The Continental Mark II Introduction
A few years back I wrote about my love for the Mark II in this feature. Since that time, a good buddy of mine has started building one along with the help of another pal – Gary Howard. It will, without doubt, be the best Continental to ever grace the planet.
And that’s saying something because the Continental was pretty damned special right off the hand attended assembly line. In my opinion, it’s really the only 50’s era car that got its charm by way of subtraction rather than addition. There are no fins, there is no stainless trim to speak of, there is no big and flashy bright work or two-toned paint. It’s just a long and simple line with graceful transitions and a perfect profile.
If you really look at the car, it looks like something an era cartoonist would have drawn to represent a rich wolf or something Pixar would illustrate for The Incredibles. It’s just so damned modern and idealic and… well, perfect.
If you stare long enough, you start to wonder what a customizer could do to make it any better. George Barris tried and, in my opinion, failed terribly. Others have tried as well with various levels of success. One that I really admire is the ’56 owned by Aussie John Cook:
Cook’s car is special mostly because he left it alone. He gave it a stance, he shaved it, he added the really tasteful two-tone, he… Well, he left it what it was. And to me, that’s the key.
Anyway, this was all spawned by a video I stumbled upon the other day. It’s the footage that Ford used to introduce the Continental to the world. I had never seen it before and figured you guys might enjoy it:
Ohh… and as a bonus, here’s some more footage from Ford covering the making of the 1956 Continental Mark II: