1957 Lincoln Continental Mark IISOLD
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Estimate: $80,000-$120,000 US

Offered Without Reserve

$39,600 Sold

Specifications:
300bhp, 368 cu. in. V8 engine, four-barrel Carter carburetor, Turbo-Drive automatic transmission and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 126"

In the 1950s, Americans expected a luxury car to be weighed down by chrome, set off by a high contrast two- tone paint scheme and space age inspired styling elements. In contrast, the Mark II was a long and low car with proportions similar to the first generation Thunderbird but enlarged, all the while paying homage to the Continental of the 1940s with the trunk lid molded to the shape of the spare tire concealed within. Under the four-pointed star mounted on the hood, which would later become the Lincoln emblem, rested a 300 horsepower, 368 cubic inch V8 and a three-speed automatic transmission.

Predominantly handmade, the Mark II was a product of exceptional craftsmanship. The paint was wet sanded, double-lacquered and polished to a shine industrial painting techniques could simply not achieve. Only the very finest materials were used throughout and the instrumentation displayed the precision of a finely crafted watch.

Conceived as the apex of automotive fashion, its public debut at the Paris Motor Show of 1955 was fitting. Before the car had been publicly released, 1,300 examples were sold with only another 1,250 sold during its first year of production. Only 450 were produced in 1959, making the total production of the Mark II only 3,000 examples strong. With a price tag equaling a Rolls-Royce, the Mark II shared the same type of customers ľ the rich and famous. Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Nelson Rockefeller were all proud owners of the Mark II as was President Dwight D. Eisenhower, to whom the example presented here first belonged.

The 1957 Lincoln Continental was leased to President Eisenhower, when he started his second term in office, for use at his ranch in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. At the end of the lease the car was returned to Ford, and was subsequently purchased by a Mr. Jim MacAlarney, a Director of Plant Engineering for the Ford Motor Company. The next owner of the Continental Mark II was MacAlarney ĺ s boss, Peter H. Ponta, an Executive Director at Ford for many years. In 1980, Ponta sold the car to a Mr. Fred Pillsbury of St. Louis, Missouri. The next known owner was Mr. Robert Gibson of Ponca City, Oklahoma, from whom Mr. Wiseman acquired the Mark II in 2003.

Included with the car is a letter of authenticity signed by Peter H. Ponta dated October, 1980 attesting to the ownership history listed above.

Today, the Eisenhower Continental Mark II remains in totally unrestored original condition. The white paintwork displays signs of ageing with some bubbling, several areas of touch up, and minor to moderate scratches. The right front fender appears to have been repaired, and there is some discoloration of the paint over an area that spans approximately 18 inches. The interior is upholstered in white and maroon leather and shows significant cracking as a result of having dried out. The rear seat area is in markedly better condition than the front seats having seen much less use. Aside from the dry cracking of the leather seats, the rest of the interior is impressively well-preserved, showing relatively few imperfections. Being an unrestored car with 29,159 original miles recorded on the odometer, there is evidence of use under the hood and throughout the underside of the Lincoln.

Altogether, being 50 years old, and having never been restored, the condition of the Eisenhower Mark II is commendable. With presidential ownership, and as a totally original example, this Continental Mark II would be an outstanding addition to an automotive museum or a collection of historically important motor cars.

Reference Number 15010

as of 11/4/2007

Overview
Car 1957 Lincoln Continental Mark II
VIN C56K3411 
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