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Three Questions:

1.  Did Ford Motor Co. offer a continental kit as a factory option in 1956?

2. If so, what was the approximate overall length of a 1956 Ford Fairlane sedan with a continental kit?  My garage limit is 18 ft, one in.

3. If not, or even if authentic, does anybody know where to get the rear bumper metal body to bumper plate (painted Argent)?

 

 

 

 

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The answer appears to be yes. The Ford Passenger Car and Thunderbird Chassis Parts and Accessories Catalog lists the following:

Sports Spare Wheel Carrier - Kit part number B6A 18255-A.

As for length, the standard 1956 Ford lists at 198.5" in length. I am not sure how much additional length continental kit adds, but it could put it over 18' 1".

The bumper plate might show up on Ebay. The problem is you may need to buy a complete kit to get the piece.

I have to say I am amused by the number of 1955-57 Fords that show up with installed continental kits. As I remember it back in the day, continental kits were not popular options on cars bought by the average family or even on convertibles. Most of them were on mildly customized cars. It seems like now practically every mid fifties sunliner or skyliner has a continental kit. The kits are almost as ubiquitous as fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view mirror. IMHO, if it were my car I would remove the kit and sell it. I don't think it adds to the looks of the car.

Lew Bachman

1957 Ford Thunderbird (no continental kit) 

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The stock length of the car is 16.5'. I seriously doubt that the kit added 1.5' to the length.

 

There were a few 1956 Ford's with the continental kit that came into the gas station that I worked at and I can remember the hassle of unlatching the tire and swinging it out of the way to fill the car up. There was a Crown Victoria with the kit that was driven by a woman. She would get out of the car, unlatch the wheel, throw it towards the side of the car so violently that the whole car shook. I sure would not like to meet her in a dark alley.

 

Dynaflash, if you like the look, go ahead and install the kit. It is your car and you should fix it up the way that makes you happy.

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