Carport Find: 1956 Continental Mark II

Andrew TannerBy Andrew Tanner

This is my favorite type of find: under a carport, getting friendly with mother Earth! There is something oddly peaceful about the way this car is resting under the carport that I like. This 1956 Continental has clearly been where it sits for quite some time, but aside from being a bit weathered it would appear to be in decent condition. A wash would go a long way for this car! In 1956, Continental was a newly created division of Ford Motor Company and the Mark II was the debut car. These cars have a unique styling that combined a variety of American styling elements to create a very elegant look. According to the ad, this car is “1 of 2,556 produced for 1956.” Find it here on Craigslist in Arizona with an asking price of $11,500. Thanks to JC for sending this in!

Pictured here is the 368 cubic inch Y-block V8 that powers this car, equipped with a 4-barrel carburetor. This engine should be hooked up to a 3-speed Turbo-Drive automatic transmission. Presumably, the car does not run as the seller notes it has been parked for many years (and the pictures prove it!). There is no mention of why the car was parked, or if the engine is seized, but for the price, one would hope the engine at least spins freely.

The seller made sure to include a photo of what is my favorite element of this car: the hidden gas tank filler neck. Something that has always appealed to me on old cars is hidden filler necks, as the filler doors on newer cars always seem to take away from the design. On most cars, it is hidden behind the license plate but as seen here on this Continental it is hidden behind the taillight! Unless you have a gas thief that is very well versed in classic cars, it is unlikely you would have any issues with gasoline disappearing from this car. Also seen here is the “hidden” exhaust that is integrated into the bumper design.

This Continental is indeed a very uncommon car, and it would be unlikely for this car to go much longer unrestored. It’s a shame that it was parked, but it is fortunate that it has come up for sale! Removing a car from a place like this where it has been resting is both satisfying and exciting, so for the next owner, this will be a great story to go along with the car once it is brought back to its former glory.

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Comments

  1. Brakeservo

    That sure does not look like any part of Arizona that I know! And the seller’s 209 area code could be Fresno or such

    5+
    • Smokey

      Its probably north of Fresno to have a 209 area code. The Fresno area code is 559.but used to be 209. What a shame such a wonderful car has ended up like this. I think the Mark !! was the most beautiful car ever designed.

      6+
  2. Doyler

    I would love this. It’s on my list of great old grand touring coupes. Ugh.

    5+
  3. Paul

    The CL ad shows it outside of Stockton CA

    2+
  4. Beatnik Bedouin

    I hope it’s saveable – these are magnificent machines.

    6+
  5. Rodney

    I think the term “carport” is used rather loosely here. This appears to be a “tent” at best. Such a shame to leave such an amazing car exposed to the elements.
    Some people should just not have children, ah, I mean cars….

    11+
  6. EHide Behind

    How about a treepott?
    As another said, these were/are still a beautiful car.
    2 years ago I found a no running gear at all, see through hood fenders and trunklid complete rust bucket, and for 200 I got all the trim, steering wheel, interior lights, dash, taillights and sold them within a month.
    IF I still had those parts I would be sorely tempted, as this is unique auto and even just by pic one he’ll of a lot better than last one I seen.

    2+
  7. Adam T45

    The Continental Division of the Ford Motor Company was responsible for opening a rift between Henry Ford II and William Clay Ford that never healed. It was a really complex situation, and unfortunately it impacted on the production of the Continental. When the Mark II was launched, it was actually being sold at a loss of $1000 per car. The company accepted this as at that time it was still a family owned entity. When the decision was made to float the company it was decided that they couldn’t have what was termed a “loss leader”, even if it was designed to boost the image of the company. Continental was annexed back into mainstream Ford production, and Henry II had to tell Bill Ford about his decision. Bill didn’t take it at all well.

    It is an interesting story. It’s covered in full in a 1986 book called Ford: The Men and The Machine by Robert Lacey. It’s an amazing book.

    13+
    • Beatnik Bedouin

      Adam, does the book cover the planned expansion of the range for ’58 and beyond, before it was melded into the M-E-L Division? That’s an interesting story in itself.

      IMHO, Ford made the right call to go with the Lincoln-based Continental range, especially with the severe recession of 1957-58, which also didn’t do anything for Edsel sales (and that’s another cautionary tale worth reading about).

