1957 Continental Mark II, Low Mileage Numbers Matching Restoration Project DSO
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Cleveland, North Carolina, United States
Features and Specifications
|Drive side:||Left-hand drive|
1957 Lincoln Mark Series***Relisted due to a non-paying high bidder who never made contact after the auction. I would like to thank everyone for the great amount of interest I received regarding this car during the first auction, and I'm starting the opening bid well below where the last legitimate bids were received prior to the scammer's high bid. I reserve the right to cancel any bids I deem suspicious. If you have less than 100% positive feedback, an E-Bay score lower than 50, or have been a registered E-Bay user for less than one year, please contact me prior to bidding. Thanks***
“There are some things that you sense. They never have to be spelled out. Not even in a car. Take the Continental Mark II, for example. It is a conservative car because of the deliberate simplicity of its styling. It is quietly dignified, yet in an excitedly dynamic way. From the start, we have kept very much in our minds the kind of man in whom this kind of car would strike a responsive chord. Perhaps that is why the Continental so aptly expresses, more than anything else, the subtle art of being inconspicuously important”
-Continental Mark II original advertisement
Allow me, for a moment, to take you back to Monday, February 18, 1957. Dwight D. Eisenhower was President, “Young Love” by Tab Hunter topped the U.S. Billboard charts, and a special-ordered 1957 Continental Mark II in White Lucite Dupont paint was set to depart from the exclusive Continental production facility in Allen Park, Michigan. Before beginning its journey in a fleece-lined cover to Lowell-Halley Lincoln-Mercury in West Palm Beach, Florida, it had been subjected to rigorous testing, as was each one of these limited-production, ultra-luxurious automobiles. Its 300 horsepower, 368 cubic inch V-8, which would be stamped engine number 2652, had been hand-selected from the Lincoln line, completely disassembled, hand balanced, and rebuilt to stringent specifications before moving on to extensive testing on the dynamometer. This car would bear the VIN number C56Q3634 and would be approximately the 2,650th Continental Mark II built out of a total of 3,005 pre-production and production cars built during its two model year run of 1956-1957.
This was no ordinary Lincoln. In fact, it was not a Lincoln at all. With the Mark II, Ford had set out to build a halo car- an exclusive, mostly hand-built automobile to go up against the world’s finest luxury cars, such as Rolls-Royce and Bentley. At a starting price of around $10,000 in 1957 (roughly double the cost of Lincoln’s top-of-the-line model in 1956-1957, the Premier), the Mark II would be produced under the newly-formed Continental marque and be sold and serviced at select Lincoln-Mercury dealers. Despite commanding such a lofty sum when new, due to Ford’s commitment to utilizing only the finest materials and craftsmanship in their Continental Mark II, it is said Ford lost $1,000 on each Mark II sold. The body sheetmetal was hand-selected at the supplier by Ford representatives prior to being shipped to the Continental plant. The leather used in the interior was sourced from the renowned Bridge of Weir Leather Company of Scotland. Each body panel was test-fitted before being removed for paint. The engines and transmissions, once assembled, were minutely inspected and tested, including at least one dyno test on every engine, and, of course, each completed car was thoroughly road-tested before being shipped to the dealer. The Continental assembly plant in Allen Park, Michigan manufactured only one model during this time: The Mark II. The Mark II was not built alongside any other Fords, Lincolns, or Mercuries, and all facilities at this plant were devoted solely to the Mark II. This attention to detail was noticed by celebrities and leaders alike. Such names as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, and the Shah of Iran owned Mark II’s. Even President Eisenhower had a personal Mark II at his Gettysburg, Pennsylvania farm during his presidency through a lease agreement with the Ford Motor Company.
