out...
          (AMT manufactured them, having been a tail light supplier for years)..
          Ahh.... To think back on how I painted it all with AMT paints and a brush, smashed it into all sorts of stuff, and eventually lit it on fire and watched the burning plastic ooze out all over the backyard patio[}]...
          Funny what you remember, isn't it[V]
          Jeff[8D]


          quote:Originally posted by lstude

          I don't remember the local Edsel dealer giving away any ponies, but they did advertise that if you test drove an Edsel they would give you a scale model Edsel. I was 13 at the time and I wanted the model, so I persuaded my mother to take me to the Edsel dealership. She pleaded with the salesman not to make her drive the car and he just gave me the model.

          Talk about poor decisions, the local Edsel dealer had been carrying Kaisers, then switched to Hudson in 54, but took a chance on Edsel instead of Rambler for 58. He was only an Edsel dealer for one year (1958) and then went back to AMC. I have heard the he was one of two dealerships in Virginia that actually made money selling Edsels.

          Leonard Shepherd
          http://leonardshepherd.com/

          HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

          Jeff


          Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



          Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

          Comment


          • #6
            They should have had the ponys fitted with a matching chrome grille on their necks[8D]

            LaSalle,Il
            61Hawk
            Oglesby,Il.

            Comment


            • #7
              They should have had the ponys fitted with a matching chrome grille on their necks[8D]

              LaSalle,Il
              61Hawk
              Oglesby,Il.

              Comment


              • #8
                Oh yes, the scale models. Man, I loved those things. When I was in about 4th or 5th grade for Christmas my grandfather sent me one that was an almost exact copy of his full sized '59 Pontiac. I had lots of models that I had built, but that one the one that I coveted the most. He later sent more of those models. The dealership from whom he bought his Pontiac, sold the entire GM line and the owner was a family friend and gladly gave Grandpa those models. As I recall he actually traded a '52 Studebaker for that '59 Pontiac. The dealer was in Tekamah, Nebraska, though my dad's parents lived in Omaha.
                Joe Roberts
                Joe Roberts
                '61 R1 Champ
                '65 Cruiser
                Eastern North Carolina Chapter

                Comment


                • #9
                  Oh yes, the scale models. Man, I loved those things. When I was in about 4th or 5th grade for Christmas my grandfather sent me one that was an almost exact copy of his full sized '59 Pontiac. I had lots of models that I had built, but that one the one that I coveted the most. He later sent more of those models. The dealership from whom he bought his Pontiac, sold the entire GM line and the owner was a family friend and gladly gave Grandpa those models. As I recall he actually traded a '52 Studebaker for that '59 Pontiac. The dealer was in Tekamah, Nebraska, though my dad's parents lived in Omaha.
                  Joe Roberts
                  Joe Roberts
                  '61 R1 Champ
                  '65 Cruiser
                  Eastern North Carolina Chapter

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I remember ponies and corral fences being related to Ford dealers for early Mustangs, but not related to Edsels. The local Mercury-Edsel dealership was owned by neighbors of ours and I spent some time at the dealership and bought Mercurys off them. I do NOT remember any pony promotions. The dealership is still owned by the same family and now handle Mercury-Lincoln-Saab. I remember going to the dealership for the introduction party for the Edsel and when they had their last Edsel ('60) on the showroom floor.

                    Gary L.
                    Wappinger, NY

                    SDC member since 1968
                    Studebaker enthusiast much longer
                    Gary L.
                    Wappinger, NY

                    SDC member since 1968
                    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I remember ponies and corral fences being related to Ford dealers for early Mustangs, but not related to Edsels. The local Mercury-Edsel dealership was owned by neighbors of ours and I spent some time at the dealership and bought Mercurys off them. I do NOT remember any pony promotions. The dealership is still owned by the same family and now handle Mercury-Lincoln-Saab. I remember going to the dealership for the introduction party for the Edsel and when they had their last Edsel ('60) on the showroom floor.

                      Gary L.
                      Wappinger, NY

                      SDC member since 1968
                      Studebaker enthusiast much longer
                      Gary L.
                      Wappinger, NY

                      SDC member since 1968
                      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I wonder if Mr. Ed made any "guest appearances" at Studebaker Dealers?

                        At least they would not be "stuck with him" after all, he had his own 3/4 Ton Champ pickup and horse trailer!

                        StudeRich
                        Studebakers Northwest
                        Ferndale, WA
                        StudeRich
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I wonder if Mr. Ed made any "guest appearances" at Studebaker Dealers?

                          At least they would not be "stuck with him" after all, he had his own 3/4 Ton Champ pickup and horse trailer!

                          StudeRich
                          Studebakers Northwest
                          Ferndale, WA
                          StudeRich
                          Second Generation Stude Driver,
                          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            quote:Originally posted by StudeRich

                            I wonder if Mr. Ed made any "guest appearances" at Studebaker Dealers?

                            StudeRich
                            Studebakers Northwest
                            Ferndale, WA
                            There is a guy in an adjecent neighborhood with a beautiful palimino. When I get the Avanti finished, I'd like to ask him if I could get some shots of the horse with the car.
                            (Yes, it seem I am nuts as my wife has been suggesting for years).


                            BTW: About 10 years ago I was at an antique toy sale (in the pre-ebay days)where Allen Young (the actor who played Mr. Ed's owner) was signing autographs. If I had my Avanti then i'd have him autograph a model of it.



                            63 Avanti R1 2788
                            1914 Stutz Bearcat
                            (George Barris replica)

                            Washington State
                            63 Avanti R1 2788
                            1914 Stutz Bearcat
                            (George Barris replica)

                            Washington State

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              quote:Originally posted by StudeRich

                              I wonder if Mr. Ed made any "guest appearances" at Studebaker Dealers?

                              StudeRich
                              Studebakers Northwest
                              Ferndale, WA
                              There is a guy in an adjecent neighborhood with a beautiful palimino. When I get the Avanti finished, I'd like to ask him if I could get some shots of the horse with the car.
                              (Yes, it seem I am nuts as my wife has been suggesting for years).


                              BTW: About 10 years ago I was at an antique toy sale (in the pre-ebay days)where Allen Young (the actor who played Mr. Ed's owner) was signing autographs. If I had my Avanti then i'd have him autograph a model of it.



                              63 Avanti R1 2788
                              1914 Stutz Bearcat
                              (George Barris replica)

                              Washington State
                              63 Avanti R1 2788
                              1914 Stutz Bearcat
                              (George Barris replica)

                              Washington State

                              Comment

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