HomePick of the DayLimited-production Continental that ‘drives like a dream’

Limited-production Continental that ‘drives like a dream’


The Continental Mark II coupe was Ford Motor Co.’s effort to relive the pre-war glory days of coachbuilt luxury cars, with gorgeously original styling, muscular performance and limited, hand-crafted production.  Continental was split off as a separate division from Lincoln at this time, although the 1956-57 Mark II was sold through Lincoln dealers, thus adding to the confusion.

The Mark II had a host of luxury features on board, with air conditioning being the only option, and the interior was fitted with beautifully fashioned trim. Highlighting its international style, the Continental was unveiled at the 1955 Paris Motor Show.

The Continental is described as a rust-free California car

The Continental was built as a halo car to demonstrate Ford’s design and engineering prowess, and with its nearly $10,000 price tag rivaling that of Rolls-Royce, not very many were sold, as intended. Probably a good thing, too, since Ford estimates it lost $1,000 on every Continental Mark II. Just 2,550 were built for 1956 and 444 for 1957.

The Pick of the Day is a 1957 Continental Mark II advertised by a private seller in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and listed erroneously, as they often are, as a “Lincoln Continental”; Ford never called them Lincolns.

“Probably the most-sorted Mark II in existence!” the seller states in the ad on ClassicCars.com. “Fresh mechanical restoration with plenty miles put on it to sort it out. Drives like a dream and I would feel comfortable driving it anywhere.”

The restrained interior looks to be in fine condition

The car is equipped with factory AC, and the seller says it is a rust-free, three-owner California car.  But it could use a paint job, the seller notes, adding that it is basically a clean driver as it is, and decent-looking at 10 feet. The photos with the ad show a very nice-looking interior, with everything appearing intact.

The Mark II’s styling was groundbreaking in its day, low-slung due to its “step-down” perimeter frame, with a sleek roofline and that faux spare-tire bulge in the rear.  The trim body was relatively clean and unadorned, in stark contrast with the increasingly baroque, chrome-laden cars of the era.

The coupe’s styling is clean and low

These cars have quite a network of enthusiastic fans, and the Mark II is seen today as one of Ford’s greatest moments in the sun. A Mark II in impeccable condition sold for nearly $100,000 at the recent Arizona collector car auction by Gooding & Company.   According to the Hagerty guide, the ’57 Continental has an average value of $49,400, soaring up to $170,000 for one in perfect concours condition.

Which makes this Continental, with an asking price of $42,500, seem like a fairly good deal, even if it does need paint.  These were and still are very special cars worthy of preservation.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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. My dad owned one just like it. Same color, in Cuba in 1956. Sadly we had to leave her behind when we exiled in 1960. Last I saw her was 2 days before we left parked in my uncles garage. My uncle subsequently died in 1978 and who knows what happened to the car as the gov then took position of the house. Looking at the car pictured brought back lots of good memories and also a tear to my eye.


    • Thank you for your story. I lost track of a good friend probably 40 years ago that had participated in the Bay of Pigs hostilities. He made it to the US and he felt betrayed because of the lack of promissed US support but, as you, he loved this country anyway. And rasied his children to appreciate and love Amerca and democracy even tho Politics can cause cruel outcomes.
      God bless America.

  2. Although the Continental may have been a separate division from Lincoln as was the LaSalle was from Cadillac the Mark II bore the Lincoln emblem which may have attributed to its close association.

  3. Oscar, I am sorry for you and your family- you must have tons of guts to be concerned about a 50+ year old car that trips memories, after all y’all have experienced.
    The United States has treated Cuba so badly for so long that most have forgotten- or never knew- that Cuba was the hotspot for the wealthy and not so to vacation and enjoy; the Cuban people never forgot the US- I am ashamed that the reverse isn’t true.
    I served as an advisor in Sub-Saharan Africa in the ’80’s, and was opposed by Soviet backed Cuban advisors- the Russian f***s just sucked on ice; the Cubans with which I had personal contact were honorable men, very proud career military, mostly supporting their families at home. And G** D****d good soldiers, too.
    Do you prosper, and your family.


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