Scruffy Means Perfect For Me! 1956 Continental


Why do the good ones always seem to be in California? This solid, original but scruffy 1956 Continental Mark II is just the kind of car I search for; one where I really like the model, solid enough that I won’t be spending years on the body, and running enough that you know there isn’t anything horrendously wrong. It’s located in Lompoc, California and is listed for sale here on eBay, where I just placed the first bid of $10.00 but of course the reserve isn’t met yet–“hey, look, honey, I’m high bidder on a Continental!”


Since I won’t be upping my bid, it will be up to one of you Barn Finds readers to rescue this terrific car. Sure, there are dents and dings, and the current paint work isn’t going to be winning any prizes except “most potential” at a car show (I won that once–it’s kind of a left-handed compliment, if you know what I mean.)


We’re told that the car “runs and drives good,” and that it was the 71st Continental built in 1956. I just love the styling on these beautiful cars! The only thing that seems to be completely missing cosmetically are the wheel covers. Based on this article, they are pretty hard to come by! I did find a decent but not perfect one here on eBay for $687.50! Wow!


Naturally, the interior is pretty tired, but I can’t help but wonder what some leather restoration and a few replaced panels could do here. I like the look of worn in but not worn out leather, so I’d ditch the duct tape and see what a lot of cleaning and reconditioning would do.


I’m sure the air conditioning is non-operational, but the fact that it has a belt fills me with hope. And how about those cool valve covers! Yup, I’m sold on this car, all that has to happen is for the seller to think I added three zeros to my bid (or even more?) and who knows? Seriously, anyone else feel the same way I do about this one?


  1. 68 custom

    didn’t they lose money on every one of these built? they ought to be six figure cars. wonder what the reserve is? beautiful car in black with A/C!

    • Oingo

      Yes, they lost money on each one and it might be 6 figures to restore. Not exactly a bunch of them around or much support in the aftermarket for model specific stuff.

  2. packrat

    (My brief answer is not from laziness)@Jamie Palmer: Yes, I agree completely.

  3. macvaugh

    That is aftermarket air conditioning added on, and looks to be certainly complete and likely repairable.

  4. Bob_S

    This is not a factory A/C car, if it was it would have openings in the rear fender bump right by the C-pillar. I would say this is a 10 to 15K car. You have to check the frame on these for rust they had a weak point and I don’t remember where, off hand.

    I always wanted one too. $10K in 1956 and yes Ford lost money on everyone.

    Sorry Jamie, you have been out bid already.

  5. Andy

    Probably my favorite FoMoCo car ever. It’s ridiculous that these are cheaper now than same-year Thunderbirds. Once again, I have no place to keep a car like this, so I guess it’s one more year of living indoors and eating food for me.

  6. Fred W.

    You’d be upside down in no time due to the expense of parts and labor to do it properly, even if you got if for a song. However, I think it would be cool to simply drive a car like this, like I do my ’66 TBird, without investing in an expensive restoration. A little paintless dent removal, some buffing, saddle soap, and the most necessary mechanical repairs only. As far as wheel covers, why pay $600 each? Find appropriate ones from the era , maybe from another Lincoln model, and put them on. Only the pointy headed car show judges will know.

  7. DENIS

    The ONLY Lincoln I ever wanted to own…my dad’s doctor friend had one…I thought it was the most beautiful car I had ever seen and I was(am) a GM lover. They are like driving a river-boat barge but to park and look at…mmmmmm

  8. Ben Kline

    Interesting history on this car from the Mark II Forum database.

    21VIN: C5681071
    SPEC: 01-1B6L-818-5
    1955-61 Sir E. Victor Sassoon Bart, England (1)(2)(5)
    1961-?? Lester Keith Piggott, England (3)(5)
    ??-?? John Ian Robert Russell, 13th Duke of Bedford, England (4)(5)
    ??-?? Major C.C. Hargraves, England (5)
    ??-?? John Ian Robert Russell, 13th Duke of Bedford (2nd Time he owned car), England (5)
    ??-?? Robert P. Savek, England (5)
    1/7/1974-83 John Coleman Santa Maria CA (5)(L)
    1983-84 Randall Stoskopf CA (L)
    1985-Present No History Found
    (1) Sir Ellice “Victor” Sassoon, 3rd Baronet, GBE (20 December 1881 – 13 August 1961) was a businessman and hotelier from the Sassoon banking family. He succeeded to the Baronetcy on the death of his father Edward Elias Sassoon in 1924.

    Sassoon lived in Shanghai as a wealthy bon vivant who worked tirelessly to protect Western interests in the Orient and helped European Jews survive in the Shanghai Ghetto. Sir Victor walked with the aid of two sticks as the result of injuries in World War I in the Royal Flying Corps. He founded the Cathay Hotel (now the Peace Hotel) but left under increasing Japanese pressure in 1941

    (2) 2/11/2011 Nassau, Bahamas – The Bahamas Postal Service on February 11 issued a commemorative postage stamp to highlight the 50th anniversary of the Victor Sassoon Heart Foundation.

