For just two years in the 1950s, Ford produced a luxury coupe that rivaled the greatest brands in the world, including Rolls-Royce, in design, quality and prestige. The 1956-57 Continental Mark II was a limited-production, hand-crafted beauty with prodigious performance, an array of luxury features and trim, and styling that still looks fresh today.
The Pick of the Day is a 1956 Continental Mark II that appears to be in fine preserved condition, with low mileage and in good running order.
“Looks great, drives wonderfully,” says the Ramsey, Minnesota, dealer advertising the coupe on ClassicCars.com. “Miles showing are 63,566 and by the looks of the car, they could be original miles.”
As is often the case, the Mark II is erroneously listed in the ad as a Lincoln Continental. During this period, Continental had been spun off by Ford as a standalone brand, separate from Lincoln. Still, Continentals were sold by Lincoln dealers, which added to the confusion, a situation that continued until Continental was turned back into a Lincoln nameplate.
But during its reign, the Mark II served as an aspirational dream car for Ford, a halo designed to shine its glow on all the lesser models. Priced at a then-lofty $10,000, not a lot of them were sold – just 2,550 were built for 1956 and 444 for 1957 – which was probably a good thing since Ford is said to have lost $1,000 on each one.
But Ford had proven its point, that it could produce a world-class luxury car that would evoke the magnificent coachbuilt classics of the 1920s and ’30s. The Mark II still resonates with collectors, and there is a strong network of fans.
This clean example has been fitted with “newer exhaust, tires, water pump, fuel pump, shocks, brakes and more,” the seller says. “Chrome is beautiful. The paint is in excellent condition. Stainless is great. The body panels are nice and straight.
“It even appears to have the original carpet, headliner, door panels, leather seats and rear package tray. This interior is one of the best you can find. Motor runs nice and smooth. Transmission shifts wonderfully and it is quiet with the newer exhaust. You will enjoy this for decades to come.”
With values ranging from $49,400 for an average Mark II to a high of $175,000 for one in concours condition, according to the Hagerty guide, this one seems to be well-priced at $33,980.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.