The 1956 Continental Mark II"To craft the finest automobiles in America"
- was the motto of short-lived Continental Division of Ford Motor Company, and during its two year production run, the division produced the Continental Mark II series.
Our newest addition to the collection is this 1956 Continental Mark II, donated to America’s Car Museum by Steve Boone, owner of Northwest Harley Davidson in Lacy, WA. Steve, who has been a tireless LeMay- America's Car Museum supporter, is a member of the Museum's Board of Directors and the Chairperson of ACM’s Collection Committee.
The Mark II is a beautiful display example of Ford’s forward thinking in engineering design and attention to quality. When Steve acquired the car he said it caught his eye for its sleek look and luxury interior. “I thought it was just a beautiful car!”, Steve tells us.
The April 2005 issue of Hemmings Classic Car notes:
“The Continental Division of Ford Motor Company traced its roots back to Edsel Ford's pet project, the 1939 Lincoln Continental.
Lincoln dealerships had been inquiring about a replacement for the Continental from the time production stopped , so in 1952, the Ford Motor Company conducted research to determine whether a market for such a premium car existed; they decided that although they would probably lose money on such a project, the gains in prestige and publicity from a halo car would more than make up for it. A design contest among Ford stylists and outside contractors resulted in a two-door coupe, designed by staffer John Reinhart, that was both traditional and classic, yet incorporated what he termed Modern Formal design-this was the Mark II.
When it debuted as a 1956 model in October of 1955, the $9,966 Mark II was one of the heaviest American cars extant at 4,825 pounds without air conditioning, 5,190 pounds so equipped. Riding on a 126-inch wheelbase, it stretched 218.4 inches long and sported a low 56.25-inch roofline. The original Lincoln-Continental's proportions remained, with the Mark II's hood stretching a massive 70 inches. Under that hood was a standard Lincoln engine and drivetrain; the 368-cu.in. V-8 was over matched by the car's weight, offering a 0-60 mph time of just under 16 seconds and an indicated top speed of 118 mph.”
Museum research found this Continental Mark II was originally sold by Wick Motors in Youngstown, Ohio to Mr. Ralph C. Halbert. The car was ordered with factory air conditioning and the car original "gray leather welt" interior is still in beautiful condition.
We wish to thank Steve Boone for his generous donation of this car to the display collection and his support of LeMay-America's Car Museum!