Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022
When Lincoln (well, Ford), spun Continental off as a separate marque for 1956, the new company’s goal was to build the best car in America. And they did. The price reflected it too as the two-door Mark II cost $10,000 when new. In 1956. Which made it the most expensive American car you could get at that point.
Because they were so expensive, the product line made Ford rethink the whole thing pretty quickly. The model was only around for two years, with a combined production of just 3,005 units. And only one of those was a convertible. This one.
Ford sent this Mark II to Derham in Pennsylvania to figure out how to make a drop-top out of the car, as the range was supposed to expand to other body styles. But never did, which is a shame as this car looks GREAT with the top down.
After the show circuit, it became the personal car of Martha Firestone-Ford, wife of Continental head William Clay Ford. Before she received it, the mechanicals were updated to 1957-spec. The unrestored-but-repainted car is powered by a 300-horsepower, 6.0-liter V8.
Post-Ford ownership included a brief stint with a Ford employee before remaining with one family for over 60 years. It’s now offered without reserve. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hampton, New Hampshire | June 23-24, 2018
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
It all changed for Lincoln in 1940. They were among the first to really move into the “modern” era of automobiles. The Model K that dated to 1931 was out of production and the Lincoln-Zephyr and Continental were on sale. These were clean, modern-looking designs and the Continental was just stellar.
In December of 1941, everything changed. America was at war and automobile production was about be put on hold for years. Very few 1942 model year cars were built in the U.S. The 1942 Continental was the rarest of the pre-war Continentals with just 136 Cabriolets and 200 Coupes built.
All were powered by a 4.8-liter V-12 that made 130 horsepower. The restoration on this car is described as “older” but “well-preserved.” It’s known to have been part of quite a few collections over the years and comes out of the Dingman Collection after only about 18 months as a part of it. See more about this car here and more about this collection here.
Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 5-7, 2018
Photo – Mecum
Here is one of the loveliest American cars of all time. When it was released in 1956, it was the most expensive car sold in America. In 1956 the base price was $10,400 – the same as a Rolls-Royce and double the price of a Cadillac. And this was no Lincoln. Ford knew they were making a special car and created the Continental Division to produce this car under a separate marque.
It was so opulent that it only lasted two years, through 1957. It’s powered by a 285 horsepower, 6.0-liter V-8 (the ’57s got 300 horsepower). While Mark IIs look best in white (opinion) I really love this 1950s pastel blue with wide whitewalls. The interior is the same shade of blue, mixed with white.
In beautiful condition, this Mark II was once owned by socialite Lolita Armour. It’s one of just 2,550 examples built in 1956 and one of only 2,996 built in total. They’re rare, but they’re around. Click here for more info on this one and here for more from Mecum in Houston.
Update: Not sold, high bid of $42,000.
Update: Not sold, Mecum Indy 2018, high bid of $35,000.
Update: Not sold, Mecum Harrisburg 2018, high bid of $40,000.
1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback by Franay
Offered by RM Auctions | Monaco | May 10, 2014
Photo – RM Auctions
The Bentley R-Type was introduced in 1952 to replace the Mark VI, which was Bentley’s first Post-War car. The R-Type Continental was a two-door variant of the R-Type with increased power. It is significantly rarer and more sought after.
The aforementioned power comes from a 4.6-liter straight-six making 178 horsepower, which is about 45 more than the standard R-Type. Bentley R-Type Fastbacks are pretty popular, but most (all but 15) were coachbuilt by Mulliner. This one was built in France by Franay.
It is one of only three Franay Fastback Continentals and one of only five Franay-bodied R-Type Continentals in total. And it is one of two that are left-hand drive. This car has undergone a recent (date unknown) mechanical restoration and is ready to run. Of the 2,323 R-Types built before production ended in 1955, only 207 were Continentals. And this is one of the best of them. The pre-sale estimate is $1,000,000-$1,400,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest or RM’s Monaco lineup.
RM Auctions recently held a reserve-less auction of the Dingman Collection in Hampton, New Hampshire. There were a lot of 1940s-era Ford’s – a lot of woodies too. Our feature car, the 1947 Ford Super Deluxe Sportsman Convertible sold for $253,000. The top sale was a 1936 Ford Custom Cabriolet with a coachbuilt body by Glaser. It bettered the upper end of its reserve by more than $100,000, selling for $396,000.
The next biggest sale was also the top-selling Lincoln – a 1938 Lincoln-Zephyr Coupe. As one of the all-time great automotive designs, it commanded a premium at $330,000.