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'56 Mark II needing resto. WIW?


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Interesting car that just came up for sale. Estate sale. I've always wanted one of these, but have never been able to afford the time & money. What do you experts think of this one? Parts car or restore? Value vs. buying a decent driver say low#2 or #3 condition?

1956 Lincoln Continental MK II Coupe - Renfrew Collector Cars For Sale - Kijiji Renfrew Canada.

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If you're worried about "affording" one of these, then even if someone gave you the car you won't be able to afford restoring it. Financially it is much better to buy one that needs little if anything than it is to restore one. Even if you did ALL the work yourself on this one, you'd have $30,000-40,000 just in supplies, parts, chrome, paint, upholstery, tires, replacing missing parts, etc. Unless you plan on using rattle-can chrome and potato-sack upholstery, etc....

This car is for the hobbyist who gets his thrill by bringing something back from the dead. The good part is that it will be a very stylish ride once it's finished. The bad part is they are plentiful enough where it makes better financial sense to buy better.

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Thanks West. Even at $3500 it's cheaper to buy a decent driver than resurrect this one. That's what I figured, but they are very tempting at that price! You know, buy it now, stuff it in the back of a barn and hope to get to it before I croak or go broke!

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No. Leave it up to the owner.

Lincolns, ever since time began, have been an extremely good buy. They have always lagged behind the rest of the luxury car market. For enthusiasts, that is a good thing because they always seem to be affordable. If you go back into the Classic era, you can buy a similar custom-bodied Lincoln for sometimes half as much as the same body on a Packard or Cadillac. Yet, the car has no apologies to make for quality.

Take for instance a Lincoln Continental from 1946-48. About half the value as a Cadillac or Packard.

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Run, do not walk, away from this one as a restoration project. Mark IIs will eat you alive in restoration costs with so few suppliers. However, hubcaps are $2,000 a set if in great shape and rocker strips can go for $1,200 if straight.

I see that that has the factory-installed tow-bar. :)

Got a serial number for our Registry? Maybe somebody famous owned it. That's the only way you'd ever recover your costs.

All you'd ever want to know about Mark IIs.

http://markiiforum.com

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If you want a Mark in nice to very nice driver condition and good colors (Black, red int) check with CT poster "Daytona" in buy sell section, post is a week or so old. I have seen the car and you would be way ahead of the game to go that route.

While I wholeheartedly agree with others here it sure would be nice to see someone save this one - it just would not be me if I was weighing my options...

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Looks like a parts car to me. Maybe a $1,000 max.

Not on this car, the parts are too valuable. My 2009 price guide lists a Mark II parts car at $3,320, and a "restorable" condition car at almost exactly $10,000. Both of those numbers assume a more or less complete car, which may not be the case here. If it were just a Lincoln parts car from the same year $1000 would be about right.

For reference a #2 condition Mark II is worth about $58,000. A #3 would set you back about $37,000, or roughly just the cost of supplies as West accurately quoted.

So strictly as a financial equation it's almost (but not quite) a toss-up, assuming you do all the work yourself (well) and will enjoy it. An even bigger assumption is that the car you're buying for $3500 is complete and restorable, in which case it's a bargain that makes this work as a wash financially. It's all a matter of what you want to spend your time doing.

Edited by Dave@Moon (see edit history)
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From a strictly financial standpoint, very few cars are worth the cost of restoration, unless you can do everything yourself. Trust me, I restored cars for a vocation for quite a few years and know the hidden costs that most do not plan for. You can drop $10-$15k in paint with minimal body work. And that is just a start, chrome plating has gone thru the roof.

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I remember seeing one for sale that was all original near were I used to live back in the late 70's early 80's. It was sitting in the owners driveway with a FS sign for, IIRC, $9500. It looked like it was at least a good #2 and was more than likely being sold by the original owner at the time. I think it was a sort of a dark green color. It was in a north Downey CA neighborhood. I wish I had that kind of money to blow on a car back then. It was certainly a beautiful car that will remain in my memory probably for the rest of my life.

