Tag Archives: 1956

1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II Hardtop Coupe

The Lincoln Continental Mark II was the elite automobile of the 1950’s rich and famous: Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Louie Prima, Dwight Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, the Shah of Iran, and many other celebrities proudly owned and drove them.

1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II front

Debuting on October 5, 1955, the Continental Mark II carried a price tag of $10,000 – fifty percent more than the most costly Cadillac of the same year. With a long hood, short deck, and a trunk sculpted to hold the “continental” spare in a semi-upright position, the new Conti captured the proportions and sporty yet elegant spirit of its handsome predecessor, and it succeeded in becoming the “modern classic” that Ford officials had hoped for.

  • 368 ci overhead valve V-8 engine,
  • 285 HP,
  • three-speed Turbo Drive automatic transmission,
  • coil springs front and semi-elliptic leaf type rear,
  • four-wheel power assist hydraulic brakes 126” wheelbase

1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II  engine

The build quality for the Continental Mark II was impeccable, rivaling the careful construction lavished on cars like Rolls Royce. For instance, exterior chrome was subjected to a ten day salt spray test, and transmissions were tested prior to being attached to engines, and then the completed units were subjected to a rigorous dynamometer test. Front sheet metal was fitted to the body before final assembly and painting, and only lacquer was used in the painting process. Fourteen quality control stations were placed in the assembly plant at critical stages. When completed, each car was, of course, exhaustively road tested before release for delivery.

1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II interior

Much of the car was assembled by hand and with its high price and slow-moving production line, the Mark II was never expected to be a high-volume moneymaker for Ford, but it was instead intended to be the flagship for Lincoln’s re-entry into the luxury car field. It likely never made a penny for the company but succeeded admirably in establishing Lincoln in the top rank of U.S. made cars once again. Production for 1956 totaled only 1,325 cars, and all were hand built. Today the Continental Mark II has been designated a Milestone Car by the Milestone Car Society.

1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II  rear

Donning its original White exterior with the factory black leather interior, this example carries all of the standard amenities including power seats, power windows, power steering, power locks, factory tachometer and power brakes to further enhance the touring experience in this fine automobile. In addition, the only option available, air conditioning, was thankfully ordered, and it works perfectly. The original 285 HP engine and transmission power the Mark II to achieve modern highway speeds, and the comfortable cockpit is every bit the equal to the finest cars Europe ever offered. With only two years of total production, the Mark II instantly became a car in high demand and that demand has risen steadily to this day.

1956 Chevrolet Cameo Pickup

Although the 1956 Chevrolet Cameo was destined by price to never be a high volume seller, it is of crucial historical importance, bringing passenger-car styling elements into the truck world for the first time in a serious way. Today, every truck collector in the world would love to own a sweet Cameo.

56 Chevrolet Cameo

Chevy stepped up in the mid-1950’s, developing light truck with a “Modern Design for Modern Hauling.” Forward-slanting windshield pillars on the “Panoramic” wraparound windshield combined with a new upper cab structure, hooded headlamps and shapely wheel openings to form an all-new profile. Suddenly, trucks weren’t just for work anymore. Though the Cameo’s pickup box was a standard item, fiberglass rear fenders were built in the Corvette plant and broadened it to the same width as the front end, producing a smooth flow-through look. Chuck Jordan, former head of GM Design, earned credit for the design, a precursor to many generations of Chevy trucks.

1956 Chevrolet Cameo engine

  • 350 ci V-8 engine,
  • 250 HP,
  • 700-R overdrive automatic transmission,
  • independent front suspension,
  • rear semi-elliptic leaf springs,
  • 114” wheelbase

 

Much like Chevy’s cars of the day, the Cameo sported an eggcrate grille, wraparound front bumper, and a third more glass than the previous 3100 Series. The interior also was more car-like — particularly the dashboard, which featured a fan-shaped speedometer and needle gauges, with a top finished in textured black to cut down on reflections. Even standard models had breathable two-tone upholstery, and the Cameo had a new frame, longer leaf springs, wider track, and a two-inch-shorter, 114-inch wheelbase.

1956 Chevrolet Cameo side

The Cameo we photographed in Houston is simply stunning in Bombay Ivory with Red accents throughout, with the 2-tone motif extending from the bed to the art-deco dash. The paint and bodywork is impeccable, with crisp paint lines, fresh trim bits, and excellent panel gaps. Even the rubber trim and glass are in as-new condition, with the chrome and all polished fittings following suit.

1956 Chevrolet Cameo interior

The bed of this truck is just as nice, with the original wood highlighted by a vibrant red bed and those hand laid-up white fiberglass fenders that caused such a stir. The smooth tailgate and ultra-cool rear end may not have been designed for farm use, but today, this truck-in-a-tuxedo is prized for its landmark design and upscale image. Driving the finest “gentleman’s pickup” from the 50’s is quite an experience, but this fine Cameo takes it over the top, providing the owner with unique style and great road manners to proudly enjoy.

1956 Chevrolet Cameo rear