Ford Motor Company's Continental Division built the Mark II in 1955,
1956, and 1957 at Allen Park, Michigan.
Just over 3,000 cars were produced.
Bucking the in-vogue styling trends of all other American cars, the Continental was,
instantly upon its debut, a classic. It is a classic in the truest sense of the word which can be
described as widely accepted as desirable when it was introduced, and having enduring
acceptance as it grows older.
The Continental Mark II had no jet-age fins or other extreme attributes; it used chrome only as subtle accents to its restrained
styling. 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.
A Continental Mark II in front of the
Allen Park Assembly Plant. The
facility was also known as Ford's
"Pilot Plant" where pre-Job #1 and
other test vehicles were built. In 1957
this building became the
headquarters for the Edsel Division,
and some Edsels were built here.
Ford also tested assembly line
procedures here before they were
implemented at other locations. The
building stands today, at 17000
Oakwood Boulevard, facing I-94.