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$3,750 Barn Find: 1956 Continental Mark II

Some of us have vehicles squirreled away, those that have been in storage for an embarrassingly long time – too long, really. I have a couple of motorcycles that have been stored since 1986 but that’s nothing compared to this 1956 Continental Mark II. This one can be found here on craigslist in Rochester, Washington. The seller is asking $3,750. Thanks to Roger for sending in this tip!

Wow, imagine coming upon a car like this tucked away in someone’s garage! A couple of 40+-year-old motorcycles are one thing, a Continental Mark II is in a world of its own. They say that this car has been in a barn for several years and has not been exposed to the elements as far as they can tell. I’m not sure if this is an AC car or not (I don’t think so), but that would have been a $10,430 car in 1956, which equates to around $98,000 today.

The Continental Mark II was essentially a handbuilt car made for only the 1956 and 1957 model years and it was a brand of its own – as in, not officially under the Lincoln umbrella. The very expensive experiment didn’t last long but they are sure desirable today. Hagerty lists a #4 fair condition value of $28,200 and a #2 excellent condition value of $104,000. This thing is dusty gold, I sure hope that it can be saved and restored back to its former elegant condition and not turned into a restomod, which the seller says may be the way to go with this one.

The interior is as rough as the exterior is, according to the seller. Anyone who knows these complicated cars knows that $50,000 in restoration costs wouldn’t bring this car anywhere near an excellent condition level. Maybe if the next owner did the majority of the work on it, but not to just drop it off at a restoration shop and tell them to go nuts. The seller mentions having a clean, clear title from the auction, but they don’t really say when they acquired the car.

This is it for photos but blurry or not, it’s nice to see most of the money shots of any vehicle, such as an interior and engine photo. This once-powerful engine is a 368 cubic-inch, 285-hp Lincoln engine which would have been disassembled, inspected, balanced, subjected to six hours of dyno-testing, and then given the a-ok to be used in the Continental Mark IIs. As with everything else on this Mark II, this engine will need to be restored. Can this car be saved?


  1. Maverick

    Pass keep on moving.

    Like 0
  2. David Lord

    Free would be too much.

    Like 0
  3. Todd Fitch Staff

    I’ll take it! Well maybe not this time, but there’s only so many of these around, and they were the pinnacle of their day… in intention if not in execution. The engine bay (wiring, ducting, etc.) shows an attention to design normally reserved for one-off show cars. I’d like to own one some day, and with my budget, I’d take a gamble on one like this. Thanks, Scotty!

    Like 2
    • BillB

      Hi Todd,

      I’ve seen this car in person and it doesn’t look any better than the pictures. The owner has 6 or 7 projects that are over priced and rough. He may very well have most of the parts for this car but fancy trying to find them in his shop.

      Like 1
  4. TimM

    This car is an astounding find to me!!! Rare as hens teeth done right they are beautiful!!! I think the price is fair but the parts are not so easy to find!! Not a lot of repo parts available so trying to find new old stock can be a challenge!!!

    Like 2
  5. OhU8one2

    I see Restomod. Why? Because I think in the condition the car is in, it would be probably cheaper and definately easier to go that route. How about a Coyote engine with a sweet overdrive tranny. A Ford nine inch diff with posi and disc brakes all around. Plus the purist would have a fit. Who would do such a thing to such a rare and expensive car? I would.

    Like 1
    • local_sheriff

      I agree with you somehow – we all know a complete resto of this would cost an arm and a leg if you want everything done FoMoCo correct.
      Going restomod doesn’t equal ruining it, however one can pick materials and bits that aren’t correct that still enhance and improve the actual design

      Like 3
    • Tricky

      Definitely restomod, I was thinking more along the lines of an LSA and trans out of a late model Caddie, independent rear, some slight body mods etc….

      Like 0
    • William Otterson

      In 1957, the Mark II could be fitted with a Directed-Power limited-slip differential for greater traction.

      Like 1
  6. Michael

    Part of Ford’s plan to go as multidivisional as GM after the post war ” Whizz Kids ” under Henry Ford II’s stewardship had cleaned up the Harry Bennett mess. Lovely car. Bob Hope and other celebrities had one. I suppose it was to help the multidivisional end by really ” kicking off ” a stand alone Continental. Then came the Edsel fiasco. Shame really. Not too many NOS parts for this baby !

    Like 2
  7. Hemidavey

    Cool car, I restored one years ago for a fellow. Really beautiful car and quite rare. May be too far gone for restoration but resto-mod would save interesting. Parts are extreeeemly hard to find. Very complicated vehicle…plan on $200K for full correct restoration. The air conditioning is behind the back seat! Correct Wilton wool carpet from England is $2500 and took two guys 11 hours to install at the factory back in ’56! Its all little pieces screwed to the floor…I can go on for hours, lol Hey if anyone buys it I will share my list of parts and restoration sources. 734-692-715one

    Like 3

      Hello, I recently bought a 56 Mark II that I plan to start on soon. Any Resources would be appreciated. Thanks

      Like 0
  8. Maestro1

    Hemidavey has it right. You will certainly be North of $150,000. to get this done right. I would advise passing on this one and finding one with more potential (watch Barn Finds, Bring a Trailer, and other sources) with less grief.

    Like 0
  9. EldoradoMan

    This is a bargain. You could part it out and make good money, which I’d hope wouldn’t happen. These are unique and rare cars and should be restored, at least to driver quality.

    Like 1
  10. Fran

    Funny reading the comments. I guess it’s true, no one lives in New York anymore because with all the rust here in New York that car is a gem.

    Like 0
  11. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    I remember the first time I saw one of these, I was just a kid and I thought that sure is a big car, and only a 2 door. I asked my dad (who was a pragmatic personality) said “I wouldn’t have that on the place”. He was a family man and didn’t believe cars should have less than 4 doors. Besides he never paid more than a thousand dollars for a car in his entire life, even though he had sufficient income. I don’t know how I became a car lover, it definitely wasn’t in my genes. I love this car, but like I’ve said before my 64 Buick Riviera is all I can handle at this time.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  12. Bob McK

    Could be nice if I had the cash.

    Like 0
  13. skibum2

    Good Luck finding parts for this car… I had a ’56 from the Scripts Foundation, still ran but parts were a nightmare. Sold it for a 1957 XK 140 roadster. Beautiful car but so rare…

    Like 0
  14. Del

    This is toast.

    Maybe not even parts.

    I say its been sitting outside for 40 years

    Like 0
  15. That Guy

    Probably worth the price as a parts car. Otherwise, restomod is really its only hope for survival. It’s way too far gone to be worth restoring.

    Like 0
    • Del

      No its not worth asking price. It has already been parted

      Like 0

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