1956 Continental Mark II
Even more elegant in black, the Continental Mark IIs made quite an exclamation point when they were introduced in late 1955, a year that already saw record vehicle sales in the United States.
This Mark II, like all of them, was made at the Allen Park Body and Assembly in Allen Park, Michigan on March 16, 1956 and it was the ninth vehicle made that day. This example is one of only 2,550 Mark IIs made in 1956. This example was originally sold by Havens Motors, Inc., in Logansport, Indiana to an Alicia Ballard. Between 1992 and 2004, Jared Bruce owned it. Since then, this Mark II has fallen to the point where it needs some TLC but very complete and hard to find in running and driving condition.
Dressed in Presidential Black (code 01), this car’s paint and trim are in mediocre condition. Blemishes are found on the trunk lid; the taillights show cracks and other areas of the car do not meet the 10-foot test. The bodywork however is straight and solid.
This car rolls on older Commander wide whitewall tires, size L78-15 at all four corners. The tires are mounted on steel wheels topped by factory wheel covers.
Under the hood is Lincoln’s 368 CID Y-block V-8 backed by a Turbo-Drive three-speed automatic transmission and 3.07:1 rear end. Driver convenience features include power steering, power brakes and power front seats.
Other standard equipment included an AM radio, whitewall tires, heater and factory air conditioning.
Inside, the car’s gray and white Bridge of Weir leather interior (code 1E6L) is in overall fair shape. Capping off the inside is a factory AM radio. The wipers, power windows and gauges are inoperable.
The Continental Mark II was revived in late 1955 as a separate marque, produced by a separate division of Ford Motor Company, as its sole model. This version was a unique design with the highest quality control ever seen in the automobile industry. High-class luxury abounded in the new Continental, and with very limited availability, it appeared even more exclusive than the original. This car was so exclusive, even celebrities like Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley and political figures like the Shah of Iran and President Dwight D. Eisenhower had to follow Ford’s protocol to qualify for ownership. Actress Elizabeth Taylor received a Mark II from Warner Brothers as a gift; its exterior custom painted to match her eyes.
More important, the car was the personal vehicle of choice for many Ford family members. Josephine Ford, Henry Ford’s sole granddaughter, and his three grandsons, Benson, Henry II and William Clay Ford all piloted Continental Mark IIs. The Mark II sold new for $10,400, the equivalent of a new Rolls-Royce or two Cadillacs at that time.
Ford fun factoids – 98 percent of 1956 Continentals came with power brakes; 85 percent had power seats; 86 percent had power windows; 94 percent had radios; 99 percent had heaters; and 98 percent had whitewall tires.
Competition to the Mark II in 1956 included Bentley’s Continental, Cadillac’s Eldorado Seville, Chrysler’s New Yorker Newport two-door hardtop, Jaguar’s Mark VIII, Lincoln’s own Premiere Coupe, Mercedes-Benz’s 300d “Adenauer,” Packard’s Caribbean Hardtop and Rolls-Royce’s Silver Cloud.
This black beauty deserves another chance at road redemption, you owe it to yourself to visit MotoeXotica Classic Cars and check out this Continental for yourself.
This car is currently located at our facility in St. Louis, Missouri. Current mileage on the odometer shows 8,005 miles. It is sold as is, where is, on a clean and clear, mileage exempt title. GET OUT AND DRIVE!!!
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