The Continental Mark II I present to you today has been hidden away from collector community for most of its life. This was a special order car, with DSO number 370. It came equipped with the only official option available for the Mark II, air conditioning, in addition to a special, “extra-charge” paint option of White Lucite Dupont (paint code D885). The interior was finished in deep gray leather seat biscuits and white leather seat bolsters with deep gray welts (trim code 1E6L). This Mark II also came with tinted windows. After it was sold new at Lowell-Halley Lincoln-Mercury of 1000 North Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, Florida in 1957, not much was known about its whereabouts until around 2016, and only 21,794 miles have been put on the car since new. I have been able to piece together a little of the car’s history on my own, however. What I have is a door jamb sticker from Downtown Shell Service Plaza (which was located at Okeechobee Road and South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach) where the car was serviced in March, 1971, with what appears to be 13,632 miles recorded (see picture). It would appear that the car had remained in the West Palm Beach area from when it was purchased new in 1957 until at least March of 1971. From there, the next bit of evidence I’ve found is that the car was registered/insured in New York City around 1998-1999 by the brother of the gentleman I purchased the car from. I’m unsure of how long the car was driven after this, but it appears the car has been stored for some time, as the problems this car has are mostly from sitting/neglect rather than abuse.
If I had to put a number on it, I’d say this car is approximately 95% original and 95% complete. In my opinion, the single biggest issue with this car is rust. There is some surface rust at different locations throughout the car (please see the video tour for an in-depth look), but it has only rusted through in a few general areas. The roof, in my opinion, is the worst part of the car. The front of the roof has some rot, and there is a small rust hole on the driver’s side rear of the roof, near where it meets the fender. In addition, there appears that some lead body filler has been used in the roof on both C-pillars (see pictures and video for more details). As I mention in my video, besides the option to repair the roof, I do know of a reputable dealer from Florida currently selling a complete roof for a Mark II (removed from a car sold for $72k at auction) for $550. The individual who purchased that Mark II for $72k apparently decided to have it built into a custom convertible, which, of course, could also be another option for this car, at the winning bidder's discretion. There is also some rot on the front of the hood (see pictures and video). I do have the chrome trim that goes above the grille and below the hood and the letter emblems that spell out "CONTINENTAL" that go on the hood (although part of the mounting stud for the “L” is broken off) (Please see pictures and video of the extra parts included). The front floor pans are rusty, and while they’re not rotted out, they do need to be replaced (see pictures/video). I would also recommend replacing the floor pans in the trunk, as the weatherstripping for the trunk is bad and has evidently let moisture into the trunk. I haven’t seen anywhere that the trunk’s floor is soft, but I would recommend checking it out. The car will need carpet throughout. Some of the side window glass is cracked and will need to be replaced (see video). Also, I have found a small spot of lead filler (approximately dime-sized) on the driver’s side rear “fin” of the car, above the taillight/gas door. The two front bumper “protectors” in front of the grille will need to be re-chromed. Please see the pictures and video as for the condition of the rest of the chrome. Most of the chrome is good overall, aside from some fine scratches, but could use a good cleaning. There are some parts that have oxidation or rust in the chrome, but overall, there are very few rust spots in the chrome bumpers or trim. There is one dent/scrape on the bottom passenger side of the front bumper (hard to see unless you're looking for it), and a dent on the rear bumper (see video). The car has also had a poor-quality repaint at some point. Again, I highly recommend watching my video tour, as I cover the trouble spots in it.
As for the rest of the car, the frame appears to be very solid (I show the frame as best I can in the video), and the drivetrain is complete. The car has its original engine, which is complete and can be turned freely by hand (not seized up). According to the Mark II Registry, the engine number should be approximately 982 subtracted from the last 4 digits of the VIN number. In the case of this car the VIN is C56Q3634 and the engine number is 2652, which is the exact engine number that should have come in this car. Being a 1957 model, this 368 V-8 features a higher compression ratio and a Carter carburetor producing 300 horsepower (15 horsepower more than the 1956 model). Under the hood, there appears to be some parts missing from the steering box, but I have a piece that I believe goes to it that is included with the car. In the engine bay on the passenger side of the firewall, there is a “2” marked, possibly with chalk from the factory (see video); It appears to be in the style of some factory markings, but I can’t confirm if it’s a factory mark or was done later. The transmission fluid is a healthy shade of red and does not appear to be burnt at all. As with any car that's been sitting, the car will most likely need the brake system, fuel system, and possibly the steering system gone through.
