1956 Lincoln Continental MKII Spectacular Example 20k Orig Miles Known History
The Continental Mark II is an ultra-luxury coupé that was sold by the Continental Division of Ford for the 1956 and 1957 model years. The only product line ever marketed by Continental during its existence, the Mark II served as the worldwide flagship vehicle of Ford Motor Company. The vehicle derived its name from European manufacturing practice, with "Mark II" denoting a second generation (succeeding the 1939–1948 Lincoln Continental).
As the most expensive American-produced automobile of the time, the Mark II was marketed against the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. Produced solely as a two-door hardtop coupe, the Mark II used standard Lincoln mechanical components, including its "Y-block" V8 and automatic transmission. The rest of the vehicle was largely hand-assembled, leading Ford to lose thousands of dollars for each example produced.
Following the 1957 model year, Ford discontinued its flagship Continental division, with the division phased into Lincoln from 1958. For 1969, Ford revived the chronology of the Mark series with the debut of the (second) Continental Mark III coupe, leading to five successive generations; the model line currently ends with the 1998 Lincoln Mark VIII coupe.
The brand logo for Continental was a rectangular-framed four-pointed star. Following the withdrawal of the Mark II, Lincoln adopted the four-pointed star for 1958; modified slightly, the logo remains in use on Lincoln-brand vehicles today.
Intended as a successor to the Lincoln Continental, effectively making its predecessor a Mark I, the Continental Mark II made its world debut at the Paris Motor Show in October 1955, a year and eight months after the introduction of the smaller two passenger Ford Thunderbird personal luxury car (roadster). The Mark II debuted in the United States at Ford Motor Company headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. With a $9,966 base price ($100,811 in 2021 dollars, the Mark II was the most expensive domestic-produced automobile sold in the United States at the time. The only extra cost option offered for the Mark II was a $595 ($6,000 today) air conditioner. Despite its high price, Ford Motor Company estimated it lost nearly $1,000 ($10100 today) for every unit produced
In total, 3,005 Continental Mark IIs were produced. This number includes three prototypes and 13 pre-production vehicles. Serial numbers for Mark IIs ran from 975 to 3989; numbers 986 to 998 were unused. The first regular production car was number 1001. The three prototype cars were numbered 500, 501, and 502F. The first two were scrapped in June 1956, and the third car survives today.
While a convertible never reached production, two 1956 Mark IIs were converted to convertibles on an official basis. One was converted by Hess & Eisenhardt (no. 1126), while another was converted by Derham Body Company (no. 3190). The latter car was given to the wife of William Clay Ford as a personal vehicle; initially painted white, it was later painted sky blue.
Many Mark IIs were purchased new by wealthy and prominent figures. These included Barry Goldwater (no. 2804), Dwight Eisenhower (no. 3411), Frank Sinatra (no. 1884), and Liz Taylor (no. 3196).
This Spectacular example has had few owners from new having been originally shipped to Thompson Motors in Alliance, OH invoiced on 12/14/1955 (copy in the binder). We noted that the brass plate on the transmission tunnel was inscribed "Kutzger", who was most likely the original owner and there is a University of the Philippines sticker on the rear glass. Subsequent research turned up the following:
This car was originally purchased by Jack (Joseph Peter) Kutzger . A copy of the order is in the binder of records . Mr. Kutzger was from a wealthy New York family, enlisted in the Army and served in WWII as an Air Corps pilot. He was shot down over Germany where he remained until the wars end. He was next stationed in the Pacific and eventually the Philippines where he obtained a Masters Degree from the University of the Philippines before returning stateside. He continued government service with the Central Intelligence Agency after retiring from the Army as a Major. He and his wife Sammy Sue lived in Washington DC and later California, Maj Kutzger is buried in Arlington Cemetery. The Kutzgers showed the Mark II at numerous Lincoln National shows receiving several awards and were good friends of Jerry Capizzi. It is believed Sammy Sue sold the car somewhere between 1989 and 1995 in California. The Seller purchased the car at Auburn Fall 1998 with 18,234 actual miles after the car had been sold to a Charles Cawley at their Spring sale in Fort Lauderdale that year.
The car was sent to D&D Restorations in 1999 for sensitive restoration including a bare metal repaint, the front seat surfaces were replaced but the seat backs, rear seat upholstery, and carpet were left original due to their wonderful state of preservation. The car was used sparingly and presented at the 2007 Meadowbrook Concours where it received a Class Award. Remaining in this collection, the car was found to need mechanical work a few years back and the engine and transmission were completely rebuilt. The car remains in excellent running and driving condition, and even the A/C works properly.
The car is now offered for the first time in nearly 25 years with all books, tools, and records. This is an outstanding opportunity to acquire one of the finest Continental Mark IIs in existence .