Mysterious 1957 Continental Mark II

No, it’s most assuredly not a Lincoln! The Continental Mark II was an effort by Ford Motor Company to put all of its styling and technology into one world-beating car, and they felt it deserved its own marque. Thus, the 1956-57 Continental Mark IIs were sold as just that. This once-beautiful (and still beautiful in my mind) car is featured for sale here on Facebook Marketplace with an asking price of $30,000. The ad, however, is quite mysterious and leaves a lot of questions unanswered. The Mark II is located in Arvada, Colorado.

We are told very little about this particular Continental Mark II and the few details just whet the appetite. With only 63,401 miles the car should have had plenty of life left; why was it stored for “some time”? The seller claims it was running when put into storage — which has me even more puzzled. There’s no damage that we can see from the two current pictures, but there’s a lot of car we can’t see. What’s going on here?

For example, I’d like to see which Bridge of Weir leather Ford chose for the interior of this particular car! As you can see from reading the original brochure page above, FoMoCo intended the Mark II for a very different customer than, say, a Fairlane. “The man of inherent good taste and judgement” as they put it. The name was intended to evoke memories of the original Continental that was so revered, an Aurora slot car was modeled after it more than 20 years after it was produced! (yes, I’m a T-Jet fan for those in the know)

Presumably, this is a picture of the advertised car in happier times (no explanation is given for the inclusion of this picture in the ad). This was an all-Lincoln/Continental family as that’s a 1948 Lincoln sedan parked next to the Continental. Upper middle class (okay, maybe upper class) American ideals in the late 1950s for sure! Although there’s not as much information about the car as I’d like, perhaps you’d like to be the new owner and return the Continental to this level of beauty? If so, be sure to tell us about it here at Barn Finds!

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Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    These are interesting and attractive cars. This example could be a good one, but we really can’t tell anything from the sorely lacking Facebook Marketplace ad. Jamie called it “mysterious”; I’d call it “frustrating.”

    Like 17
    • RayT Member

      Frustrating, yes, but interesting enough that if I had $30K to drop on a car, I’d be heading for Arvada. I wouldn’t dream of buying ANY car without giving it a thorough once-over, especially at that price.

      Like 13
  2. 8banger 8banger Member

    Just West of us….

    Like 1
  3. Raoul-F Raoul-F Member

    It’s a very nice car. Inside and outside. !!!!

    Like 3
    • JimmyinTEXAS

      How could you possibly tell how nice it is by looking at two very poor pictures of the exterior and one what it used to look like from thirty feet. It could be a nice car but without a close PPI there is no telling what the car even looks like from the rear, inside, or underneath.

      Like 10
  4. Robert Pinnell

    If I remember correctly, the Mark II’s sold for about $10,000, and it cost Ford more than that to produce them. They were intended to improve Ford’s image for quality. The initial run, at least, required owners to be vetted, and each one had a small gold plate with the original owners’ name

    Like 3
    • dwcisme

      In 1957 my parents bought a new 3 bedroom house for $9000.

      Like 9
  5. robert f gressard

    As a boy I first saw the Continental at my grandfathers house. It was new and belonged to a friend of his. I have owned many cars over the years but this car is still the most beautiful car that I have ever seen. I have a 56 and a 57 Continental. I always smile when I see them. Bob

    Like 10
  6. MLM

    Like the writer said “I still think these are beautiful cars” and I have always loved these MK IIs.IMO no Tri-Five Chevys comes close to these masterpieces!

    Like 16
  7. Russell Ashley

    At $10,000 dollars in 1956 those were not for middle class buyers as the write up says. In 1956 my school bus passed by the home of the owner of the Lincoln Mercury Continental dealership and he drove one of those. It was parked in his driveway and I made sure I was sitting on the side of the bus that would give me the best look at that car. It cost about three times the average yearly income for 1956 and it amazed me that anyone could afford to buy one. I still think it’s beautiful.

    Like 15
    • robert semrad

      Russell, the ad actually says “(okay, maybe upper class)”…
      slow down and read the ads so you won’t misrepresent the writers….thanks

      Like 3
      • Russell Ashley

        Robert, why don’t you go some place else with your smart a$$ remarks. In 1956 you weren’t “maybe” upper class in order to spend three times the average annual income on a car, you were most definitely in the seriously affluent range.

        Like 3
  8. charlie Member

    And the one parked next to it is a ’46 – ’48 Continental, not a sedan. Another styling masterpiece for the ’40’s.

    Like 3
  9. Joe Haska

    What a strange way to advertise such a neat car. Why would you do that? It makes no sense, I used to live in Denver, Arvada, is a suburb of Denver. If I was still there, I would have to go see this car out of curiosity, maybe the seller isn’t so dumb.

    Like 2
    • Bill McCoskey

      Joe,

      I’ve been watching a trend where the younger crowd, tasked with selling off a family collector car, often after the death of the owner, really doesn’t have a clue where to advertise it for sale, and so they choose Facebook to start, ’cause it’s free. But as we geezers all know, you usually get what ya pay for!