      Having seen drawings/photos of the proposed ’58 Continental four-door, et all, I think that the impact of the iconic lines of the ’56/7 Mark II coupe would have been lost: http://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Continental-Berline-1958-rq2.jpg

      3+
      • Adam T45

        It does discuss the expansion, but not in huge detail. It makes really interesting reading. It covers pretty much everything from the birth of Henry, how he built the company, some of his bad decisions, the issues with Harry Bennett, the issues that Edsel experienced with his father and then carries right through to the early 80’s when Henry II stepped down. The battle of wills between Henry II and Lee Iaccoca make really interesting reading.

        3+
  8. Steve65

    Amazingly, there’s a second douchebag selling a similarly decrepit example on the SFBayArea craigslist, which is located 150 miles away from where the ad is placed.

    4+
  9. Bring-A-Taco

    That’s an amazingly negative assessment of two separate individuals. What causes you to be so down on them?

    9+
  10. Madmatt

    These are just so cool😍,it’s hard to believe that anyone would
    Ever leave one to rot anywhere🤔..!..,but they are usually in
    This or worse condition it seems 😐,.!this should find a buyer,
    If it is in decent shape,and worth the blood sweat and tears..
    Thanks for sharing this find B/F…..awesome indeed..😎

    2+
  11. Fred w.

    Always cringe when I see them like this. When this far gone few will won’t to spend the money to bring them back, due to hard to find and expensive parts, and the high cost of proper restoration- because there’s only one way to restore these, the concours level (right) way.

    3+
  12. EHide Behind

    Autos such as this. Should belong only to those who have the passion for that one dream auto.
    I know of around 50 older of interest autos within 5 miles of me that are either pristine originals or fully restored that once bought have not been driven since.
    Owners love to brag about them, trophy of wealth I guess.
    Yet to me it seems they are works of art and art hidden away from public to admire is selfishness in extreme.

    3+
  13. Wayne Thomas

    So many Mark IIs have come up over the past 2 years, and anyone who has been following can tell that the asking price on this is not even a starting point.

    This is not worth more than $10,000 no way or no how.

    2+
  14. Karguy James

    Lovely money pit.

    0
  15. The_Driver

    This Mark II is a factory air conditioned car, which makes it even rarer! The little side vent ahead of the rear fender is the telltale.

    1+
  16. JeffS

    On drivers door looks like there a name maybe a company name, i just can’t make it out, but nice find, hope it can be saved .

    1+
  17. mike D

    once again, my pet peeve, dead leaves everywhere on the car.. even under the hood.. at least brush them off!! this was a classy car in its day… my vote is that it is too far gone

    0
  18. Frank

    Super bummer to see it in this shape. The Mark II is on my top 5 dream vehicles

    1+
  19. Alexander

    Am I losing my mind/memory? Haven’t we seen two others in a similar state in as many months on BF? I agree this one, being an AC car, may command a price premium but not the current asking price. Nope. No way. A truly beautiful artifact turning to the earth.

    0
  20. Bull

    This car could be FREE and you would still have much more money SPENT on the restoration than the car is worth!

    2+
  21. cyclemikey

    I think y’all are way too negative on this car. It’s a fairly rare and highly collectible model, a factory A/C car, it looks to be amazingly complete and original, and from what we can see, the rust may not be that bad at all.

    If that’s not the definition of a Barn Find, I don’t know what is. But as usual, the consensus here seems to be “too much trouble – scrap it”. I don’t get it. Are we old-car hobbyists or used car flippers?

    3+
    • Bull

      Used Car Flippers know a bad deal when they see it!

      1+
  22. Maestro1

    The restoration is North of $60,000.00 if you don’t do your own work. The car isn’t worth that yet and it doesn’t matter. Fix it and drive the dream. In the current condition it’s worth half the asking price.

    1+
  23. rapple

    May be the coolest valve covers ever seen on an American engine.
    Sad to see this unique model in this state of neglect. The seller leaves it to us to imagine how bad the interior is.

    1+
  24. wes

    Saw one in a museum a few years ago. Beautiful machines.

    1+
  25. Barry Klotz

    I believe this MARK2 has some potential. So it should be cleaned up and then be judged by all non- believers.Thanks, Barry.

    1+
  26. JoeBazots

    Really a cool car, but the seller is pretty optomistic about his pricing.

    0

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