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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Ford's failed Edsel division has been the butt of jokes for decades but sometimes history has a way of changing perceptions. A case in point: Jim Trice's 1958 Edsel Ranger.

The Orange Park Edsel owner has lovingly restored his Ranger, which he bought about three years ago in Texas. From a styling standpoint, it certainly holds its own. The most unique element of any Edsel was the vertical grille, which you either love or hate (mark me in the love column).

The Edsel brand only lasted three model years (1958-1960) before Ford pulled the plug due to lackluster sales and a poor quality reputation, according to edselclub.org.

Trice's Edsel is certainly one of the best examples of the breed in Jacksonville. He's done everything but a frame-off restoration; including all new wiring, chrome re-plating and paint. Trice took off the fenders, rebuilt the front and rear end, along with the motor and transmission.

"I did all the body work myself and took it all the way down to bare metal, all of it, replaced any little bit of rust that might have been on it," said Trice. The interior also got an overhaul.

Trice has been driving the Ranger for about three months now. The Ranger line was available as a two-door or four-door with three engine choices: two V8s and a V6.

Trice's Edsel was just one of the hundreds of classic cars that were cruising Main Street last Saturday night in Historic Springfield. The Main St. Cruise is held on the fourth Saturday of every month. To explore a slideshow from the cruise with more than 50 photos, click here.

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