1956 Continental Mark II Survivor

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You don’t see many of these 1956 Continentals around and here’s a 2 door. They say it does run but don’t provide much more information than that. It looks complete and original. The asking of $22,000 seems high, but they are open to offers. There’s no obvious rust or damage but they don’t show the left side or much underneath. It’s in Cameron, Wisconsin and listed here on craigslist. What do you think this could be worth if an inspection reveals no serious problems? I’d fix any mechanical issues and clean it up. What would you do with this Continental? 


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Comments

  1. Mark E

    These were expensive and are rare because they were basically handbuilt in the separate Continental division Ford set up.

    With the exception of a few missing pieces (what? a headlight trim ring?!??) this one looks like you could possibly change all the fluids, give it a good cleaning and enjoy driving it! If it IS actually in that condition, the price is good. I’ve seen cheaper ones in the teens and even in 4 digits but they weren’t driveable or in this solid a shape.

    • Mark W

      I think I see the headlight trim ring in the back seat picture. Great Car.

  2. Fred

    Terribly expensive to restore and few “drive as is” examples. This could be one of them- really not that bad. Probably an ’80s restoration that got stored reasonably well.

    Like 1
  3. Rich

    Missing trim ring spotted in the back seat. Wow this car held up good while in storage! The interior doesn’t appear to have been taken over by critters! Price seems awfully high though. Maybe 15k?

  4. don

    this one is actually worth the asking price, if i had the money I would buy this one clean it up and drive as is. these are very rare cars and in this condition is rare.

  5. joeinthousandoaks

    Looks like AZ plates. Not a bad car but price is high. The market is soft on these much like the tri-5 T-Birds.

  6. moosie Craig

    Make it road worthy if it isnt, clean and detail front to back top to bottom, and drive, drive, drive, smiling smugly all the way ! It’d be nice for about $15,5. I can dream. I’ve loved them since ’56,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, SOMEDAY

  7. jeff6599

    It is obvious that noone is looking at a price guide (OCPG) which shows a car in typical show condition at $40k and a no. 4 car @ $18k. I’d say it is priced very well and worth every penny. Don’t drive it a lot as this is an investment type of car and in ten years as is the value will double. Buy it out of your IRA, clean it and store it again. It’ll be worth more that whatever your Ira is in now.

    Like 1
  8. steve dauria

    Im interested in the accuracy of this car’s history. As an earlier commenter mentioned, the car was built as a Continental, not a Lincoln Continental. The blending of the names came a few years later with subsequent models. Just to see if you care as much about accuracy, perhaps you would change the ad’s title to reflect the car’s true name. Its a fact that forces the enthusiast to pay attention to the lineage of the mark and adds to ones depth of knowledge. Thanks.

    • RayT Member

      True. “Continental” was a stand-alone division of FoMoCo at that time. The cars borrowed pieces from other divisions, of course, but all the visible hardware was unique.

      Good luck finding replacement panels, trim, etc. As I recall, the hood ornaments, simple as they look, each cost Ford a hefty sum back in the day. I’ve heard each Continental Mark II represented a hefty financial loss for Ford.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Thanks for the correction; change made :-)

    • The Walrus

      While you are technically correct, I don’t think having Lincoln in the title of an ad is a problem. Since it was only for 2 years, most people probably don’t know that ‘Continental’ was a Ford division. Adding Lincoln to the title broadens the audience. More people perform national searches for ‘Lincoln’ on sites like searchtempest.com than for just ‘Continental’. Obviously any Lincoln or Ford or Continental enthusiast understands the technicality. It seems irrelevant that someone would go into the history of the car in their ad. The current owner may not even know. Since most states did not have titles until the early ’70’s, my guess is that most of these are probably registered as Make: Lincoln, Model: Continental rather than the technically correct Make: Continental, Model: Mark II. Even OCPG lists these under ‘Lincoln/Continental’. They do not have a separate ‘Continental’ field.

      • Ed P

        I agree with The Walrus. The Imperial was separated from Chrysler and sold as a separate make. However, most people continued to refer to them as “Chrysler Imperials”. I see no difference with Lincoln and Continental. I would love to own this car.

    • Brad

      In the case of the seller, they’d be nuts to NOT include Lincoln in the title.

      Accuracy aside, most non-enthusiasts are going to be searching for a cool old Lincoln, and when stumble onto this beauty… a new passionate fan will be born.

  9. The Walrus

    Price looks spot on, and perhaps a little low. If you look at the definition of a ‘3’ below, assuming it does run/drive and is a wash/buff/wax away from being presentable, it looks like closer to a 3 than a 4 to me.

