The design brief for the Continental Mark II embodied the spirit of Edsel Ford, who had died in 1943: Create the world’s most luxurious, carefully crafted, mass-produced automobile. Simply put, but not easily done. The result was one of the automotive world’s most memorable vehicles, and it unveiled to much fanfare at the Paris Auto Show on October 6, 1955.
While most carmakers during the 50’s experimented with flashy fins and chrome-laden styling, the Continental Mark II aimed for the simple, graceful lines reminiscent of European design. The refined beauty of the new Continental evoked the spirit of its predecessor while literally making a name for itself, as very quickly became known as, simply, the Mark II.
It sold for around $10,000 USD, about the same cost as a Rolls Royce at the time. This price tag was a result of the Mark II’s incredibly high standards of quality and craftsmanship. Paint was applied multiple times, sanded, double lacquered and hand-polished. Every component was machined to the highest tolerances in the industry. Its top-grain leather was specially sourced from Scotland’s Bridge of Weir for its superior, vat-dyed color.
It’s the same leather that’s used on our vehicles today. Because the standard the Mark II set for luxury and attention to detail is one that we continue to aspire to at Lincoln.