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When Floyd Dutton’s wife, Becki, first laid eyes on the derelict station wagon he towed home, the first words out of her mouth were, “that’s certainly a Flintstone wagon.” When asked why she called it that, she replied, “the only way to stop it is with your feet through the floorboard.”

Needless to say, she wasn’t exactly thrilled with her husband’s car of choice, but Floyd could see the diamond through all of the rust. A good friend of Floyd’s told him about his Dad’s 1958 Edsel Wagon resting in their backyard; a 2-door ‘Roundup’ model.

Miss Ethyl is a 1958 Edsel Wagon, a 2-door Roundup model.

Problem was it was gradually rusting away, and the engine and transmission were missing. Floyd’s friend asked him if he would be interested in purchasing it, but Floyd quickly dismissed it as too much work, even though the $800 price tag sounded right.{ad:BLOCK}

After months of searching for another car project, Floyd finally decided maybe the wagon deserved a second look. After envisioning the car a few times in his head, he bought the rusted Edsel Wagon in early 1998.

For a few years, Floyd worked his magic on it in his own Rock N’ Roll Kustom body shop. Owning a business isn’t all cake and cream, and life sometimes throws curveballs as he had to move his shop to Harrah, Oklahoma, and realized the wagon wasn’t going to get done as fast as he had hoped.

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Floyd modified the replacement with an Edsel nose, turning the Ranchero into an Edselero.

The Designated Replacement

In the meantime, Floyd found and bought another car, a 1957 Ford Ranchero, which already had an Edsel clip on it. Sure, we all know that Edsel didn’t build Rancheros, but if you saw Floyd’s Ranchero, you’d say everyone didn’t know what they were talking about simply because the Ranchero is tastefully customized.

It took Floyd awhile to modify the Ranchero into his version of what an “Edselero” should look like, with Edsel taillights, and an Edsel dash. But when it was done, he and his wife did a lot of traveling in the truck, traversing the country. They liked the fact the Edselero had room for luggage in the bed as well as their canopy and lawn chairs.

One good thing about the ’58 station wagon being a true Edsel, Floyd didn’t have to look for another front clip, but the luggage could now be put inside, away from the elements. The bigger issue was the wagon needed new floorpans, rockers, door panels, a tailgate, and fenders replaced as rust destroyed them years ago.

Through trial and error, several salvage trips hunting for elusive parts, and fabricating parts for the car, the Edsel wagon began to rise out of the rust pile. Over four years of blood, sweat, and tears, Floyd’s labor of love finally gave way to what his wife now lovingly calls “Miss Ethyl.”{ad:BLOCK}

Why Miss Ethyl?

Becki named the car Miss Ethyl because she said the car is like the premium gas available in the 50s, and like the premium fuel, the wagon commanded a hefty price tag! Besides that, Ethyl rhymed with Edsel.

In the months between Floyd and Becki enjoying rod-running all over in their Edselero, the Edsel wagon was well on its way to becoming a finished project, but of course, it wouldn’t be complete without revealing the changes made to the wagon.

A study into two different kinds of 'haulers'. One is the real deal, the other an imposter.

From the custom grilles, ’59 Mercury headlights, and customized ’58 Edsel taillights to the shaved door handles, modified side trim, Buick portholes in the hood, and customized rear bumper to the slanted door posts, this Edsel is one-of-a-kind. The rear bumpers on the wagon are Edsel fronts narrowed, and the body has been specially modified for the license plate.{ad:BLOCK}The roof is not a stock Edsel roof, its off of a 1959 Ford station wagon. Floyd used a two-door hardtop windshield, which lowered the roof 1.25 inches.

He decided to use the ’59 Ford roof simply because he liked the ribs in it, and the smaller crown, which lowered it another 1.25 inches. Since the top is lowered, the slanted door posts give the old wagon a drastically different look.

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It’s just as nice under the hood with a Ford Mustang GT-HO engine in the bay.

While the body was being modified under Floyd’s tutelage in the Oklahoma shop, another frame Floyd he had restored sat waiting. The engine of choice was a ’95 Mustang GT-HO with an electric transmission.

Once the bodywork was done, the frames were swapped, with paint color being the next order of business. The project was finalized with Baby Blue and White paint, with the metal-flaked roof acting as a catalyst to reflect sunlight.

Floyd chose Ford Thunderbird bucket seats with stainless steel around them, complete with fabric inserts to help accent the vinyl. The headliner was custom built and features matching ribs found on the roof.

A custom console was fabricated and painted to match the dash, which was also pinstriped and complement the gauges, which were pulled from a ’95 Mustang.

Pinstriping and color coded knobs highlight the dash. Gauges are from a '95 Mustang.

The Journey Ahead

Miss Ethyl was completed in January 2014, and she’s been a crowd favorite ever since. The wagon was born to take on the open road.

Becki retired as a traveling home health nurse, so her and Floyd could pursue their dreams of traveling the country. After their daughter Dana married in April 2014, the two loaded the wagon and headed out on a journey.

Dewey, Oklahoma’s Stray Kat 500 was the first major pit stop on their trip. It was west after that on Route 66, all the way to the Santa Monica Pier in California.

Then it was north up Highway 1 and 101 along the Pacific coast to Seattle. They traveled east to Yellowstone, Custer’s Last Stand, Devil’s Tower, and the Black Hills of South Dakota to Mount Rushmore.

A custom console and a tall shifter dominate the two-toned interior.

The trip finished through the biker capital of Sturgis, South Dakota on their way home. Overall, their trip lasted 48 days, 7,330 miles, through 12 states. Not bad for a maiden voyage, proving testament to a well-built highway car.

In September 2014, the couple journeyed west to Flagstaff, Arizona, for the 25th Anniversary of the Christian Rods and Custom Ministry as well as the Route 66 Show. They then drove the wagon to Dayton, Ohio for the National Edsel Show, to Jolliet, Illinois, and returning home on Route 66.{ad:BLOCK}

Refusing to quit traveling, in February 2015, they headed east to Florida, where they drove Highway 1 all the way to the Florida Keys, across the Everglades, and westward along the Gulf Coast, finally driving through Texas toward home.

In April 2015, they showed the car at the NSRA event in Oklahoma City, and in May the destination was the Stray Kat 500. In June they headed east to Indianapolis for the Custom Car Revival. Two weeks later, they drove west to Pueblo, Colorado, for another NSRA Show.

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A few window stickers to show the travels of this road warrior help add to the car’s reputation as a well-built highway car.

In a little over a year, Miss Ethyl has logged over 29,000 miles, to and through 25 different states.

“It’s been a great ride, and just keeps getting better and better. I’ve never met a ‘stranger’ and love to talk to other car enthusiasts,” Floyd said.

The Dutton’s wish to give credit and thanks to those folks that helped on the project:

  • Paint by LA Customs- Clayton Lashley.
  • Interior by Fast Al- Aaron Lawrence.
  • Radio & Audio System- James Childers.
  • Pinstriping- Ron MyersIMG_1463

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