Built to the special order of Henry Ford II for his wife, C56A1762 was delivered at the factory on November 21, 1955. Unique to D.S.O. #56C-37 were the special combination of interior trim choices and the one-off black canvas top over metal. All power features were standard equipment on the Mark IIs with the only standard option being air conditioning with tinted glass. Notice the air intakes atop the quarter panels.
The restoration of this one-of-a-kind Continental has required several years of often challenging effort and appears today exactly as it was delivered.
The car remains powered by the regular production 368 cubic-inch 285 horsepower, Y-block it shared with Lincoln products.
The 1956-57 Continental was styled by a team, which included John reinhart, William Clay Ford, and Gordon Buehrig. The car was given a classic long hood/short deck profile along with a simulated spare tire bulge on the deck lid - a subtle reminder of its predecessor, the luxurious Lincoln Continental of 1940-48. To further differentiate the model, Ford established a separate Continental division to add exclusivity to the luxury marque.
Drivetrain items were machined to high tolerances and heavily tested. Each chassis was tuned and tested before mounting the body, which demanded 60 hours of metal finishing - five times that of the typical car. Once all the testing and inspections were completed, the cars were shipped in fleece-lined cover and wrapped in a plastic bag. Priced at $10,000 per copy, Ford spent millions in engineering reportedly losing money on each one sold. Just 2,550 Mark IIs were delivered in 1956 with another 444 in 1957 before being discontinued.Also photographed at :