1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II: The victim of circumstances

1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II: The victim of circumstances

Engine V8 Horsepower 300 HP (220.8 KW) @ 4800 RPMEngine Location Front Drive Type RWDWeight 4555 lbs | 2066.113 kg Transmission 3-step automatic Turbo-drive

This luxury, stylish, yet very expensive automobile became a commercial failure of the notorious brand. The high cost and poor timing in the market were the main reasons why the brand discontinued the project. Ironically, this stunning vehicle was sacrificed to release another unsuccessful car.

Source: WallpaperUp

The luxurious Mark II was introduced in 1956 at the Paris Motor Show. This was a brand new automobile, the top of the most luxurious cars, and different from the 40s classic Lincoln  Continental. The new grand coupe was distinguished from the classic American cars and was rather created in European style as a competitor to the  British Rolls-Royce. However, something American was still there: a spare wheel, as if taken out of the trunk. The designers placed it in the trunk, so it stood almost vertically. To fit the wheel under the low cover, a characteristic stamping was made in it, as if following the contours of the “reserve.”

The origins

Source: Barrett-Jackson

In 1955, Ford decided to update the pre-war Lincoln Continental, which was one of the most exclusive and expensive cars at the time. The new vehicle was not only supposed to replace the classic model: it was planned as an American Rolls-Royce, the best in its class, superior to Cadillac, Imperial, and Packard. For this purpose, Henry Ford II created the Special Product Operations division to strengthen the company’s strong position in the American automobile market, gathering the best professionals in this team. Big names (even from competing companies) such as John Reinhart, Gordon Buerig, Bob Thomas, Ray Smith (all designers), and Harold Johnson and Harl Kopp (engineers) set to work under Ford’s younger brother William Ford’s supervision. In 1955, Special Product Operations formed the Continental Division, independent of Lincoln-Mercury, and the Wixom plant was spun off to produce the Mark II. The new vehicle was introduced in October 1956. This model was only available in two-door body style, eventually making it the forefather of the popular Personal Luxury class – luxurious two-door automobiles for those who preferred to drive rather than sit in the back seat. However, in the mid-50s, the company was utterly ignorant of costs and the car turned out fantastically expensive. The vehicle was a breakthrough and, in many ways, ahead of its time. However, commercially it wasn’t successful. In 1958, Ford was forced to disband the Continental division and release the Mark III under the Lincoln brand.

The 1956 model year

Source: Carstyling

With the talented hand of the gifted designer John Reinhart, the new automobile turned out exceptionally elegant. It was remarkable for the Ford corporation and, overall, for the American automobile industry. In proportions, the automobile resembled its predecessor with a strongly elongated hood, a small-looking cabin, which accommodated four adults, and a short tail section with a semicircular stamping on the trunk for a spare wheel. The abundance of chromium, especially on the false radiator grille, gave it an expensive look. On the sides, there were inscribed round headlights, and below was a bumper with small “fangs” in the center. With all the luxury, it was pretty restrained, without unnecessary decorative elements, meeting the demands of the conservative and wealthy target audience. Technically, it received an excellent 6-liter V8 with a capacity of 285 hp and an improved three-speed automatic Turbo-Drive transmission. The model had power steering and brakes, power windows and seats, and a complete set of control instruments, including a tachometer and a gasoline gauge, which then had only top-class automobiles. There were 12 body colors and 43 interior trim options to choose from.

Did you know?

Source: Mecum Auctions

For the price of a 1956 Mark II ($10,000), one could buy a Rolls-Royce or two Cadillacs. No wonder only people from the upper class were invited to the official presentation. Elvis Presley owned this luxurious coupe, Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima, Elizabeth Taylor, Cecil DeMille, Darryl Zanuck, Mike Toll, Jack Warner, future New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, brother of US President Milton Eisenhower, Shah of Iran, shipbuilder Henry Kaiser and other celebrities.

Contact us if you have this or another classic car to sell.

1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II: The victim of circumstances

Engine V8 Horsepower 300 HP (220.8 KW) @ 4800 RPMEngine Location Front Drive Type RWDWeight 4555 lbs | 2066.113 kg Transmission 3-step automatic Turbo-drive

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