    OCPG Aug ’15
    1956 Continental Mk II, V-8, 126″ wb
    2d HT 6-3,600 5-10,800 4-18,000 3-40,500 2-63,000 1-90,000

    3) VERY GOOD: Completely operable original or “older restoration” showing wear. Also, a good amateur restoration, all presentable and serviceable inside and out. Plus, combinations of well-done restoration and good operable components; or a partially restored car with all parts necessary to complete it and/or valuable new old stock (NOS) parts. This is a “20 footer.” That is, from 20 feet away it may appear perfect. But as we approach it, we begin to notice that the paint may be getting thin in spots from frequent washing and polishing. Looking inside, we might detect wear on the driver’s seat, foot pedals and carpeting. The chrome trim, while still quite presentable, may have lost its sharp, mirror-like reflective quality it had when new. All systems and equipment on the car are in good operating order. In general, most of the vehicles seen at car shows are in number 3 condition.

    4) GOOD: A drivable vehicle needing no, or only minor work to be functional. Also, a deteriorated restoration or a poor amateur restoration. All components may need restoration to be “excellent,” but the vehicle is mostly usable “as is.” This is a driver. It may be in the process of restoration or its owner may have big plans, but even from 20 feet away, there is no doubt that it needs a lot of help.

    5) RESTORABLE: Needs complete restoration of body, chassis and interior. May or may not be running, but isn’t weathered, wrecked and/or stripped to the point of being useful only for parts. This car needs everything. It may not be operable, but it is essentially all there and has only minor surface rust, if any rust at all. While presenting a real challenge to the restorer, it won’t have him doing a lot of chasing for missing parts.

  10. steve dauria

    I hesitate to give another piece of advise, but —– since I’ve restored many cars over the years and some of the comments have given this car and its pricing a positive spin, I would suggest to any interested party to engage a collector car appraiser to do an official appraisal. Two things will be achieved, the condition of the car and the value. The appraisal can then be used to establish the agreed value to the special interest car insurance co. if the condition warrants the purchase or it will be the best $300 dollars or so, you’ve ever spent if the car turns out to be a money pit and would have turned you upside down in your special interest car investment/ hobby. The skills to restore a car cost more today than ever and in many cases a buyer would be well advised to buy the nicest example of the car desired rather than invest copious amounts of money into a car that may not have as good provenance as the best car in the market place, and in the end cost the same or close to it with a lot of work to boot. If you like a good DIY project and enjoy the project as a means to an end, its still a good thing to get the appraisal.

    • Josh Staff

      Hi Steve,
      I fully agree with you on getting an appraisal on this one. While I think this one could be a good starting point for someone looking to restore one of these beautiful cars, these cars can get incredibly expensive to restore. It’s a limited production luxury car, which to me means two things: complicated features and parts scarcity. Things like floors and quarter panels can be fabricated by most of your average car guys, but I don’t know too many people that can fabricate things like switches or other worn out electrical components. Now if all the electronics work and don’t seem to show signs of failing, than I might be more tempted by this car, but even then I’d want someone who actually has a working knowledge of these cars to inspect it for me. I haven’t ever dealt with one of these, given their rarity I sadly probably never will, but someone who has restored one in the past would likely be able to tell you what things to look for on this car and what issues could cause serious headaches. I think getting a PPI at the bare minimum would be a good idea and I would want to spend some time calling a few Continental experts for some additional opinions. When your spending this much money on a car this rare, you don’t want to jump into it unprepared.

  11. That Guy

    Agree with the PPI comment. Earlier this year I was looking online for a new daily driver and found an ideal car about 400 miles away. Hired a PPI company to check it out, and despite the shiny beautiful photos it was a disaster on wheels. $150 saved me from an expensive mistake.

    But assuming there are no nasty surprises this Mark II looks like a very good car at the price. Over the past several years I’ve seen a number of projects advertised in the $10-15K range, and they were much rougher than this car. The interior in particular looks like an afternoon of detailing would make it look almost new.

  12. e55

    Used to own one. The sticker in 1956 was about $10,000. (By comparison a ’57 Chevy Bel Air convertible was in the range of $2,500.) Interior is very expensive to restore. Surprisingly, not much collector interest in them.

  13. Randy Forbes

    In the third (3rd) picture above, of the steering wheel and instruments, you can see the gold-colored plaque on the xmsn tunnel; the original purchaser’s name would be engraved there! I do not know the exact wording, but certainly something to the effect of “…This Continental MKII Was Built For Randy Forbes” (hey, I might’ve only been two in 1956, but I can assure you that I already loved cars__my Mother always told people I learned to say Desoto before I could say daddy!).

