The 1956 Continental Mark II Oozes Luxury and Class

Calling it a landmark car is an understatement.

Despite its status as a landmark luxury car, few among the more casual car community remember—or at least talk about—the 1956 Continental Mark II. Just 3000 or so of these cars were produced between 1956 and 1957, making the one seen here a rare specimen.

The Mark II sprung forth from the upmarket Continental division and was its only product. It was an ultra-luxury car in every sense of the term, being handbuilt, stacked with every conceivable feature and amenity, and intended to compete with the likes of the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. Every Mark II was assembled to order, and it's said that each Mark II may have cost as much as twice its retail price of $9966—roughly the same as the Silver Cloud—to produce, although some estimates of its unprofitability are more charitable, at $1000 lost per car.

The Mark II's standard equipment included an OEM radio, power windows (including the vents), power brakes and steering, dual heaters, the finest leathers and fabrics, and power seats. The car shown here carries the only option available from the factory, the $595 air-conditioning system. Its total price would be equivalent to $100,000 or so today.

The pearl paint and white interior of this example is all class, and the elegance is backed up by the muscle of a 368-cubic-inch V-8 engine mated to a three-speed automatic transmission. This combination made 285 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque, more than enough power to smartly move the luxury coupe.

The Mark II came to an end in 1957 after a two-year run that saw it fall into the shadow of the even pricier Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, and the division's name was eventually re-applied to Lincoln's highest-end models. The example here will cross the Barrett-Jackson Northeast auction block later this month; in the meantime, let's all hope Ford Motor Company reaches the place where it can once again launch a moonshot like the Continental Mark II.

Barrett-Jackson's 4th Annual Northeast Auction is being held June 26-29, 2019, at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Connecticut. The collector-car sale will showcase hundreds of coveted vehicles, and the experts from MotorTrend will be there to bring you all the action LIVE from the auction block. You can catch Barrett-Jackson Northeast on MotorTrend Network every day of the auction and download the app for exclusive, live coverage. Need more viewing options? You can also tune in to our live stream from your web browser.

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