      This is another good reason to provide written advice for disposing of your collection [cars, parts, literature, etc] once you’re gone.

      I had a dear friend for 30+ years, [Mr Jones], who owned the actual 1955 Derham Imperial C-70 limousine, chassis C70-101 [the first one]. This was custom built for President Eisenhower, and was provided by his friend Lynn Townsend, the CEO of Chrysler. [I had a similar limo without the sunroof, chassis C70-110, that was Mamie Eisenhower’s car].

      Many, many car guys tried to sweet talk my friend out of the car. Each time he would check with me, and I was often horrified at how little people offered for a genuine US Presidential parade limousine.

      As far as I know, it was the only presidential parade car in private hands, yet people would make incredibly low offers, because they thought he couldn’t possibly know what it was worth, as he was an old man with an 8th grade education, and had been a bus mechanic all his life.

      As he became older and unable to drive, I was the only person he allowed to drive the car. I was like his “second” son who had died in Viet Nam in 1968. In 1987 I arranged for David and Julie Eisenhower to ride in the limo for a special event at the Eisenhower Theater at the Kennedy Center in DC. I drove the limo while my friend rode up front with me. I don’t know who enjoyed the evening more, the car’s owner, or the passengers!

      We had long talks about what he wanted done with the car, and I helped him make the right decision. On his death in 2009, his wife Jay made sure the car went to the Eisenhower farm museum in Gettysburg, PA, where it can be seen by the public today. And yes, other than normal maintenance items, the car is all original, including paint!

      Here’s a link to the museum’s page on the limo:
      https://www.facebook.com/EisenhowerNPS/posts/1328748840513486

      Like 13
  10. Daniel Gavin

    I was 10 years old in ’57 and remember a wealthy business owner in Woodside, Queens NY having one…………stopped every time I passed it to look it over. Beautiful car

    Like 1
  11. Larry Ashcraft

    My wealthy uncle in Fort Collins had one in the 70s and 80s that was the same exact color. This could be it, but I believe his would have had higher mileage, since he used it for a daily driver. He was a contractor and at one time owned over 50 cars, mostly Thunderbirds and Lincolns. He kept them in a large warehouse he owned just outside of town, and had at least one full time mechanic who took care of them. When his daughter (my cousin) was in college, he bought her a 1963 T-Bird Sports Roadster to drive to school. He eventually gave her something else, because cleaning the wire wheels after driving in the rain was an all day job.

    He is still alive, but advanced age forced him to get rid of most of his cars.

    Like 5
  12. Rick

    A friend of my parents had what was purported to be the first one sold. He smashed in the right front when driving it into the garage. He was without a car for months as parts were not on the shelf at the local dealer.

    Like 1
  13. Steve Clinton

    It kills me how some posters live to find errors and correct others. Must make them feel superior. (and they know who I’m talkin’ about!) ;-)

    Like 6
  14. Floriida_man

    In it’s day, the Continental sold for more than a Rolls Royce! Ford was indeed looking for a special discerning customer.

  15. Mike

    Beautiful car… I own one! It’s a beautiful Maroon. It’s my favorite 1:24 scale Franklin diecast!!😂

    Like 9
  16. Bob K

    A couple more comments..
    …. Ford was trying to establish Lincoln, which become a dressed up Mercury. They diddled around and did not have an all new car for 1955, even sticking with the flat windshield which looked out of style. The comment on Mark 2 was like a one-up on the Cadillac eldorado going in the extremely classy simple styling direction as opposed to the showy Cadillacs. They even built a new factory, but sales were not great. It wasn’t just the price, but the styling was too classy for people who wanted fins.
    … For 1958 through 1960 the Continentals were were dressed up versions of the Lincolns all of which were huge and overstyled
    …. For 1961 they brought back the Lincoln Continental. The styling was exquisite but believe it or not it looked small and the back seat was small for that customer. The basic theme of blade fenders and formal roof lasted about two decades, although eventually corrupted by the huge Rolls-Royce grills, which were very popular, and sold in much greater numbers.
    … LESSON: unfortunately, overestimating the taste of the public is treacherous

    Like 3
    • Bill McCoskey

      Bob K,

      The reason Lincoln cars had a serious lack of legroom in the back seat area compared to the competition, is because they were built on the same assembly line as the T-Bird.

      By 1962, Ford and Lincoln realized the mistake, and starting in 1964 the rear seat area of the Continental was increased by lengthening the floor, roof, and rear doors by 4 inches. I’ve owned both a 1961 and 1966 Lincoln 4-door convertibles, and if you sit in a short wheelbase, then sit down in a long wheelbase version, it’s easy to see the difference.