    I also believe the original price was right at $10,000.00 (the 3-bdrm house I grew up in, in Detroit was built in 1948 and cost my parents $13k) so this was probably three (3) to five (5) times the cost of the regular cars coming out of Detroit at that time.

    The guy who remodeled my parent’s kitchen (same house) back in 1966 had delivered new Continentals to their buyers a decade earlier. He told us about delivering one to The Chairman of the Board, and he was “halted” mid process of unloading the car while the new owner clambered up onto the truck, tore back the plastic covering most of the interior, to make sure it said “Frank Sinatra” on that plaque! Too bad he didn’t get a “selfie” to commemorate the occasion ;)

  14. Georgemia Member

    These are gorgeous cars, but they don’t seem to be climbing in value, which is surprising. Every I know who has owned one has found them very expensive to restore. One has to pay a lot of attention to structural rust in the frame. There were only a couple thousand of these made, but it seems that many seem to be for sale, at any given time.

    People get all bent out of shape when you called them a Lincoln, but they were sold and serviced by Lincoln-Mercury dealers and their engines and most mechanical parts came from their Lincoln brethren. Not only that, the Mark II name was preceded by the Lincoln Continental, and followed by the Lincoln Mark series. I can’t get too upset if people call them Lincolns although some fans go positively apoplectic

    • Randy Forbes

      People that get that upset over a name aren’t doing the hobby/sport any good at all; imagine the casual observer just getting “reamed” over such a seemingly little mistake, walking away thinking “what a jerk” they just talked to!

      Better to kindly point out the difference, and “make” somebody’s day, rather that ruin it.

      I know of what I speak: having owned an Austin-Healey for over thirty-four (>34) years, I’ve heard every iteration of “… didn’t James Bond drive an: Austin-Martin, Aston-Healey…” and even more completely forgettable imaginary marques!

      Better to just take the High Road, and maybe entice someone to participate in the hobby, rather than have them write us all off as a bunch of know-it-all jerks.

      I do wholly agree with the logic of listing the classified as a Lincoln Continental, for the increased exposure; purist’s be darned ;) ;)

      • moosie Craig

        Randy Forbes, I agree with you 100%, some in the hobby come on a bit too strong and with an air of being in an elite group, any one with the money and inclination can join, give ’em a chance. Sometimes the teacher can learn from the student .

      • Ed P

        In model railroading we call those people “rivet counters”. No matter how true to the prototype, someone can find fault.

  15. Doc

    They only made 2 doors on the 56-57 Continentals. I owned one for 24 years. Paid $11,000 for it and sold it for $59,000. This one is a 1934 KA Town Sedan. It’s in my barn. It could be in your barn for #40,000.

    • Ed P

      Wow, somebody was riding in style.

  16. Blindmarc

    Someone in ft. Worth I know uncle has a dark plum colored one sitting in his shop since 1965. It on jack stands. Always loved this body style.

  17. Bryan

    Here’s a pic of the black 56 Continental Mark II that my friend bought here in Portland, Oregon in 2010. It sat in a reserved area of a wrecking yard for years but was not used for parts. Time and weather (an accident too?) took their toll on this car and my friend had to part it out. He simply couldn’t find any affordable used parts for the car and eventually gave up.

  18. Gary

    An older cousin of mine owned one of these for several years and was mint condition, it was his pride and joy, kept it garaged forever and when driven only on nice sunny days. I recall a movie made back in the 70’s? called “The Car” and I think one of these Continentals was the star attraction.? I have always liked these but they were not a car I could afford with my blue collar job.

  19. Jim

    This car looks very well worth the effort to restore from the pictures, but a little soap and water and a detail job would certainly contribute towards determining it’s condition and the seller getting the money he wanted.

  20. Rick

    I have always thought, for me, this was the absolute most beautiful car Ford ever built. I’ve drooled over them for years. My favorite two were the dark metallic blue and there was a deep wine metallic. I’ve looked for paint charts but never been able to find one where I could read the names. This is the wine one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Continental#/media/File:Continental_Mark_II_rear.jpg
    and the blue

    http://www.conceptcarz.com/images/Continental/56-Lincoln-Contnl-MK3-DV-09_RMA_04.jpg

    I’ve written the seller to inquire as to whose name is on the “built for/by” plate. Might be interesting.

  21. jeff6599

    My favorite style Ford product is the 1937 Lincoln Zephyr coupe and a close second is the 1936 Ford 3 window coupe. Both have just a beautiful flow.

  22. Andy Frobig

    Here’s a 2 door? Find me a Mark II that isn’t, and we’ll have a real collector’s item. I think there might have been one convertible, so who knows?

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