Just 2,550 were built in 1956 (some sources state 1956 production of only 1,325) followed by 444 in 1957. It is believed that approximately 1,500 examples are still in existence. Of the 444 built-in 1957, only 98 were built with the optional air conditioning.
West Coast Classics are proud to present an absolutely exceptional and great daily driving and completely rust free and mostly all original example of this long time southern California 1957 Lincoln Continental Mark II 2 Door Hardtop with its 368/300HP 4BBL V8 engine in beautiful and striking original factory 'Seascape Blue' (Color code 04) paint with a gorgeous condition two-tone 'Blue leather interior and loaded with factory options including:
Turbo-Drive automatic transmission, Air conditioning, Rear seat center armrest, Full floor carpeting, Heater & defroster, Electric clock, AM radio, Tachometer, Power front seat adjustment, Power windows, Power vent windows, Trunk carpeting, Chrome window surround moldings, Rocker panel molding, Power steering, Power brakes, Full wheel covers.
Being an exclusive, essentially hand built automobile, the Continental initially sold well but demand fell quickly as the market for $10,000 automobiles in the mid to late fifties was not large! Few changes were seen on the second year Mark II with the engine having higher compression resulting in a small upgrade in horsepower along with a few tweaks to the chassis which made the car very slightly lighter. The elegant exterior and interior styling was left unchanged and only 444 cars were to be built.
The 1956 Continental Mark II was introduced on October 6th, 1955 as the newest division of the Ford Motor Company. Since the demise of the slow selling original Lincoln Continental at the end of the 1948 year, Lincoln had been left without a prestigious top-of-the-line model, such as Cadillac had with the Fleetwood 60 Special and Eldorado, or Packard with the Patrician and the Caribbean Convertible. Ford management decided to bring back the original concept of a large modern car that would be both powerful and luxurious but also with an unparalleled exclusivity. The result was the Mark II and the Continental division was formed to produce and and market this limited production car. Among their engineering feats was a prototype of the retractable hardtop which ultimately did not find its way into the Mark II but which would be adapted later for the 1957-59 Ford Skyliner.
The Mark II was a personal luxury coupe and among the first of its type on modern pastwar automobiles. Designed specifically to carry 4 passengers in the ultimate of comfort but within a 2 Door Hardtop environment and not a sedan and which would set the standard for future personal luxury cars.
The Mark II's design was very advanced for 1956 with a low slung chassis cradled between the wheels which would become mainstream in the years to come. Power was provided by the 368 CID Lincoln engine which was new for '56 and transmitted through Lincoln's Turbo-Drive automatic transmission. Combined features of near perfect proportions of a long hood and short rear deck the Mark II was destined to be a classic milestone car immediately.
Also in an era of excess and excessive use of chrome the Mark II proved that less was more when it came to bodyside trim with chrome only to be used around the window areas and on the rocker panel. Both the front and rear styling was also uniquely Continental with up front rounded fender ends housing single headlamps and a relatively simple bumper housing an oval parking lamp at each end. The grille was a large yet simple affair with a now familiar Lincoln hood ornament with a four point star within a rectangle atop the hood and decorating the trunk lid.
At the rear a hump on the trunk lid introduced the world to the Continental's version of a 'Continental kit' being formed into the sheetmetal rather than an appendage to the rear bumper. This design would be a Continental trademark for decades to come. Of course the interiors were luxurious with full leather seating, plush carpeting and a full array of power equipment. Every imaginable accessory of the period was standard equipment on the Continental except for trunk mounted air conditioning, the lone item on the option list at $595.
Though the car is still today popularly referred to as the Lincoln Continental Mark II, Lincoln actually did not play a large part in the development of the 1956-57 Continental Mark II, other than providing the powertrain and the dealer network. Since the Continental was an independent Ford division from 1956 through mid 1958 and continued to be marketed separately through 1960. Only 2,550 Mark II's were built in 1956 and even less, 444 in 1957 the second and last year of production. Ford had not originally seen the Mark II as a profit maker, even at the then breathtaking $10,000 mark, yet because Ford lost some $1,000 on each one sold the production ceased in 1957.
These cars were notorious for rust problems making this particular example exceptionally rare and unusual, obviously an always garaged example with no signs of any accidents or rust ever! The floor boards, trunk and all the typical rust-prone areas are solid and rust-free. The car has a beautiful and very professional repaint in its original 'Seascape Blue' color paint and has it's beautiful matching two tone 'Blue' leather interior with most all its original factory instrumentation intact including the beautiful padded dashboard and factory air conditioning, all of which are in quite exceptional and original condition throughout. All the chrome is also in absolutely exceptional condition with no peeling or pitting and which must have been rechromed at some point.
The 368 c.i. V8 engine is extremely strong and powerful and sounds absolutely magnificent and this particular car also drives absolutely magnificently - must be driven to be fully appreciated - does not miss a beat and purrs like a kitten - drives straight as an arrow with no strange road wobbles, shakes or rattles - a truly remarkable daily driver that will give any modern day car a run for it's money! The transmission shifts smoothly through the gears and the car is an absolute pleasure to drive!
We recently purchased the car from only it's second and decades old southern California owner who had purchased the car from it's original Texas owner in the 1970's. We recently fully serviced the car at a cost of over $8,700 for piece of mind turn key driving for it's next owner work of which included:
Replace water pump Rebuilt fuel pump Replace thermostat New brake master booster assembly New front brake shoes & wheel cylinders Machine front drums Repack bearings New rear brake shoes & wheel cylinders Machine rear drums Replace all brake hoses Change oil & filter Replace power steering pressure hose Replace generator Replace driver's window transmission Install new gasket for choke cover
Rare with these particularly sophisticated cars, all the options and gauges work including all the power options! The car has its original spare wheel and jack in the truck.
This is an extraordinarily rare opportunity to own a great daily driving and mostly all original and beautifully restored only as required example of a rust free 1957 Lincoln Continental Mark II 2 Door Hardtop, & 1 of only 98 built with factory air conditioning & with very few known now to exist, in a very striking and factory original 'Seascape Blue' color paint with a matching leather two-tone interior! A true all American classic car for the Continental enthusiast or any classic car enthusiast to enjoy today!