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Hagerty Employee

How the 1958 economic recession put Edsel and DeSoto over the edge

There’s a good chance you’re reading this while cooped up at home—at least, more than usual. A consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic is the world's most volatile economic climate in more than a decade, which is already yielding a host of unwelcome surprises to the automotive industry.


Of course, this is far from the first time that an unpredictable economic environment has hampered the American auto industry. The 1958 recession sounded the death knell for two mid-tier American brands that were already dealing with problems of their own—Edsel and DeSoto.


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 A '58 Edsel with its owner in front of the Somerville, Mass building where it was manufactured