CONTINENTAL
Continental Mark II serial number data plate
Continental Mark II data plates have the serial number, or as we call it today, the vehicle identification number, body specifications, and production date information.
The data plate (also known as the patent plate) of the Continental Mark II, like the car itself, has a different concept from other Ford Motor Company vehicles.The Mark II VIN consists of C56, the month of production code, and a serial identification number which consists of either 3 or 4 numbers. There is no single year identification, as the Mark II was just that...Mark II. Instead, the code of C56 is used on all Continental Mark II data plates regardless of when the car was actually produced (1955, 1956, or 1957) C = Continental and 56 = Mark II. (left) The month of production code is a single number or letter. Unlike any other Ford Motor Company VIN, the Mark II makes use of the ninth letter of the alphabet, I, in the VIN which indicates the car was built in July, 1956. The serial identification number ranges from 975 to 3989. Not all numbers were used in the 975 to 1000 range. (below) The "Body Specif" section of the data plate lists the Mark II's color, interior trim type, scheduled date of manufacture, and the day's sequence number. The scheduled date code, in most cases, is a month and day.
Continental Mark II serial number data plate
Some Mark II data plates also list a DSO (domestic special order) number in the case of special paint, upholstery, interior features, or other components. A handful of Mark II data plates have unique information but the vast majority follow the formats above. The data plate pictured below lists the DSO paint code (D19), the DSO number (S284) and the upholstery type (1A1A). No scheduled date is listed. All Mark II data plates list the "Style" of II-60A (Mark II, body style 60A
Continental Mark II VIN month of production code 1955 6 = June 7 = July 8 = August 9 = September 0 = October A = November B = December 1956 C = January D = February E = March F = April G = May H = June I = July J = August K = September L = October M = November N = December 1957 P = January Q = February R = March S = April T = May
Continental Mark VIN Scheduled Date Code in Body Specif line 1955 Same as VIN month of production code 1956 C,D,E,F,G - Same as VIN month of production code. 1956 6n56 - June 7n56 - July, used through July 15 then changed to letter I,J,K,L,M,N - Same as VIN month of production code 1957 N - used for all months
Continental Mark II

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UNDATED DESIRABILITY The Mark II's appeal comes from a design which is not whimsical, shallow, or frivolous and therefore is not dated. And, speaking of not being dated: Ford maintained that the Continental Mark II did not have a year designation, unlike every other car ever produced. It was simply "Mark II". Regardless of when it was built, every Mark II's serial number (or VIN as we call it today) starts with "C56", a vague reference to the model year in which the MKII was introduced. Naturally, motor vehicle departments and other authorities disagreed with Ford's premise and assigned a year designation on titles and registrations. Likewise, bureaucratic entities refuse to acknowledge that a Continental Mark II is not a Lincoln, however its legions of enthusiasts know better. Proof-in-point of the Mark II's desirability is that almost 60 years after it was manufactured, over 50% of these cars survive. Even if we consider individual series or body styles, the Mark II stands alone in this respect.
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