Something Different – Floyd Dutton’s rare 1958 Edsel Roundup Wagon
“I just wanted something different, and I guess I went way overboard.” Floyd Dutton chuckles a little when asked about why he built his chopped 1958 Edsel Roundup wagon. It’s definitely different. With only 963 Roundups built in 1958, Floyd’s is likely the only one you’ll see at any car show.
At the 2019 Goodguys event in York, PA, the wagon’s Oklahoma license plate also stood out. Floyd’s home in Harrah is more than 1,200 miles from York, but long trips are common for this longroof; Floyd and his wife Becki have logged more than 95,000 miles in the past five years.
Floyd was on the hunt for a ’54-’58 Ford two-door wagon when a friend mentioned his father had this 1958 Edsel, which had slowly been sinking into his yard for 30 years. It took months of consideration before Floyd made the purchase and he was still unsure of his decision after dragging the car home. “It was worse than it looked,” Floyd said, with substantial lower-body rust. Still, something about it hooked him. “I thought if I had to fix a rusty old car, I might as well fix a rusty old rare car,” Floyd said.
A body man by trade, Floyd handled all the rust repair, welding in replacement Ranchero quarters and rockers and fabricating most of the floors. He also made some tasteful custom modifications, like fitting ’59 Mercury headlamp doors into the fenders, building custom tube grilles in molded surrounds, and using a second pair of split front bumpers on the rear.
Then there’s the top. By using a shorter hardtop windshield, Floyd achieved a 1¼-inch chop when he lowered the top to match. Using a ribbed ’59 Ford roof skin brought the height down another 1¼-inches. Floyd also leaned the B-pillars to match the windshield posts. He started installing hardtop doors, but ultimately decided they didn’t work visually. “You’ve got to get back and look at the car, and if it doesn’t look right, it doesn’t look right,” Floyd said.
When Floyd’s metalwork was finished, Clayton Lashley at LA Customs sprayed the two-tone blue and white finish using DuPont materials.
The wagon’s chassis was rebuilt using dropped spindles, front disc brakes, and a 9-inch rearend, with a’95 Mustang GT 302c.i. V8 for power, complete with fuel injection and an AOD transmission. The 15×6-inch steel wheels wear small Ford hubcaps, trim rings, and Diamondback Classic whitewall radials.
Inside, gauges from that same ’95 Mustang were fitted in a modified dash, while Fast AL’s Upholstery covered Mercury bucket seats (and all other soft parts) in a combination of light blue vinyl and vintage-style cloth. A metalflake Moon wheel and tall Lokar shifter helped complete the cabin.
Built over 16 on-again, off-again years, Floyd said he couldn’t have completed the 1958 Edsel without the encouragement of some great friends. The reward has been countless enjoyable moments traveling around the country, where the car always attracts admirers. “Even the Edsel people like it,” Floyd joked. It’s something different, and it’s one very cool custom wagon.
Photos by Todd Ryden