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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale June 10th – 12th, 2016 at Russo and Steele’s 4th Annual Newport Beach, California Auction. Please contact us for more information.
Henry Ford’s highly talented son Edsel was responsible for the vision of the original V-12 Lincoln Continental, which was perfected by design genius Eugene “Bob” Gregorie and built between 1939 and 1948. In July 1952, a Special Projects Office was created with William Clay Ford, the youngest of Edsel Ford’s sons as manager. He assembled a team to design a new automobile to re-establish the Continental, resulting in the 1956-57 Continental Mark II, made by the Continental Division of the Ford Motor Company. This new division was completely separate from Lincoln-Mercury.
The Continental Mark II ranks among the most beautiful automobiles ever to come from Detroit. With elegant design, understated grace, and the lack of flamboyant chrome, it was an instant classic. The drivetrain, paint, and upholstery/interior used the highest quality materials and craftsmanship. Ford wanted a new standard in luxury to exceed the world’s best-built automobiles; the Mark II sold for $10,000 new and it was most assuredly the equivalent to Rolls-Royce for its elegance and top-quality construction. The high price (about the cost of two Cadillacs or three Thunderbirds) restricted sales to only the wealthiest individuals such as Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Predictably, the Continental Mark II was the vehicle of choice for many of the Ford family members, including Eleanor, the wife of Edsel Ford, his sons Benson, William, and William’s wife Martha, his only daughter Josephine, and Henry Ford II’s wife, Anne.
This example is a 1957 model and of the 3,005 Mark IIs built in total for 1956 and 1957, there were only 572 produced as 1957, as production ceased in May 1957. Since most enthusiasts agree that only about half of all Continental Mark IIs manufactured remain in existence today, so it is reasonable to estimate that only about 250 1957 models survive. This 1957 Mark II was originally painted black, but now is Metallic Gray and it is very well equipped with power steering, power brakes, tinted power-lift windows including power vent windows, four-way power seats, a power antenna, dual-zone heating, a Travel-Tuner AM radio with two speakers, and a Cartier clock. Comprehensive instrumentation includes a tachometer, speedometer, and oil pressure, voltmeter, and coolant-temperature gauge. The car also has the only available factory option, air conditioning. This Continental Mark II is also designated as a ‘DSO’ or Dealer Special Order car and it is the only one produced with the special and highly attractive white and black two-tone interior treatment which simply must be seen to be fully appreciated.