1956 Lincoln Premiere hardtop coupe, part of the 1956-1957 Lincoln Continental Mark II line of collectible cars
1956 Lincoln Premiere hardtop coupe

The 1956-1957 Lincoln Continental Mark II was the mid-'50s successor to the original Continental of the '40s. It was magnificently styled by a team including John Reinhart, William Clay Ford, and Gordon Buehrig. Engineer Harley Copp's unique "cowbelly" frame dipped low to permit high seating without a tall body.

With Multi-Drive three-speed automatic and a balanced, individually tested Lincoln V-8, the Mark II was marketed as an image leader intended to steal Cadillac's thunder in the ultra-luxury class.

Despite beautiful styling, it didn't sell well, probably because its price was so close to the (then) breathtaking $10,000 mark.

Ford had not originally seen the Mark II as a profit-maker, yet because the firm lost $1,000 on each one sold, the urge to cheapen the car for 1958 proved irresistible. A Mark II cabriolet was contemplated, but never actually produced on a series basis.

Pluses of the 1956-1957 Lincoln Continental Mark II:

  • A famous postwar car
  • Timeless, elegant styling
  • High-quality materials
  • Strong club support

Minuses of the 1956-1957 Lincoln Continental Mark II:

  • Not nearly as elegant a driver as it is a looker
  • Interiors rather plain for this class of car
  • High operating costs

Production of the 1956-1957 Lincoln Continental Mark II:

  • 1956: 1,325
  • 1957: 444

Specifications of the 1956-1957 Lincoln Continental Mark II:
Wheelbase, inches:
126.0
Length, inches:
218.5
Weight, pounds:
4,800-4,825Price, new: $9,695-$9,966

Engines for the 1956-1957 Lincoln Continental Mark II:

Type Size Horsepower Years
ohv V-8
368 cid 285/300 1956-1957

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