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Thread: Lincoln Continental Mark II 1956-1957

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    Lincoln Continental Mark II 1956-1957

    Last edited by Man of Steel; 02-05-2022 at 03:29 PM.

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    Lincoln Continental Mark II #2
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 02-05-2022 at 03:29 PM.

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    The Continental Mark series (later Lincoln Mark series) is a series of personal luxury cars that was produced by Ford Motor Company. The nomenclature came into use with the Continental Mark II for 1956, which was a successor to the Lincoln Continental of 1939–1948. Following the discontinuation of the Mark II, Ford continued the use of the Mark series on Continental branded vehicles from 1958 to 1960. Following a hiatus, Lincoln-Mercury relaunched the Continental Mark series during 1968 and would produce six successive generations through the 1998 model year.

    Serving as the flagship vehicle of Ford Motor Company for its entire production, the Mark series continued the use of Continental branding positioned above Lincoln after the Continental Division was discontinued following the 1957 model year (distinct from the 1961 and onward Lincoln Continental); it was marketed and serviced by Lincoln-Mercury. To eliminate the branding confusion, the Mark series adopted the Lincoln name from the 1986 model year onward. In line with both the 1940s Lincoln Continental and the Continental Mark II, most versions of the Mark series were produced as two-door coupes (personal cars); at various times through its production, various body styles have also been offered for the model line. With the exception of the nearly hand-built Continental Mark II, the model line has shared chassis underpinnings with other Ford or Lincoln-Mercury vehicles, with model-specific interior and exterior body panels.

    Derived from the original Lincoln Continental, the continental tire trunklid design feature was adopted by each generation (in various forms) from the Continental Mark II to the final Lincoln Mark VIII. The Lincoln four-point star emblem is a design feature that was introduced by the Continental Mark II.

    After the 1998 model year, Lincoln ended the Mark series with the Mark VIII, as the division shifted away from personal luxury cars to concentrate on four-door sedans and SUVs. From 2007 to 2020, Lincoln introduced a visually-similar "MK" prefix for its sedans; the nomenclature was phased out in favor of conventional names (or model lines dropped altogether).

    From 1958 to 1998, Mark series vehicles were produced alongside Lincolns by Wixom Assembly at Wixom, Michigan.

    Background
    Prior to the Continental/Lincoln Mark series, within Ford Motor Company, the Continental nameplate began life in 1939, following the design of a custom-built Lincoln-Zephyr convertible commissioned by Edsel Ford. Modified extensively over a production vehicle, the personal car had a lowered hoodline, a relocated passenger compartment (requiring an external-mount spare tire), and deletion of the running boards. Upon taking delivery of the car in Florida, Ford discovered the vehicle generated a high degree of interest from potential buyers; renamed Continental by Ford, the name reflected European styling influences for its design.

    At the end of the 1930s, Lincoln was transitioning away from the exclusive Lincoln K-series and moving towards the more contemporary and affordable Lincoln-Zephyr coupes and sedans. As a flagship, Edsel Ford wanted to revive the popularity of the 1929–1932 Lincoln Victoria coupe and convertible with an updated approach, reflecting European styling influences.

    For 1949, the Lincoln Continental was discontinued, as Ford sought to introduce post-war model lines for all three of its divisions. In 1952, the company commenced design work on a successor model line; following the 1953 introduction of the limited-production Cadillac Eldorado, Buick Skylark, and Oldsmobile Fiesta, Ford also sought to create a competitor, aiming to make a model line as exclusive as the 1930s K-series.

    As its new model line was to be one of the most exclusive and expensive automobiles in the world, Ford chose to create a stand-alone division slotted above Lincoln in 1955, the same year Chrysler introduced the Imperial Division. The namesake of the 1940s Lincoln Continental, the Continental Division named its model line the Mark II. Along with aligning it as a successor to the pre-war Lincoln Continental, the Mark II designation was a convention used by European industry; along with automobiles (i.e., Jaguar Mark 1), similar nomenclature was used to identify versions of artillery, tanks, naval vessels, and aircraft.

    In July 1956, Ford integrated Continental into Lincoln-Mercury, which marketed Continental as a marque slotted above Lincoln; the Mark II was withdrawn after the 1957 model year. From 1958 to 1960, Continental remained in a similar role, replacing the Mark II with the Mark III, Mark IV, and Mark V as flagship vehicles above the Lincoln sedan line.

    For 1961, Lincoln-Mercury consolidated the Lincoln model line with a singular Lincoln Continental replacing both the Continental Mark V and both Lincoln lines; the division would serve a single line of sedans through the 1976 model year.

    Continental Mark revival
    In response to the introduction of the two-door Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow (later renamed the Corniche) in the United States, Ford vice-president Lee Iacocca directed Ford vice president of design Gene Bordinat to "put a Rolls-Royce grille on a Thunderbird" in September 1965. Not branded a Lincoln, the all-new model line was effectively a reboot of the Continental Mark series, adopting the Continental Mark III nomenclature as a direct successor to Continental Mark II (leaving the 1958–1960 Mark series aside). In line with the design directive, the Mark III adopted a large radiator-style grille and was a large two-door coupe (using the frame of the four-door Thunderbird). While no longer intended as a functional feature, the Continental spare-tire trunklid made its return as a styling feature to further distinguish the model line.

    While less expensive than its Rolls-Royce design inspiration, the Mark III competed against premium luxury coupes from American manufacturers, including the Imperial Crown Coupe and the Cadillac Eldorado; the latter two model lines formed a model rivalry lasting through multiple model generations.

    Following the Mark III, Ford developed five successive generations of the model line. During the 1970s, the Mark IV and the Mark V shared a chassis with the Ford Thunderbird through 1976; the Mark V was a substantial revision of the Mark IV. The 1980 Mark VI was the first model to undergo downsizing, adopting the full-size Ford Panther platform; a four-door sedan was offered for the first time since 1958–1960. The Mark VII was downsized further for 1984, sharing the Ford Fox platform with the Ford Thunderbird, Mercury Cougar and Lincoln Continental sedan; the model was offered only as a coupe. The Lincoln Mark VIII grew slightly in size for 1993, derived again from the Ford Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar.

    Source: Wikipedia
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 02-05-2022 at 03:11 PM.

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    Lincoln Continental Mark II #4

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    Lincoln Continental Mark II #5
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