Pick of the Day: 1956 Continental Mark II

The Continental Mark II is a remarkable survivor driven just over 26,000 miles
The Continental Mark II is a remarkable survivor driven just over 26,000 miles

Although the Pick of the Day is described as a 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II, this elegant hardtop was marketed by Ford just as the Continental, a standalone division created to compete with the world’s greatest luxury cars.

The Continental Mark II was sold at Lincoln dealerships, but was nonetheless not a Lincoln for the 1956 and ’57 model years. Only later would Continental become a brand within the Lincoln division.

Continental was Ford's top-tier luxury brand
Continental was Ford’s top-tier luxury brand

Ford did succeed in producing something beautiful and unique for their top-tier buyers, styled with subtlety and restraint at a time when most premium cars were sprouting fins and slathered in chrome.

Laden with features and mostly built by hand to high standards, the Mark II was priced at an exclusive $10,000, as much as a Rolls-Royce, though Ford was said to lose more than $1,000 per car sold. About 3,000 Continental Mark IIs were produced.

The Continental Mark II advertised on ClassicCars.com by a Chicago dealer is a low-mileage survivor that is all original aside from a repaint in its original shade of Robin Egg Blue, the seller says. With just 26,406 miles on the odometer, the car has its factory interior in “near-new condition,” according to the listing, and everything works, including the air conditioning. On the floor are the original dealer-installed, clear-plastic mats.

The interior of the 60-year-old car is all original
The interior of the 60-year-old car is all original

“Driving this car is a dream,” the dealer says in the ad. “It starts easily and shifts smoothly through the gears. The power steering works smoothly and the power brakes are dialed in as well.”

Under its long hood, the Continental retains its factory 368 cid Y-Block V8, which the dealer says produces 285 horsepower and 402 pound-feet of torque, backed by a Turbo-Drive two-speed automatic.

Mark IIs have become better appreciated and more valuable in recent years, and a low-mileage original such as this is certainly a rarity. But the asking price of $148,000 seems pretty strong. The Hagerty valuation guide pegs this car in perfect concours condition at $118,000, while a No. 2 car in excellent condition is ranked at $82,000.

Still, as they say, go find another. That is, another time-warp Continental survivor ready to go or show.

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

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