1956 Lincoln Continental MK II  Chassis no. C56A1784

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Lot 714
1956 Lincoln Continental MK II
Chassis no. C56A1784

Sold for US$ 64,350 inc. premium
1956 Lincoln Continental MK II
Chassis no. C56A1784
The Continental name has long been associated with Lincoln’s top model, but that wasn’t always the case. Back in 1939, the name was first applied to a custom Lincoln Zephyr-based confection that Ford styling chief Eugene T. ‘Bob’ Gregory developed as Edsel Ford’s personal car. Then president of Lincoln, the younger Ford wanted a stylish one-off car to use at the family’s home in Florida. The elegant V-12 powered car proved so popular with the “right” set that Ford put it into production for 1940.

Although those first Continentals are highly coveted today, they weren’t the only elegant Lincolns to wear the nameplate. The model was continued for 1941 and 1942 before auto production screeched to a halt. After World War II, the Continental—with a mild facelift—was continued for 1946 and lived on through 1948. However, both the Continental name and its place in the Lincoln lineup were missing for 1949.

When it came time to develop an all new car to be America’s finest luxury vehicle, it must have been a natural decision to revive the Continental moniker. But unlike so many revivals of name plates past—GTO, Cougar, Thunderbird—the new Continental Mk II of 1956 was the worthiest of successors.

Lincoln’s new Continental debuted at the Paris Salon in October 1955. The supremely elegant Continental was the work of a team including American styling icon Gordon Buehrig, William Clay Ford and John Reinhart. Under the lovely skin lurked a powerful 300 horsepower overhead valve engine mated to an automatic transmission. Front suspension was independent, with a live axle bringing up the rear. Braking was by drums at all corners. Standard equipment included power steering, brakes and front seat, as well as radio, whitewall tires and a heater. The option list was exceedingly short and consisted of little more than air conditioning. However, the most astonishing feature of the Continental Mk II was its $10,000 price. To put things in perspective, the top line Packards cost around $6,000, with a Cadillac Eldorado Seville selling for about $6,500. The trouble was that even at $10,000 Lincoln lost money on each car.

Although the Continental Mk II is a big car, weighing 4,800 pounds and rolling on a 126-inch wheelbase, its perfect proportions effectively disguise its size. With simple lines and restrained—for the period—use of chrome, the Mk II looks as fresh today as it did 50 years ago.

Finished in black and nicely set off by a red and white leather interior, this fine Continental Mk II was completely restored between 1995 and 1997. Equipped with the desirable optional air conditioning, since the restoration, the current owner has had the transmission completely rebuilt and replaced the master cylinder and battery. Although the restoration is now a decade old, the seller describes it as remaining in “show condition, with excellent paint, chrome, interior and engine compartment detail.

Having covered little mileage in ten years, all this lovely Lincoln needs is a new driver.
1956 Lincoln Continental MK II  Chassis no. C56A1784
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