This is a very special 1956 Continental Mark II with only 14,185 MILES that was in long term ownership from the Late Great Country Western Star “Roy Clark” for nearly 40 years! Roy Clark purchased this car in 1980 and is still in his name on a 1980 Title. Roy Clark was an American country musician who was an active musician from 1950 right up to his death in 2018. He was best known for his role as host on Hee Haw, and he was often affiliated with Johnny Carson.
His musical expertise is in guitar, banjo, vocals, fiddle, harmonica, and mandolin. Clark is a member of the Grand Ole Opry as well as the Country Music Hall of Fame. He started playing banjo, mandolin, and guitar when he was fourteen years old and won two National Banjo Championships by the time he was fifteen. Clark is a jack of all trades with his experience in baseball, boxing, piloting, music, and acting. He signed to Capitol Records in 1963 and later to Dot Records, ABC Records and MCA Records. He opened the Roy Clark Celebrity Theater in Branson, Missouri 1983, and he has endorsed Gretsch, Mosrite, and Heritage Guitars. He can be seen in films such as Matilda, Country Comes Home, Uphill All the Way, Freeway, Gordy, and Palo Pinto Gold. In 1982, Clark won a Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance for “Alabama Jubilee.”
The demise of the first Lincoln Continental is attributed to Ford’s poor financial condition in the post-war era. It had been the vision of Henry Ford’s talented son Edsel, and the design was perfected by designer Eugene ‘Bob’ Gregorie and built between 1939 and 1948. Plans for a replacement continued with styling proposals failing to gain corporate approval in the late 1940s. By the early 1950s, Ford’s financial prospects had improved, and another prototype was shown by the newly formed Special Product Operations committee, which in 1955 was renamed the Continental Group. William Clay Ford, the youngest of Edsel Ford’s son, was manager. The design team was headed by Edsel Ford who had been tasked with creating America’s most elegant and opulent personal luxury car. These elite automobiles were two-door personal luxury cars with a European flair.
The Continental Group unveiled the Mark II in 1955 at the Paris Motor Show. In the front was a hood-mounted four-point star, which would later become the Lincoln emblem. The paint was wet sanded, double-lacquered, and polished to a shine industrial painting techniques could simply not achieve. Power was from a 368 cubic-inch V8 engine offering 300 horsepower and mated to a Turbo-Drive automatic transmission. The cars were predominantly handmade which accounted for a list price of $10,000. Ford originally planned to build about 2,000 Mark IIs a year for five years. Just 2,550 were built in 1956 (some sources state 1956 production of only 1,325) followed by 444 in 1957. It is believed that approximately 1,500 examples are still in existence.
Of the 444 built-in 1957, only 98 were built with optional air conditioning. Power steering, brakes, windows and seats, Town and Country radio, and wide Whitewall tires were standard.
The Mark II sprung forth from the upmarket Continental division and was its only product. It was an ultra-luxury car in every sense of the term, being handbuilt, stacked with every conceivable feature and amenity, and intended to compete with the likes of the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. Every Mark II was assembled to order, and it’s said that each Mark II may have cost as much as twice its retail price of $9966—roughly the same as the Silver Cloud—to produce, although some estimates of its unprofitability are more charitable, at $1000 lost per car.
The Mark II’s standard equipment included an OEM radio, power windows (including the vents), power brakes and steering, dual heaters, the finest leathers and fabrics, and power seats. The car shown here carries the only option available from the factory, the $595 air-conditioning system.
Famous owners of the Continental Mark II included Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Dwight Eisenhower, and Nelson Rockefeller ELizabeth Taylor, Roy Clark and many more.
This car is in amazing condition and pictures do not do it justice.