Written by Nicole Ellan James
Ford Motor Company created the Continental Division for the 1956 model year. This division ranked above Lincoln as the company’s flagship marque. At its launch, the Continental Mark II was regarded as its own model line and was intended to be a successor to the 1940-48 Lincoln Continental personal luxury car.
Offered as a 2-door hardtop coupe, the Mark II, known as an ultra-luxury coupe, broke from several American styling precedents when it debuted. It was largely hand-assembled and became the most expensive American-produced automobile of the time, with its price rivaling only that of the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. Since the Mark II used a Lincoln engine and transmission, it was marketed through Lincoln, alleviating the need for a separate sales and service network for Ford’s Continental Division.
While the Lincoln was considered a work of art in its stock form, the 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II offered with No Reserve during the 2023 Scottsdale Auction takes this notion to the next level with elegant customization that blends traditional lines with new-age technology. It seamlessly brings modern features into the nostalgic heydays of hot rods and custom cars.
Built by SIC Chops out of Cave Creek, Arizona, this long and lean Mark II has a Jon Kaase 520ci V8 under its hood that produces over 850 horsepower. The engine utilizes an Inglese eight-stack fuel injection and features Kaase Boss Nine semi-hemispherical heads. The Mark II rides on a one-off chassis from the Roadster Shop, complete with Corvette C6 suspension, rack & pinion steering and a Strange 9-inch rear end housing 3.73 gears. Stopping power comes from a set of Wilwood brakes nestled behind one-off Colorado Custom 40-spoke wheels with machined bullet center caps.
Although the body appears relatively stock and the body lines remain primarily as they were when fresh from the factory, almost every panel on this Mark II has had work done. According to the consignor, the body was chopped 2.75 inches and the vehicle received a custom firewall. Other body modifications include fabricated floor pans with complete rockers that ride just above the ground, custom-built front and rear bumpers and a flush-mounted dual exhaust piped through the smoothed rear pan. To complete this high-end build and give it an extra unique, polished look, the door handles were shaved and the rain gutters were filled. The body is finished in Dupont Toner Black paint with ChromaClear.
Looking inside, the giant cabin was artfully upholstered to provide comfort and luxury as a modern retake on a vintage classic. The 8-way power Lexus seats are adorned in Black Onyx leather with stainless-steel accents. The dash features Dakota Digital gauges that allow the driver to monitor the car’s vitals, while music is supplied by a complete Kicker Q-Class audio system. A Colorado Custom steering wheel and an Ididit steering column complete the loaded interior.
Adding to the uniqueness of the build is an unverified signature on the underside of the trunk from Mae West, an American stage and film actress, playwright, screenwriter and singer. The signature was discovered during the restoration and was preserved, though why or how it got there remains a mystery.
This award-winning 1956 Lincoln Continental custom Mark II is sure to turn heads everywhere it goes. Register to bid to take this long, lean machine home during the 2023 Scottsdale Auction, January 21-29 at WestWorld of Scottsdale.