Under the Hood: The Engineering Visuals of 1956 Continental Mark II

It is only fitting to commence this video feature with an image of William Clay Ford, the driving force behind the Continental Mark II. As the son of Edsel Ford, grandson of Henry Ford, and the father of the current Chairman of the Board, William Clay Ford Jr., Bill Ford played a pivotal role in leading the newly established Continental Division. This division had a singular mission: to create the Continental Mark II, distinctly branded as a Continental rather than a Lincoln.

At the young age of 27, Bill Ford assembled a team of automotive talents at the Continental Division, including chief stylist John Reinhart, chief engineer Harley Copp, and body engineer Gordon Buehrig, all featured in this original Ford film. Despite his initial dream of becoming a stylist himself, family responsibilities steered him in a different direction. The Mark II was conceived as a tribute to the original 1939 Lincoln Continental, one of Edsel Ford’s most exquisite creations. Bill Ford ensured that the Mark II would be a testament to the Ford family’s pride.

Although the Mark II did not achieve financial success, with each unit costing significantly more to build than its nearly $10,000 list price, it was far from a failure. The project accomplished precisely what Bill Ford and the Ford family aimed for: to produce the finest automobile within the capabilities of the Ford Motor Company. The original Continental Division film below provides insights into this remarkable story.

In conclusion, William Clay Ford’s leadership, coupled with the dedication of a talented team at the Continental Division, brought the Continental Mark II to life. Despite its financial challenges, the Mark II achieved its primary goal of embodying the highest standards of automotive excellence set by the Ford family. The legacy of this endeavor remains a testament to the commitment to craftsmanship and innovation within the Ford Motor Company.

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