Parked Since the ’80s: 1956 Continental Mark II

I sometimes think that there is no sadder sight than to see a once-luxurious car being reduced to the state of our feature car. This 1956 Continental Mark II has been sitting in its current location for more than 30 years, and the time has come for it to be moved on to a new home. We featured it earlier this year when the seller was asking over $11k for it. Well, they’ve relisted it here on eBay, but this time as a no reserve auction! Located in Stockton, California, it is offered with a clear title. Bidding initially opened at $99.95, but has since climbed to $5,753.

While there is no denying that it cuts a mournful figure now, there may be some potential in this Continental. The car appears to be largely complete, with only a couple of minor trim pieces and the hubcaps missing. There is no doubt that the paintwork has seen better days, but the thing that I notice is the distinct lack of significant rust. I can see what appears to be some surface corrosion on the driver’s door, but from what can be seen in the photos, the rest of the panels look remarkably solid. The seller states that there is a dime-sized hole in the trunk floor, but otherwise it is rust-free. There are a couple of shots of the underside of the car, and these seem to bare-out this claim.

The interior is a really sad sight. With the Mark II, there was essentially only two options that could be ticked. The buyer could choose whether the seats were upholstered in cloth or leather, and the only other option was factory air conditioning. The original buyer chose leather and A/C for this car. The interior is largely complete, with no major items missing, but the simple fact is that it will require a complete restoration. The rear seat looks reasonable, and it may even respond to a clean and conditioning. Every other upholstered surface has deteriorated badly, and the headliner is shredded.

Under the hood is the 368ci V8 backed by the Lincoln Turbo-Drive automatic transmission. This shot surprised me because not only is it complete under the hood, but everything looks to be in surprisingly good condition. I’m not kidding myself here. Getting this Continental moving under its own power is going to take some work, but if the engine turns freely it may not take much to at least get it running. The car has been sitting for at least 30 years, but hope springs eternal.

Restoration of this Mark II is going to be a major undertaking that will consume many hours and not a little money. This car has a couple of positive attributes to consider. Firstly, it appears to be largely complete. Secondly, it appears to be remarkably free of rust. The entry price for nice examples of the Mark II sits at around the $40,000 mark, with really nice ones selling for double that price. This example will require some major restoration work which won’t be cheap, but it is possible that a restoration on this Continental may make sense economically.

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  1. RonY

    I’ll tell you what would be a sadder condition for the car to be in, 40 years ago when someone paid to have it hauled and scrapped at the junkyard because it needed a valve job and the trans was slipping a little, hats off to whoever didn’t do it to this car. even though the neighbors and family begged you to scrap it, you was hard headed and kept it, and somehow you’re still the bad guy for it being in this condition, now all you hear is, ‘man how did you let this car get in such bad condition’? Well at least its not in 36″x48″ crushed square,,,,,,,,,,,,

  2. Robert May

    I’ve loved these cars ever since I found out they existed. They look great in any body and interior color combination. Definitely one of the first cars I will buy if I win at Lottery.


    I love these grand dames. All of them were basically custom builds..including a handful of ragtops. I would update with…air bag suspension…disc brakes all around…new a/c. …fresh interior….tasteful rims fabbed to look like a modern interpretation if the hub caps. The motor looks like jewelry and therefore must be saved. That paint must’ve been gorgeous. It gets freshened. How much have I spent?

    • chad

      does it matter?

    • Bob Rooks

      If you restore something to make a profit from it, you’ve done it wrong.

  4. Gaspumpchas

    Sure hope someone brings it back, would look so sweet in the original blue. RonY is right, but still brings a tear to the eye. Good luck to the new owner!



    I love these Grand Dames. All of them were basically custom builds.Some even ragtops. I would modernize with 4-wheel disc brakes.. airbag the suspension… modernize the A/C… fab some custom rims that fit fatter in well but retain the look of the hubcap originals. Off white interior. Freshen that gorgeous baby blue paint. The motor looks like a jewel and gets an overhaul. How much have I spent?

  6. Thomas Monaco

    this same car was featured here a few months back.

    • cyclemikey

      As Adam said in the third sentence of his write-up….

  7. A.J.

    There is a beautiful example of one of these cars floating around the local shows and believe me it would be well worth the effort to bring this one back. Don’t know how cost effective it would be. Prices are all over the board, from 8G’s for a project to 75(guy wants his investment back, I guess). Still at 5700 so if you can do it for another 20 or so, maybe?

  8. Maestro1 Member

    I agree with A.J. but since I can’t do my own work any more my restoration figure always includes labor, which is always a big number for good work, and willingly paid for. These Lincolns are stunning and lovely cars. Every time one comes up like this it should be saved. My restoration number would be around $75,000 or North of that figure. It would be worth it. Drive it, keep it and enjoy it. You own automotive history.

  9. Joe

    I have been following this car, and several others for a year. With the price of chrome, parts that only fit these cars, and the work needed, this is a loser. I thought about hot rodding it, but by the time you re-chrome everything, paint, interior and putting in a modern motor, you are close to $100k. Take $30K and buy a nice one off ebay.

    • jim

      There actually isn’t much chrome on them for a 50’s automobile. I’ve owned one and they are incredible automobiles, drove as quiet as my Lexus and the a/c would give you a head freeze, with the vents in the headliner.

  10. stillrunners

    Agree…these were specially good looking….

  11. Jimbosidecar

    I’ve always liked these cars from the time when I first saw one. Then I saw what looked like a copy in China back in 1981. The Hong Qi (Red Flag) car which was used by government and military officials has a striking resemblance to the Mark II when seen from a front 3/4 view.

  12. Healeymonster

    A beautiful fully restored example just sold at Mecum Louisville for 31k. I would not touch this old girl at this price. Way too much money needed to build it for a loss.

  13. r s

    If that car has been sitting on dirt for 30 years the underside is probably a nightmare.

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