HomeThe MarketUnique 4-headlight 1956 Lincoln Mark II at Russo and Steele

Unique 4-headlight 1956 Lincoln Mark II at Russo and Steele


The quad headlights look well-integrated with the Lincoln styling
The quad headlights look well-integrated with the Lincoln styling | Russo and Steele

No, your eyes do not deceive you. This 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II has a set of quad headlights up front. Certainly not a factory design, it was a custom treatment created decades ago by a well-known, eccentric and prolific collector of Lincolns.

This unique Mark II, which goes to auction during Russo and Steele’s fifth annual Newport Beach, California, was owned and customized by the late J.C Daniels, who collected hundreds of Lincolns after striking it rich as a Texas oilman. Before going into the oil business, he owned a Lincoln dealership, and apparently never lost his affection for Ford’s luxury cars.

When Daniels died in 2000, he owned 388 Lincolns, including 47 Mark IIs, which were all auctioned off in 2002, including this Continental.

The Lincoln is said to be in immaculate condition
The Lincoln is said to be in immaculate condition

“This car was the rare and odd one in the group,” according to Russo and Steele’s catalog description. “For some reason, J.C. decided to create a four-headlight Lincoln. At the time Mark IIs were built, no cars were manufactured with four headlights. This did not happen until 1957 when Mark IIs were out of production.

Daniels, who started out his career with a body shop, had three shop workers perform the customization of this Lincoln, which took some courage since Continental Mark IIs have always been valuable, limited-production luxury cars; when new, these hand-built coupes were more expensive than Rolls-Royces.

The headlight alteration was professionally done and still looks immaculate, according to the auction catalog. The car stands just as it did when it left Daniel’s estate, aside from some freshening and new tires to make it roadworthy.

Other than the quad headlights, the Continental looks to be in stock condition, which only adds to the effect of looking like it came that way from the factory. This head-turning Lincoln would be sure to grab lots of attention, or else howls of protest from dedicated collectors of the always popular model.

Russo and Steele, which holds its Newport Beach auction June 2-4 at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, is offering the Continental at no reserve. For information about the sale, visit the auction website.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.
  1. In 1956 my first design assignment when I started in Lincoln Exterior Design Studio, was to design quad headlamps for the MK II. John Najjar, the Studio Manager, told me to have the first 12 to 18 inches cut off of a factory fresh MK II so my design could be modeled on the MK. The next morning John came to me and told me to ” Forget the MK II project as later this morning they will announce that the MK production has ended.” I’m glad my designs never made it to production on the MK II.
    It may be of interest that next to the MK ii in the studio was a full sized plaster cast of what was to have been the MK III, a four door MK. It was not the MK III based on the ’58/’60 Lincoln Continentals.

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