When Edsel B. Ford II came upon the 1956 Lincoln Continental MK II last year, he admired the long lines and elegant custom styling of the automobile but didn’t immediately recognize it. Imagine his surprise when saw the original owner’s manual inscribed with his mother’s, Anne, name. Edsel was 8 years old when his father, Henry Ford II, ordered the car for his wife, who drove it for two years before selling it to her personal assistant for use as a daily driver.
The car, now impeccably restored, will be among the many pre- and postwar custom-bodied Lincolns featured at the 63rd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 18 at Pebble Beach Resorts. It also stars on this year’s commemorative Pebble Beach Concours poster, printed from an original painting created by Ken Eberts, founder and president of the Automotive Fine Arts Society. Also depicted on the Concours poster is the 1939 Lincoln Zephyr created for Edsel’s grandfather, Edsel Bryant Ford, who served as president of Ford Motor Company from 1919 through 1943, bringing both style and finesse to the Lincoln marque.
The 1956 Lincoln currently belongs to Rick Schmidt, whose father Jim discovered the dilapidated vehicle in a classified ad. Had they not already owned a 1956 metallic mint green MK II that had belonged to Benson Ford, and a 1956 sapphire blue metallic MK II that had belonged to William Clay Ford Sr.–brothers of Henry Ford II–the Schmidts would not have taken on the project.
Purchased through Ford’s central office, with the names of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ford II on the original factory production order, the car cost $10,000, the price of a house in 1956. The only MK II ordered with a Hartz cloth roof, the interior of the car is upholstered in elegant gray wool broadcloth with red piping and contrasting black leather on the door panels and dash. The car also is unique in that it was finished without a hood ornament at Anne’s request.
Eberts’ final poster artwork will be featured at the Automotive Fine Arts Society exhibit at Pebble Beach that is sponsored by the Lincoln Motor Company and held in tandem with the 63rd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, August 18.