Your Challenge: 1956 Continental Mark II


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Peeking out of the family vacation home it’s been housed at for the last 25 years, this Continental II represents what Ford planners thought was the ideal car circa 1955. It’s located in Campbell, California and is up for sale here on eBay, where bidding is starting at only $200, but of course hasn’t met reserve yet.


As you can see from this picture, there are some rust issues, although the seller claims they are all surface rust. It looks a little deeper than that to me, but certainly workable body damage. Every time I see one of these cars, I’m taken back to the first time I ever saw one. I was a child looking at some Austin-Healeys, and the owner opened up another garage door and a Continental II was there in gleaming white. It was stunning then, and the shape still does that to me.


That slightly dislocated tail light on the left is actually the gas filler! How cool is that! The Continental II looks very much like a large version of the 1955 Thunderbird, but somehow it comes across as even more refined and upscale. Remember, we are talking about a car that retailed for around $10,000, and this one even has the $595 air conditioning option (the only option available on the car).


It’s hard to believe that a car this large has this small a rear seat. But I suspect most of these cars spent their lives taking one or two people around. Naturally, the seats are leather.


I wish the front seat looked as nice as the rear seat. Perhaps you can find some similarly colored leather to fix the worn out portions, or just try to recondition what you can. I’ve seen some miracles performed on old leather, and it would be especially cool to retain the original seats!


Assuming this is the original engine, it’s a 368 cubic inch V8 and offers plenty of power and torque, even with a car this size to haul around. I’d love to own this one and sympathetically take care of that rust. The sellers haven’t had the car running in 25 years. I’d like to change that. Would you?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. hhaleblian

    Owned one. Don’t know what possessed me. Never again.

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    • Mark

      I would love to own one and looking. What were the issues?mark

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  2. Fred W.

    This car could be a dream car again, but it’s only for those with the deepest of pockets. As a virtually hand built car, parts are super expensive, and that’s if you can find them.

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  3. Roselandpete

    Great design.

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  4. Mark

    Any club support?

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    • Jamie Palmer JamieAuthor
    • waynard

      Lincoln & Continental Owners Club ( still in existence. I have a small pile of lit on these cars and LCOC magazines. If you buy one let me know, I’ll let this stuff all go cheap.

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    • jim BROWN

      yes, plenty of club support. Jack Rosen in S. California has lots of parts…but not cheap

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    • Wayne Thomas

      or here:

      To make this car OEM, yes it will take deep pockets. However, if you go the restomod route with a Ford V10 swap and newer interior, you’ll at least get a car that is the way that you want it.

      No matter if you restomod or go OEM, you will simply never flip it for more money than you put into it, so you may as well make it the way that you want it.

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  5. DolphinMember

    From what I know about these they were pretty much hand made and Ford lost money on them, or at least didn’t make enough to make it good for business except as a halo vehicle. I can’t think there are going to be any repro parts available for these, so everything that’s unique to these cars will likely need to be fabricated.

    As for the ‘surface rust’ in the rear quarter and trunk, I’m guessing that an ice pick would have a good chance of going through in those areas.

    Not that scarce with 2,550 of these made. I could be wrong, but with the median auction price being about $42K that tells me that once you pay for it, you can’t get there from here with all the work it will need.

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  6. jim BROWN

    I had one that I restored to a #1 car…very expensive, very luxurious, dependable, beautiful car at one time I thought I would have it all my life. Small trunk, very little back seat room. As quiet at my lexus LS 400 on the highway, cold a/c that would give you a headache (vents were in the headliner above each passenger. Sold it 16 yrs ago…do I wan’t another? No, I love my 63 L Continental sedan, while not as luxurious, the styling of the 63 is just my cup of tea.

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  7. MikeK

    It didn’t take much looking to find a decent running / driving example. 18k or best offer:

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  8. Rick

    The black Cali plates are the best feature

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  9. stillrunners

    dang sexy right there….for 55/56 these were pure sexy….and that from an 56 Imperial owner….cane we just park it and look at the good side….like my Van Gogh ?

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  10. WaltB31

    Curious car. Wonder if the car body pictured is a ’57? The ’56 models had air intake openings on the top of the rear quarter panels for air conditioning. Although inspection of the engine bay reveals a ’56 style air conditioning unit.

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  11. Terry

    Surface rust. As in coming to the surface.

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  12. Steve

    Question: can a car get this rusty if it has truly been “stored in a garage its entire life?” Looks like some pretty serious cancer in many places. One of the wheels is rusty in one spot where it looks like water collected there for many years. Garage-kept? How does that trunk get so rusty? These Lincolns are beautiful and I like em a lot but this one is going to cost a king’s ransom to restore.

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  13. Philip

    Elvis Presley’s car

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  14. the gezzer

    Yes…expensive to restore for sure but what a classy ride. What a beautiful body that lady has!

    Like 0

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