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1958 Continental Mark III w/suicide doors


Barry Wolk

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Interesting to see how they utilized existing parts to make a new model. This appears to be a plan to offer a Continental 4 door alongside the 2 door, using the original 1956 body.

This would give them something new to sell at a minimal cost for tooling.

Evidently the idea went noplace. Instead they scrapped the Continental and replaced it with the new 4 seater Thunderbird which had a lot of Continental overtones, plus the 4 door Continental Mark III based on the regular Lincoln 4 door hardtop with extra trim.

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They should have built it. It would have to have been better looking than the cars they built in 1958-60. As for the 1958 Edsel, especially the Citation models, they were a sight better looking than the Lincolns even if they did have a horse collar grille.

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Barry, do you know the level of involement Gordon Buehrig had with the Continental and subsequent Lincoln Continental designs? I do not own a copy of his book "Rolling Sculpture" , but I am aware of some renderings in it from the era. I am aware of his earlier work for Ford but would be curious about this. interesting how close coupled sort of suicide door design which was later adopted really seems to fit the car.

Thanks for sharing!

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  • 1 month later...

Quad headlamps would have really ruined the looks of the Continental Mk II body. That may have been the reason they decided not to build it. I agree in 1958 quad headlights would have had to be incorporated.

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Holy Cow! Where on earth did you get those plans of the 1958 Continental Berline?

And how can I get a copy? I'm almost falling off my chair in shock.

Mark

My dad, Elmer Rohn, got them, he worked for Continental Division after being recruited from Fisher Body.

We showed them to Barry several years ago and finally got them over to him so he could get them coped to share with others.

my mom still has the original leather bound presentation book (cover):

IMG_0766.jpg

more info over at the mark II forum:

http://www.markiiforum.com

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PM sent. However, I'm finding that this is a different car than the one Gordon B. called the Berline. Ford never called it that.

PM received and I will act on it tomorrow. BTW, according to the book

"Ford Design Department - Concept and Show Cars 1939-1961" by

Jim & Cheryl Ferrell, the Mark III in your plans bears a very strong

resemblance to the alternate proposal for Mark III Berline's styling (See

attached photos),although both the chosen design and the alternate

were very similar. Many, many thanks!

Mark Curatolo

post-33584-143138246738_thumb.jpg

post-33584-14313824675_thumb.jpg

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Strong, yes, but not the same. The headlights in the picture above and in the sectional drawing set are the same size and the Berline does not have them. The Berlone is more slab-sided while the Mark III more closely follows the Mark II.

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My dad, Elmer Rohn, got them, he worked for Continental Division after being recruited from Fisher Body.

We showed them to Barry several years ago and finally got them over to him so he could get them coped to share with others.

my mom still has the original leather bound presentation book (cover):

IMG_0766.jpg

more info over at the mark II forum:

http://www.markiiforum.com

Thanks for the info. The stretched Mark II based Mark III that you

showed must have been planned before it was decided to base

the 1958 Lincolns and Continentals on a unit body. Very interesting.

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Strong, yes, but not the same. The headlights in the picture above and in the sectional drawing set are the same size and the Berline does not have them. The Berlone is more slab-sided while the Mark III more closely follows the Mark II.

I thought you might like to see what the final Mark III Berline styling

looked like. They got as far as the wooden die model of this design

before the Ford bean counters decided to make the 1958 Mark III

a slightly modified Lincoln.

post-33584-143138246947_thumb.jpg

post-33584-143138246958_thumb.jpg

post-33584-143138246962_thumb.jpg

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I believe that these prints were for a different project. This headlight bezel cross section seems to more closely match the green picture.

This print is dated March of '56. That would be about right for final drawings for a '58, correct?

Binder1_Page_26.jpg

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I believe that these prints were for a different project. This headlight bezel cross section seems to more closely match the green picture.

This print is dated March of '56. That would be about right for final drawings for a '58, correct?

Binder1_Page_26.jpg

If the car in your plans had a 131" wheelbase and a unit body,

then it was probably the same project that I posted pictures of.

The differences seem to be variations on the same theme.

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BOF and 132" wheelbase. See drawings in original post.

Different car than you pictured.

I could be wrong, but the the Mark III in the first post was designed

before it was decided to change Lincoln and Continental from BOF

to Unit construction. According to "Ford Design Department - Concepts

and Show Cars", after that change was made, the plan originally was for

the two cars to share the same unit chassis but have different sheet metal.

After the wooden die model for the Mark III was completed and the design

was presented to Ford management in early in 1956, the Mark III project

was canceled so as not to spend money on two different bodies. The

date on the headlight plan you posted (3-22-56) seems to fit with this

time line. I'm posting the following pictures to show you what I mean.

1) The BOF Mark III

2) The Mark III profile from your plans

3) The Unit body Mark III final clay model

4) The Unit body Mark III wooden die model

post-33584-143138248431_thumb.jpg

post-33584-143138248433_thumb.jpg

post-33584-143138248434_thumb.jpg

post-33584-143138248435_thumb.jpg

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I disagree. Sectional drawings are done after the buck, correct? The buck changes until it reaches its final form and the drawings are made from that. Isn't that correct? Or do I have it backwards?

I believe that this car was clearly BOF.

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I disagree. Sectional drawings are done after the buck, correct? The buck changes until it reaches its final form and the drawings are made from that. Isn't that correct? Or do I have it backwards?

I believe that this car was clearly BOF.

Generally, after the clay model is completed, templates and dimensions

are taken from it as a basis for the design drawings and the wooden

die model. The die model is traced by a device which transfers and mills its'

contours into prototype stamping dies. These dies would be used to

produce the body panels to construct a running prototype car. Any changes

to the design after this point would have to be minor because the next

step is producing the dies for mass production.

BTW, do your plans show a chassis? That would answer the question of

BOF vs Unit.

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I could be wrong, but the the Mark III in the first post was designed

before it was decided to change Lincoln and Continental from BOF

to Unit construction. According to "Ford Design Department - Concepts

and Show Cars", after that change was made, the plan originally was for

the two cars to share the same unit chassis but have different sheet metal.

After the wooden die model for the Mark III was completed and the design

was presented to Ford management in early in 1956, the Mark III project

was canceled so as not to spend money on two different bodies. The

date on the headlight plan you posted (3-22-56) seems to fit with this

time line. I'm posting the following pictures to show you what I mean.

1) The BOF Mark III

Which is actually a proposed Continental Mark II 4 door

see title of picture below:

attachment.php?attachmentid=231&d=1255800707

2) The Mark III profile from your plans

3) The Unit body Mark III final clay model

4) The Unit body Mark III wooden die model

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This appears to be the car in the drawings.

LCMarkIIIprototype12-08.jpg

The clay model for the Mark III was revised many times before the

final design was decided upon. This looks like an early version with

a lot of Mark II overtones. It still would have looked better than

what they really built.

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  • 6 years later...
On July 5, 2010 at 11:36 AM, Jim Rohn said:

My dad, Elmer Rohn, got them, he worked for Continental Division after being recruited from Fisher Body.

We showed them to Barry several years ago and finally got them over to him so he could get them coped to share with others.

my mom still has the original leather bound presentation book (cover):

IMG_0766.jpg

more info over at the mark II forum:

http://www.markiiforum.com

 

We will be looking for a forever home for this item as I continue to thin the massive stash my dad accumulated. PM me through this site

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