Vertically Chopped: 1956 Lincoln Continental Shorty


Lincoln Continental MKII’s are often considered one of the most beautiful and stylish cars of the 1950s. This one has since undergone extensive body work to shorten the overall length by 10 inches. In reality, 10 inches isn’t very much, but upon looking over this Lincoln it is certainly noticeable. We would like to thank our reader Brad C for the submission. This Custom Lincoln is priced at $15,000. Find it here on craigslist out of Plymouth, Massachusetts.


The body work on this Lincoln looks to be complete, and looks nice, but we would be interested to see the chop lines. The shortened length is neat and unique, but we think that this has drastically changed the value of this Lincoln. But what you are left with isn’t exactly bad, as it would be a neat car to complete. There is no other real information about the car as to how complete it may be. There is also no real information on the drivetrain either. The engine bay looks to be nice, and wear a light salmon pink color.  We would likely opt for something a little more masculine for this shorty Lincoln.


So what could be done with this Lincoln? It isn’t exactly as valuable as an unmolested restored variant, but this may make a cool lead sled type of cruiser? Or perhaps restore it to a factory appearance and watch people scratch their heads at car shows? No matter what you decide to do with this Lincoln, it is still a great looking car that is solid. It is also an affordable way for the Continental fans out there to get their hands on a solid project at a more reasonable price than an un-chopped car. So what would you do with this Lincoln?


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  1. Bobsmyuncle

    Wouldn’t vertically chopped mean a lower roofline?

    • Brian Staff

      I meant that vertical cuts had to be made to make this Continental shorter.

      • Bobsmyuncle

        Gotcha. Transected in anatomical terminology LOL.

  2. Rick Wilkins

    Man, that hurts. If anything, that car could be made longer. That’s part of the beauty…

    • Brian Staff

      I agree, this Continental was difficult to write about. I would have preferred the stock form, plus who puts $100,000 dollars into a car to diminish its value?

  3. Bob

    Far too little information to go on. Does it have a drive train? Does it have an interior? Does it have a windshield? Interesting project but not for me.

  4. grant

    I’ve got the torches, someone get the pitchforks. And a rope.

  5. Coventrycat

    You know, I get that people can do what they like with their cars – but if you feel the urge to totally mess one up, then you should be forced to keep it. For life.

    • Jim Mc

      Or at least FINISH it. But hack it up and then try and sell it? This project has an audience of one. Tag! You’re it.

  6. Kevin

    Mom told me do not say nothin’ if ya cannot say something good….she never told me that it would be this f’ing hard!!!!! Okay, let’s try this – tragedy is in the eye of the beholder.

  7. Nick Member

    Great parts car. Front clip for a cool BBQ grill and back clip for a couch. Worthless as a car. Want something unique and custom get a kit car and modify it.


    It isn’t a Lincoln. It is a Continetal

    • Ben Kline

      George is correct. Continental was a separate division of Ford until it was folded into Lincoln in 1958.

      This abomination has popped up many times and hasn’t had a buyer. I guess they are still waiting for their sucker to come along.

    • Murray

      You mean it was a Continental….. right now its nothing.

  9. Chuck

    What a waste of what was a really nice car.

  10. Fred W.

    Well, lets say you go inspect the car and find the seller is telling the truth. Which would mean 100K has been invested and the engine and drivetrain are completely rebuilt. All you have to do is the interior, paint and odds and ends. If all you care about is a cool ride and don’t care about originality, not such a bad deal. Not too much chrome to plate on a MK II.

    Still have to wonder why they did it though.

  11. hhaleblian

    F’d up forever

  12. Coventrycat

    Call it a Contimental.

  13. John K

    if you could get it for $500 it might be fun at LeMons. Of course driving with a bag over your helmet wouldn’t be easy.

  14. David Montanbeau
  15. Allyn McManama

    I believe that this person realized too late that this appearance modification led to too many additional modifications that he did not originally account for and could not adjust for in the car’s present state. You simply cannot shorten a vehicle without giving due consideration to what you are doing to the handling, suspension, weight and balance and harmonics to name a few. Unless you fully understand these concepts and how to counter any adverse effects from such a modification, just don’t do it. Why screw with something that the manufacturer worked so hard to make perfect?