The seats in this car are a 9 out of 10, in my opinion, and I would rate the passenger compartment overall at 8 out of 10, given its age. I can see no rips or tears in the leather seats, and the leather is smooth and supple. The seats could use a good cleaning/conditioning, and there may be some minor stains in some parts of the seats, but overall, the seats are very nice (see pictures/video). The seats are consistent with what you might expect in a 22k original mile car. The rest of the passenger compartment trim is overall good, but there are some pitting issues in some of the chrome interior trim and some other issues such as rippling on the dash cover, and some rust coming through from the roof on one part of the passenger side upper trim pieces near/at the headliner (see video). There are also 2 toggle switches under the dash that I’m not sure are original; they’re not unsightly and don’t look particularly out of place (in fact, they're hard to see at all unless you really look under the dash), but I wanted to mention them as possible modifications, since I’m not sure they are factory original (see video). As I've said, the car is mostly original, and these are one of the only possible modifications I've found, aside from the paint and body work previously mentioned. As previously mentioned, it also needs new carpet, particularly forward of the front seats (and, of course, the trunk). As for the trunk, it needs new weatherstripping and the carpets need to be replaced (again, I’m not sure what the floors are like underneath the carpet, so they may need to be replaced/repaired too). The car has its factory jack, but it’s rusty, so it will need a good cleaning or sanding/repaint. The car also has its spare tire/wheel with original mounting equipment (mounting equipment is working, as I've had the spare tire out and put it back in and fastened it in place), and the original leather spare tire cover. The cover could use a thorough cleaning/conditioning, as there is a rust stain on the top of it where it sat against the trunklid for years (and overall, it is stiff and not nearly as supple as the leather elsewhere on the car), and it has some rips around the zipper that need to be sewn back together. Curiously, the spare tire cover appears to have initials, numbers, or a word marked on the inside of it, but I can’t make out what it once said (see video).
I do have most of the parts you may notice that are missing from the car and they are included with the car for the winning bidder (see picture and video). I have the full set of 4 factory hubcaps, 3 of which are in good to excellent condition overall (could use a good cleaning); the 4th has a scrape and small dent on the inside dish and what appears to be a thin line of curb rash around the perimeter (see video). The damage on the hubcap is hard to see unless you’re looking for it, especially if it was mounted on the car. Included is what appears to be an original Continental Mark II shop manual. It is copyrighted by Ford Motor Company, 1955, and appears to be the book used by authorized dealer service departments at the time (see video). I also have an original Continental Mark II brochure in good condition. Other parts included in this auction are various chrome and stainless trim pieces that go around the roof and the hood. Some of the thinner pieces are bent, but may be able to be repaired. Please see my video for more details on everything included.
Overall, this Mark II is a very solid starting point for a restoration, resto-mod, or even custom project. As I said, I would consider it to be 95% original and 95% complete. With this car, you do have most of the expensive and hard to find parts accounted for, unlike many others I have seen. I do have a clear North Carolina title in my name, ready to be signed over to the winning bidder, and, of course, keys to the car. If you’re local, please feel free to set up an appointment to come see this car in person if you’re a serious bidder. The auction will be ending on Sunday, April 22, at 9 PM Eastern Standard Time (6 PM PDT). Don't lose out on the rare opportunity to own one of the lowest-mileage Continental Mark II's left in existence. We can be reached via E-Bay message or at 336-341-0560. Again, I HIGHLY recommend watching the full virtual tour video to anyone who is seriously interested in this car. A description and pictures can only show so much, and in my video, I try to cover everything, from decoding the data plate, explaining the relationship of the VIN to the engine number, to trying to go over the car inside and out to show even the smallest known issues. When making these videos, my goal is to represent the car honestly, showing both the good and the bad. I genuinely want the winning bidder to be happy with their purchase and have no regrets, because that's how I believe business should be done. This is why I put the time and effort into making these videos for my potential bidders. If you can’t come see the car in person, this video is the next best thing and should give you a solid idea of what the car is.
See video virtual tour here:
1957 Continental Mark II E-Bay Auction Virtual Tour - YouTube
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