    The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation has helped thousands of children in The Bahamas who suffer from heart disease. It has provided clinics to identify heart problems in children and when needed, the Foundation has paid for the heart surgeries that have meant a full life for many. The Foundation was created after Sir Victor Sassoon Bart GBE died from heart complications in 1961. His widow, Lady Sassoon requested that in lieu of flowers, donations were to be made to the local heart associations in his memory.

    (3) Lester Keith Piggott (b. Nov. 5, 1935, Wantage, Berkshire, Eng), one of the world’s leading jockeys in Thoroughbred flat racing. He was the British riding champion 11 times (1960, 1964–71, and 1981–82). Born to parents whose families had long been associated with the turf, Piggott rode in his first race at the age of 12. He won the Derby nine times (1954, 1957, 1960, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1976, 1977, and 1983), the St. Leger eight times, the 2,000 Guineas four times, and the Oaks six times, along with other major British races. In 1974 he rode his 3,000th winner, in 1982 his 4,000th.

    (4) John Ian Robert Russell, 13th Duke of Bedford (24 May 1917 – 25 October 2002) was a British peer and writer, the son of Hastings Russell, 12th Duke of Bedford.

    (5) 1/7/1974 Contributed By John Coleman – Mileage when purchased-54,000, Current Mileage-92,669, Present Color Interior-Gray & White, Present Color Exterior-Black, Air Conditioned-Yes, Bumper Guards-Yes
    Prior Owners:
    1st Sir Victor Sasson Bart, England
    2nd Lester Keith Piggott, England
    3rd The Duke of Bedford, England
    4th Major C.C. Hargraves, England
    5th The Duke of Bedford, England
    6th Robert P. Savzek, England

    Original Invoice Specifications – 01 1B6L
    Continental Color: Black
    Trim: White Leather Seat Biscuits & Bolsters w/Deep Gray Welts
    Front Bumper With Lic. Plate
    Firestone Tire Size: 8:00×15 4 Ply
    Invoice Amount: N/A

    (C) Continental Mark II Owners Association/Buddy Holiday
    (D) Lowell Domholdt
    (F) FoMoCo Records
    (I) Internet Search
    (L) LCOC Records
    (M) Mark II Forum
    (O) Owner Supplied Information
    (R) Automobile Registration Records

    • Fast Fred Member

      Thank you for the interesting information great research

  9. Marc D

    Wow, what a history, but, this Lincoln spent 18 years in England, land of rust, if Bob S remembers were the rust can be, I bet there would be more there then if it had been garaged in So. Cal all its life, pretty car.

  10. Ben Kline

    Look for issues with the frame as there are plenty of places for mice to make a nest. Floors are another spot. Mark II body parts are tough to find, but the engine and running gear are mostly FoMoCo stock.

  11. Dan Farrell

    Maybe Jay Leno will buy it, it deserves to be restored.

  12. JD

    God I love this car. Continental II’s are definitely in my top 5, but they’re always out of reach. Yes, I also read somewhere Lincoln lost money on constructing these, at least at the end of production. Man, what a beaut. You carry some great cars but this one has to be one of the best ever. I’d clean it up, make a few cosmetic repairs, find appropriate wheels or covers and leave it pretty much as-is. Too cool for school. One of the best ever!

  13. Captwilliewhiskers

    Every time I see one of these in need I wish we had stockpiled the parts we removed in the late 60’s when we were using these in demolition derbies. Battery in the passenger floor and all that sheet metal out front…. these were the cat’s meow!

  14. JimmyinTEXAS

    As a used car in the late 1960’s, what were they selling for? Idle minds would like to know…

    • Captwilliewhiskers

      Anywhere from $200 with NY City bruises to $550 out in the country and pretty clean. Almost all suffered from northern salt but were strong as oxen and ready to rumble.

  15. the gezzer

    I’d like to have it. Get the mechanicals in good shape and roll the windows down and drive that baby. It doesn’t need to be perfect.

  16. Bobsmyuncle

    I agree this is perfect!

    Who cares about how accurate the repairs are? As long as it’s on the road running you are doing your part as custodian.

  17. Saabist

    Thanks for the history Ben , makes the car not only beautiful but interesting ,Lester PIggott was indeed a famous jockey in the U.K. In the 60’s and 70’s, but fell foul of our tax laws and later fell from grace .Sir Victor Sassoon who was the first owner in 1956 also owned what is now the Shanghai Peace Hotel , by sheer coincidence I was having a coffee there just 3 weeks ago …’s a small world !

  18. rich voss

    Beautiful indeed. Probably my favorite large American car. I still remember with awe seeing a brand new one in silver at our local Lincoln-Mercury Dealership. Yeah, I’m that old. Dreamed of owning one as that child. Life happens. Have owned many cars in my life but not that model, and it won’t happen now either. Happy with what I own and no space for anything else. Best wishes to the next owner !

  19. Ben Kline

    Bidding is above $12,000 with 6 hours to go. It will take another 12k to make it nice. Mine needs that much or more, but still looks good at 20′.

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