The Continental Division, led by William Clay Ford, had a simple yet lofty goal: create the ultimate luxury flagship, no expense spared. The Mark II, Continental’s only offering, exceeded expectations with its understated yet striking design by John Reinhart and Gordon Buehrig, hand-crafted build quality, and a jaw-dropping $10,000 price tag that made it the most expensive car produced in America at the time.
Originally planned to include a four-door limousine and fabric-top and hardtop convertibles, only the two-door sedan made it to production due to high costs and limited volume. However, this 1956 Continental Mark II Convertible, commissioned by Ford when production prospects were brighter, offers a glimpse of what could have been. Built by the renowned Derham Body Company, the stunning convertible design seamlessly integrates a functional soft top without sacrificing the Mark II’s sleek profile.
Debuting in white with a white and red interior at the Texas State Fair in October 1956, the convertible prototype was met with immense appeal, but sadly, the Mark II was discontinued after the 1957 model year and the Continental marque was merged back into Lincoln, leaving this prototype as the sole example of its kind.
Source: RM Sotheby’s