The Edsel Citation was the top of the line automobile produced by the former Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln Division of the Ford Motor Company of Dearborn, Michigan, and sold through its Edsel marque in 1958. The Citation was built on the longer, wider Edsel platform, shared with Mercury, and with the Corsair.
Citation was one of two Edsel model names later used by another auto manufacturer, Pacer being the other.
The Citation represented the highest trim level available within the Edsel brand. In addition to deluxe interior appointments, the Citation also received extra stainless steel details and a gold-anodized aluminum cove panel. The cove (or rear quarter-panel "scallop") could be painted either the color of the body, the color of the roof, or a third color (tri-tone paint option). It used a ladder type frame with welded box side rails and independent ball-joint front suspension.
Riding on a 124 in (2997 mm) wheelbase with a 22° approach angle, the Citation was powered by the 345 bhp (257 kW) 410 cu in (6.7 L) MEL V8 with four-barrel carburetor. Edsel’s Teletouch automatic transmission, which placed its drive-selection buttons in the steering wheel hub, was standard. (This was a US$231 option on Ranger and Pacer models.) A basic heater (as a US$92 option) and radio (at US$95) were available, and air conditioning was optional as well (at US$460), plus an automatic truck opener, seat belts, and rear door safety lock that could only be opened with the key, preventing children from opening the door while the car is moving.
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 Citation output in the U.S. and Canada for the model stood at 9,299 units, of which 930 were U.S.-built convertibles, 5,588 were four-door hardtops (5,112 in U.S. and 476 in Canada), and 2,781 were hardtop coupes (2,535 in U.S. and 246 in Canada). Prices ranged from US$3,500 to $3,766.
For the 1959 model year, the Citation and the Pacer models were dropped (as was the trouble-prone Teletouch system) from Edsel’s model range for 1959, which was introduced in the fall of 1958.
The Citation convertible remains one of the most sought after models amongst modern-day Edsel collectors.
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.