Thursday 25th June 1953
A full-sized clay model of the proposed Lincoln Continental Mark II was completed. The Continental Mark II was a personal luxury car produced by the Continental Division of the Ford Motor Company in 1956 and 1957. Many aficionados of the automobile consider the Continental Mark II one of the classics of the postwar period. In its production, most of the car was hand-built to an exacting standard, including the application of multiple coats of paint, hand sanding, double lacquering, and polishing to perfection. The Mark II sold for around $10,000 or the equivalent of a new Rolls-Royce or two regular Cadillacs (at least until the $13,074 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham out-priced it in 1957). In spite of this, Ford estimated they still lost over a thousand dollars per car on the 3,000 that were built, some with factory-installed air conditioning. Initially, Ford accepted losses on the Mark II in return for the prestige with which it endowed its entire product line; but after going public, tolerance for such losses fell. Famous owners included Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, the Shah of Iran, and a cross section of the richest people in America.