  16. Dolphin Member

    “…all body work finished by professional shop over 100,000 dollars spent todate for sale at 15,000 dollars…”

    Sorry to have to say it, but anyone who thinks this mod is a good idea deserves to have trouble selling a car he has $100K in for a fraction of that.

  17. Brad C

    I agree with most everyone here – I think it’s misguided and heartbreaking. Were it to fall into my lap and money were no object? I’d be tempted to:
    – add the length back,
    – ditch the roof for good (no convertible offered by Ford and few aftermarket examples),
    – paint it the same midnight blue Elizabeth Taylor owned,
    – and most of all, I’d remove that spare wheel hump in favor of a smooth waterfall edge. Since they’re such classics, taking one that’s already ruined offers the chance to do something really special… with no guilt afterward.

    • Rob

      Oohlala, THAT’s what you do with a MkII! But I’d keep the hump on :) they had wanted to do a convertible, but the numbers weren’t there; it’s really too bad.

    • taxijohn

      Truly gorgeous.

  18. Jose Cantu

    Get a rope.

  19. Go cart Mozart

    Daddy said “Son, you gonna drive me to drinking if dont stop driving that Hot Rod Lincoln”

    Throw in a crate motor and paint it and have fun!

  20. Dan


  21. Mark S Member

    It looks like he was shooting for a 1950’s t bird look. Although I’m not a fan of this kind of custom. I do have to admit that this looks like very well done work, and for once the proportions look correct. To bad he lost steam on completing it. There is nothing worse than picking up where someone else has left off and maybe that is why it’s not selling. As for the linch mob mantelity you folks judge to harshly, i see potential here and it would be nice to see it completed.

  22. GEORGE

    Customizing originally was a novice’s way to emulate the coach builder specials. Some were hits…some not. I agree with most people on this post. But it could have come out better. See the recent photo of a 59 Edsel two seater that the factory did. The problem with the InContinental we are viewing is the cuts could have been different. The door should not have been shortened, the top needs a different dimension, maybe the quarter panels a schosh longer. It could have come off more eye pleading.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      I don’t know, my eyes are “pleading” for mercy a plenty!

  23. Terry

    One man’s vision is another man’s barf bag.

  24. Ed P

    Oh man, my eyes hurt looking at this abomination.

  25. Blindmarc

    You never know what it looked like before this was done….just sayin…..

    Like 1
    • Bobsmyuncle

      Great point!

      And it IS only a car, if all it was was an exercise in creativity good on ’em! It’s not always about resale.

      Like 1
      • Brad C

        …and in this case, it’s especially not about resale. : )

  26. Steve

    To quote y WW II daddy: FUBAR!

  27. 68 custom

    I have seen enough of these shorties! why do people ruin perfectly good (or great) cars like this?

  28. The One

    Lots of time on their hands, why else?

  29. brakeservo

    I always thought these looked like over-sized ’55 T-Birds anyway – but the proportions here are a long way from aesthetically correct . . . in my humble opinion.

  30. WaltB31

    I join the chorus of naysayers. A travesty to ruin a beautiful rare car like the Continental MK II

  31. C Brand

    Why was a mentally challenged blind person allowed to use a torch ? They could of burned the garage down!

  32. Kevin Murray

    The rape of another beautiful vehicle. When you cut the frame isn’t the overall strength compromised?

  33. Paul Bellefeuille

    Over $100,000 spent and he only want $15,000? I’m glad he’s not handling my investments!

  34. waynard

    Well, I may as well pile on here: Frankly, this is a damned shame. Ruined a low production, hand made car with some of the most spectacular design work and proportions to that date, ever made in this country.

    On the other hand, this IS America and we get to make the art we choose to make.

    100K invested? Not a chance. Saleable? There’s an ass for every seat.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      If he’s counting his shop rate then it’s possible.

      But since it wasn’t commissioned that value just doesn’t exist.

  35. charlie Member

    Why do some people climb mountains? Because they are there, and they can. So, this car was there, and the guy almost could. It just adds rarity and value to the ones that are left. The 40’s Continentals are dropping in value, in ten years the ’56 ’57’s probably will as well. So I see no upside in this one.