I still wonder what ever happened to that car.

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Some cars have very distinct price points. What I have seen over the years with Continentals is that they seem to be all over the map, if I was looking for a solid #3 car I would hold out, I think you can beat the book value Dave quotes, but now and again you do see auction results on #2 cars meeting the price guides.

There used to be an outfit that specialised in restoring these cars, not sure if they are still around, though.

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I recall a comment on slab sided Lincolns that probably applies here as well - "try to avoid a project. These cars were built to last, not be restored"

To West's point these are two more examples of underrated cars - which seems to have been the case with Lincolns and Continentals all the way through.

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I agree with Lincolns being a great value in general, but at the risk of being stoned by the more Lincoln knowledgeable (a process in which I may learn something), I think the V12 Continentals are a mixed bag vs the competition. Arguably superior styling (at least up through 41), inferior mechanics.

time to duck

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again, no Continental from the 40's or the 56 & 57 mark II's were ever "Lincolns"

They were Continentals.

They may have been sold at Lincoln dealers but they were NEVER a Lincoln Continental

They DID become Lincoln Continentals in 1958 when they morphed the line with the standard Lincoln body

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The 39 Continentals weren't "Continentals" either. They were Zephers. Ford didn't use the "Continental" name until either 40 or 41. The V12 is a little under powered for the cars but the engine and mechanicals are very reliable as long as you don't lug the engine. You do have to down shift to avoid over-stressing the motor. The later V12 's with the overdrive are good 60-70 MPH hiway touring cars as long as you don't push them too hard to get there.

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They DID become Lincoln Continentals in 1958 when they morphed the line with the standard Lincoln body

Not quite. For all intents and purposes, Continentals and Lincolns in 1958 were the same car, but at that time they were still marketed just as the Mark II's were. All of the literature for 1958 separately refers to the "Continental Division" / "Continental Mark III" and the "Lincoln Division" to differentiate the trim levels. It wasn't until '59 when they finally blended the two. It's all semantics since they came off the same line, but still an interesting piece of marketing trivia.

Edited by W_Higgins (see edit history)
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It has always been my understanding the Continental Division was formed in the 50s to support the Mark II; and earlier models were in fact made by the Lincoln division. I believe badging on these cars say "Lincoln Continentall"? Zephyr was a model - is Continental the same for the '40 - '48 cars? Otherwise, what did the division do from '49 - '55?

That said, you learn something new everyday guys, right - would be interesting to know for sure. It seems like fairly nice examples of these can be had in the $35K or under range in a coupe. CCCA Classic and styling are pluses, and I think, despite the relatively low production, parts are not too bad either, not like an obscure Classic anyway.

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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The Division was formed in '53 but wasn't called Continental until '54, I believe. The only places on the car that say Lincoln are the washer spray bottle and the airconditioning package in the trunk.

The first generation Continentals were built by the Lincoln Division.

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It has always been my understanding the Continental Division was formed in the 50s to support the Mark II; and earlier models were in fact made by the Lincoln division. I believe badging on these cars say "Lincoln Continentall"? Zephyr was a model - is Continental the same for the '40 - '48 cars? Otherwise, what did the division do from '49 - '55?

Zephyr was a low priced Lincoln line that used the Lincoln V12 drive train but with their own sheet metal that looked more like a bigger, streamlined Ford than Lincoln. Ford built 3 or 4 "Zephyr specials" in '39 for members of the Ford family using Zephyr platform and fenders & hood that were spliced and extended. In 1940 Lincoln built about 600 or 700 production Continentals based on the 39 design and those were also made up of Zephyr parts. The 40's were sold as "Lincoln Zephyr Continentals" but they had Zephyr badges on the hood and "Zephyr" on the hubcaps. The 41's were the same Zephyr based cars but from 41 -48 they had Lincoln badges and hubcaps and were sold as Lincoln Continental. Post war advertising sometimes referred to them as "Continental by Lincoln"

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