Warren Wubker's 1956 Continental Mark II
(from Volume 21, Issue 251)

story by owner Warren Wubker, photos by Michael B. Kelly


Much of the time my car is erroneously called a ‘Lincoln Continental’, because for the two years the Mark II was built, 1956-1957, Continental was a separate division of Ford Motor Co. The Mark II had its own manufacturing facility. Most of the car was hand-built to an exacting standard, including the application of multiple coats of lacquer, hand sanding, and polishing to perfection. In fact, the Mark II was even shipped in its own fleece-lined cover to dealers.

Powering the 1956 Continental Mark II is a 368 cubic inch V-8 that generates 285 horsepower. It is a 1956 Lincoln engine, that were specifically selected from the assembly line, disassembled, minutely inspected and reassembled after being individually hand-balanced. It was connected to an also specially tested “Turbo-Drive” three-speed Lincoln automatic transmission.

Among features of the low, sleek Mark II is a chassis that dips low between the wheels and allows a lower center of gravity for better handling and comfortable, chair-high seats while allowing a lower roofline at 56 inches. The Mark II has a 126 inch wheelbase, stretches 218.4 inches long, and a hood stretching to 70 inches. The Mark II with A/C weighs in at 5,190 pounds.

The Mark II interior is simple and elegant. It contains top grain leathers and thick, luxurious carpeting. It is loaded with power accessories. There are even dual heaters. The only option was air conditioning which this car has.
The original price of the Mark II with A/C was $10,430. That was more than the 1956 Rolls Royce, over twice as much as a Cadillac, and more than 4.5 times the cost of the most expensive Ford. Even then, Ford lost about $1,000 on each one. Only 2,600 Mark II’s were built in 1956. Famous owners included Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Nelson Rockefeller and a cross section of the richest men in America.

I acquired this Mark II from its original owners in Salt Lake City in 2007. The car had a repaint, the rest was original and in good shape. Not a hint of rust. I shipped the car to a supposed ‘expert’ in Mark II restorations. A case of colossal bad judgement. After two years of ‘restoration’, the car was in pieces when I was called by an attorney to come rescue what I could find as the shop was being forced into bankruptcy auction. With the help of some friends we scoured a dark facility consisting of multiple two story buildings, along with other car owners in the same predicament, until the deputies chased us out and locked the buildings. Many parts were never found, but worse, all of the original service documentation was never found.

I took the chassis, body and parts to a shop I had heard about, Harbor Auto Restoration, in Rockledge. The final result is everything I had dreamed about. My Mark II is a Lincoln Continental Club (LCOC) 100 point car, winner of the William Clay Ford Trophy, an AACA Grand National winner, Best of Class at Winter Park, Boca Raton and Lake Mirror Concours, along with other honors like the Chip Foose Award at Disney’s Car Masters. -Warren Wubker