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1956 Continental Mark II

2. March, 2016

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lincoln
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# 15 of 32 handmade original Introductory Models

This is one of the Original handmade Introductory Models its vin# is the forth one issued by Continental showing C5681015 – SPEC-B50-82-X  (SPEC-X code for the Introductory Models)  for the first Continental Mark II ever built. It is unknown how many of the Introductory Models still exist today in the registry.  This very car was shipped to New York City to S & R Lincoln-Mercury September 22, 1955 for the introduction for the New York City area in October of 1955.

This is believed to be the very car shown by William Clay Ford, Grandson of Henry Ford. William Clay Ford was the youngest Ford brother and general Manager of the Continental Division of the Ford Motor Company at the Ney York City introduction. And this same car was purportedly the same one of two to be owned by William Clay Ford, although this claim cannot be proven or disproven. This car was a frame off complete restoration in 1983 and last shown in 1999 and has been in storage for the last 15 years. We rolled back the cover, hooked up the battery, sprayed off the dust and here she is.  After winning first in class in the 2016 Salt Lake AutoRama this car is ready for a new home.

 

In 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II The Continental was a styling masterpiece. They were hand built from 1956-57. Selling for $10,500 new, Ford lost money on every car to promote the Continental over the Cadillac Brougham. This Mark II was built under the direction of 26 year old William Clay Ford—Grandson of Henry Ford.

This Mark II took several years in its previous restoration in the 80’s and with the recent interior paint and tires,  it’s still as handsome as the day it rolled off the production line. Painted Red and finished in its original slate grey leather interior and complemented by the cut pile carpeting this Mark II comes complete with its handmade gauges that show only 8125 miles,   gives this car its great feel and majestic look it was designed to potray.

 

This car came equipped with full power for its day, including period ICE COLD ARA A/C installed when new by Lincoln, it would still be a great car to drive and show today. This Continental (as Ford called it) has been in a private collection driven very littly since its restoration over the last several years and has been well maintained.

Power came from a 368-cu.in. Lincoln V-8, rated at 285 horsepower (300 in 1957) and mated to a Turbo-Drive automatic transmission. In keeping with the car’s luxury mission, upholstery imported leather, while the paint consisted of multiple coats of hand-rubbed lacquer and the sole available option was air conditioning. The elevated price tag that such amenities demanded only added to the car’s appeal; at $10,000., it was nearly as expensive as a Rolls-Royce and roughly twice as much as a 62 Series Cadillac, yet Ford easily managed to sell all of the 2,550 models produced for 1956.

The Continental Mark II would carry over into 1957, when Ford would construct just 446 examples, including two convertible models. For the 1958 model year, the Mark II was replaced by the Lincoln Continental Mark III, a less expensive (and far more ordinary) automobile that the automaker produced and sold in far larger quantities.

Ultimately, the Continental brand experiment was a commercial failure for Ford, as consumers weren’t able to differentiate between the upscale division and the more common Lincoln division. The loss that Ford reportedly took on each Mark II sold didn’t help, either, and in the decades since then few American automakers have attempted to build a cost-be-damned model to compete with the finest cars in the world. Still, the Mark II remains a coveted prize among collectors today, and serves as a reminder of a time when America was capable of producing both quality and luxury second to none

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