      Like 2
      • Bob Kellerman

        You could be right about the assembly line thing, but I don’t think so. remember they added 4 in to the exact same body shell.
        I think they were trying to maintain a so-called “Continental look”. When I was in high school one of the older boys had a 48 Lincoln Continental and some guys took me along on a ride. I sat in the backseat which was pretty close as I recall.
        Their error, as I see it, was to repeat the look that was for going to the country club to play golf when they had to compete with Cadillacs
        which were more comfortable to take another couple to dinner in, and imperials which could hold an entire seance in the backseat

  17. fabman

    Nice write up Jamie, that car has some gorgeous lines. It would be cool to see somebody get that car and let others enjoy it… such a rare piece

  18. robert semrad

    Russell…. I’ll stop correcting people when they stop misrepresenting what the writers say……simple, non-emotional concept.

    • Russ Ashley

      Robert, why don’t you read what the writer said? “Maybe upper middle class” is still middle class. You could say there’s lower middle class, middle class, and upper middle class, but they are all middle class, and none of the middle classes bought cars in 1956 that cost about four times their annual income. Now go away and disagree with someone else.

      Like 1
      • robert semrad

        Russ, you’re off topic and are on a rant, both of which are contrary to the rules of Barnfinds, now stop or the moderators will need to deal with you. You’re dismissed….now, go.

        Like 1
  19. Bill McCoskey

    Bob K,

    Here’s what Wikipedia says about the Wixom Michigan facility. Wixom was the only FoMoCo plant to manufacture Lincolns between the 1958 and 2007 years;

    “As one of Ford’s largest and oldest manufacturing sites, Wixom opened April 15, 1957, and was ultimately expanded to 4.7 million square feet, replacing the former Lincoln Motor Company Plant at 6200 West Warren Avenue (at Livernois). The first car manufactured August 1, 1957 was the Lincoln Capri, and the last car produced was a white chocolate Lincoln Town Car which rolled off the line at 12:55 pm on May 31, 2007. The plant primarily manufactured Lincoln cars as well as the Ford Thunderbird…”

    One of the primary reasons Ford decided to create the 4-door Thunderbird in 1967, was due to the Lincoln 4-door being made on the same assembly line, not just in the same factory, but on the same line. One car might be a Lincoln, the next a T-Bird. And with the creation of the Lincoln Mark III, also made on the same line as the T-Bird [they share the same body shell and mechanicals], Ford was able to have 5 different types of vehicles on the same assembly line:

    Lincoln Continental [4-door sedan and 4-door convertible]
    Lincoln Continental [2-door hardtop]
    Lincoln Continental Mark III [2-door]
    Thunderbird [4-door]
    Thunderbird [2-door]

    And on the subject of the Imperial, having owned several of each [1961 & 66 Lincoln Continental convertibles, as well as 1963 & 66 Imperial LeBaron sedans] I have to agree 110% that the roominess of the Imperials was far superior to the Lincoln*, and especially the Cadillac series 60s.

    Many people don’t realize the Cadillac 60s cars from the early 1950s and up thru the 1970s, the interior roominess of the 60s was the same as the “smaller” Cadillacs along with the Olds 98 & Buick Roadmaster, as while those cars had a longer overall size, the extra length came by way of a larger trunk!

    * I was also blessed with owning both a 1965 Imperial Ghia limo, and a 1965 Lincoln Continental Lehmann-Peterson limo. Both had rear-facing fold down center seats, but the rear seat passengers in the Imperial still had more legroom.

    On a side note: When I first got the ’66 Continental 4-door convertible, while the car was a beautiful unrestored vehicle, it had major problems with body shake, wiggle and vibration, on bumps and bad roads. In researching the problem, I discovered there were 4 very heavy cast iron weights and support springs missing from this car. These were hidden behind the outer ends of the front & rear bumpers. These weights were added by Lincoln to help absorb the convertible’s tendency to twist severely on bad roads & bumps. I added the weights & springs [flat leaf spring steel] and the problem was solved.

    Like 1
  20. Bob K

    That factory made a great variety of cars that I have loved.
    Perhaps sharing too much structure with the Continental Marks caused the later Thunderbird to get 10 in longer than the 1958.
    I still want to call the Ford Elite based Thunderbirds “Monte Carlos”, but I loved that last generation in the 90s, from the moment I saw a disguised version being tested by motor trend. The retro 2 seater was thought up by an idiot and sold accordingly
    I knew about the balancing weights in the Lincoln convertibles but had forgotten about them
    In 1966 my mom Dad and I went to look at the new Mercurys. On the floor was a midnight blue Lincoln Continental coupe with matching slightly pearlescent leather seats. My mom and I especially me really lobbied for that one, but at least we got him up from a Monterey to a Park Lane. (I got to pick out the Park Lane we ordered: greenish gold Coop with black vinyl top, twin rear antennas,wire wheel covers,
    & cornering lights)
    I CAN STILL SEE THAT MIDNIGHT BLUE LINCOLN COUPE IN MY MIND AND FEEL THE LEATHER!

  21. Kevin Kendall

    Saw a really descent 56 that needed restoration sell for $10,100 at an auction in 2013,somebody got a good deal

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