Ford Motor Company was squarely aiming at Bentley and Rolls-Royce when it produced an exclusive, hand-built luxury car. Just two years later, those aspirations were scaled back to be more in line with prestige models from Cadillac and Imperial. Today’s feature car is from those lofty years.
“This car reflects the upkeep, protection, and loving care it has had in my possession for the past 30 years,” the listing begins. “I have driven it approximately three days a week.”
The Continental has spanned a wide range of segments, but it has almost always catered to the luxury marketplace. Unlike some other models, its production has not been continuous. In fact, there have been several gaps in model years since the nameplate was first introduced for 1940.
This Mark II comes from the second generation (thus the name), which launched at the end of 1955. The hand-built model was positioned so far upscale that its price tag at the time (around $10,000) was by far the highest of any domestic manufacturer. Standard amenities from the factory were extensive, so the only available option was a $595 air conditioning system (which today’s feature car has). This generation of Continental was only offered as a two-door hardtop.
The seller states that the car is “strictly stock,” except for a modern radio and an alternator, which replaces the factory generator. The condition of the car looks exceptional in the photos that accompany the listing, but the seller acknowledges that this is not a trailer queen. “It has always been garaged,” the listing says. “It has always been a California car and bears the original plates.”
Power for the ’57 Continental came from a 368cid Y-block V8, and the seller says that everything works including the air conditioning system. The seller is willing to provide contact information for the mechanic who has serviced the car for the last three decades.
While Ford Motor Company’s attempt at going after ultra-high-end brands was short-lived, the engineers did learn a thing or two from the experience, which trickled down into the decidedly downmarket 1958-60 Lincoln Continental.