The search for a successor to Edsel Ford's Continental began in 1952 with a special design section under William Clay Ford tucked away in the old Henry Ford Trade School without interaction with George Walker's main Ford studio. The first concept was completed in late 1952.
Henry Ford II's reaction to it was succinct, "I wouldn't give you a dime for that car." W.C. Ford began again, this time however putting the project out to four independent design groups, plus the Trade School team, in a winner-take-all competition to be completed in April 1953.
Five senior Ford executives independently viewed the proposals, all of them unsigned and presented in the same views, scales and colors. All five picked the same proposal which turned out to be the internal Ford group's concept.
Considering who they were, it should have been no surprise: John Reinhart, formerly of Packard, Gordon Buehrig, designer of the Cord 810, Fred Beamish, also a Packard veteran, and others.
The Continental Mark II was introduced in October 1955, stealing the limelight from the completely re-designed 1956 Lincolns, and has gone on to be one of the most respected and appreciated automobiles of the second half of the last century with long, sleek lines, a compact greenhouse and refined chrome trim.
This 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II beautifully shows the Mark II's sleek, low design in Pastorial Blue with beautiful blue leather and grey cloth interior, colors and materials which match the codes on the body plate.
Like all Continental Mark IIs, it is fully loaded with every accessory and assist possible except air conditioning and has benefited from a first class body-on-the-frame restoration to nearly like new condition.
The brightwork, paint and interior appointments have been done to high standards, the inner fenderwells and firewall are like new, the engine clean and detailed to showroom condition. The chassis and underbody have been stripped and repainted.
The quality of this Continental Mark II's presentation is a tribute to the quality of the Mark II itself, a car built on a dedicated, low production assembly line where quality was the first and most important factor and no detail was overlooked.
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