    • Brad C

      That’s an apt comparison! He almost got to the summit of an unimpressive peak that nobody else felt the desire to climb… looked around… and decided, “Nah.”

  36. Lloyd Hale

    I really like the idea and the look. I find it much more appealing than the traditional boat. With the correct drive train this could be a road hog for sure.

  37. Big Rob

    I don’t chime in often, but I had to after seeing this. As a tried and true custom car guy, I just can’t get my head around this one. The idea behind taking a stock, original car was to make it flow smoothly from front to back. By chopping, nosing, and decking many of the larger bodied 50’s cars, a smoother, cleaner look was attained. This one just isn’t heading that way for me.

  38. John

    This car is sad. It was a beautiful car once. I would equate this to putting a tattoo on a beautiful young woman. I have never seen anyone actually improve on the original design. From an engineering standpoint, this is probably an example of skilled body work. From an esthetics standpoint, its ugly.

    • David Montanbeau

      And that same was said about this Cad!! Walla!!

      • taxijohn

        That is beautiful.

        Like 1
      • Brad C

        David, I love this Caddy too… it’s extremely fun and inventive. But it doesn’t even hail from the same solar system as the project above. This is a master, reimagining a factory car with (I’m guessing) many more examples still around. Apples and oranges, in my opinion.

      • Lloyd Hale

        WOW that is a head turner.

  39. Lloyd Hale

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think it is going to be beautiful when completed.

  40. Doug Weaver

    Yikes. It’s plumb fugly. Sad waste of a timeless classic.

  41. scottymac

    I kind of like it. I think the top came from a 1957 Skyliner, and IIRC, the mechanism for that Ford model was originally designed for the proposed Continental convertible. I see the molded in cooling ducts for the trunk mounted air conditioning, but I don’t see enough changes to validate the body shop charge. As far as whether the car has a drive train, that air cleaner is sitting on something. Since it’s a New England car, maybe a lot was spent on rust repair. I’d love to see it finished, but I’d lose the skirts.

  42. Darren

    well, lessee here…$100K into a questionable project that is probably only in the eye of it’s progenitor, who now thinks it’s salable at $15K…check. Number of buyers that would share this vision: .000001% of the car-guy/girl population…check. Taking the results of this equation and expecting to find a buyer for more than $5K — priceless!

    Like we say in the high-performance driving biz: money doesn’t buy talent. Or, in this case, sense.

  43. David Conwill

    I think the right term for this is “Vertically Sectioned.” I kinda like it, it reminds me of a ’56 Thunderbird. Let’s put a 462 and a Toploader four-speed in it while we’re at it.

  44. Brad C

    I kind of can’t look away, I keep going back and shaking my head. Here’s a couple of the biggest transgressions in my opinion, from least to greatest:

    – removing the beautiful little rear window, (if you wanted a Thunderbird, $100K would’ve bought the finest available)
    – the distracting and structurally weak-looking “pinch” between the door and fender skirt
    – and that gorgeous shadow line running straight and then hopping over the rear wheel well: now bounces off the top of it like a stone on a lake.

    To add insult to injury, that air scoop (a subtle, sporty feature) tells us it is a rare-within-already-rare factory AC example. So sad.

    • rich voss

      Brad – you nailed it, especially with the comparison pix. The small saving grace of having the full flush skirt “kind of” hides the shadow line flummox. Depends on what color the car is finally painted to see how well that might be truly “hidden”, or made more hideous. Were it my car and money, I’d have moved that “kick up” onto the door with the proper distance to the rear wheel. I’d have also “chopped” the top a couple inches to make it more visually “appealing” to it’s smaller scale. Or lose the top altogether as was previously suggested. I made plenty of “altered wheel-base” model cars when that was popular in the mid-sixties. AFX drag racers. But this one just nearly makes me weep. I saw these, when new, as a kid and thought they were one of the best designs to ever come out of Detroit. Still do.

  45. Lloyd Hale

    Thank you man I was afraid i was the only person that liked the car.
    Like i said earlier, with the right running gear this thing would be a road hog.

  46. jcs

    What shocked me was that someone would do such a thing to a beautiful car. What shocked me even more was that someone else would actually buy it!

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