Hagerty.com

This Continental cruiser was Auburn’s best bargain

When the final hammer fell on this 1956 Continental Mark II at RM’s 2019 Auburn Fall auction, the lucky new owner coughed up just $10,500. That price could make this Continental one of the best buys at the entire auction, as the current #4 (Fair) value for a 1956 Continental Mark II is $28,600; this example even appears to have its original interior and perhaps its original paint.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/09/05/continental-cruiser-auburns-best-bargain

I always thought these cars were beyond cool when I was a kid.

  • Jim

I’m sorry I missed this auction… any chance for a full recap?

What a buy! Great for the buyer, not so great for the seller. BTW, the article says it is an overhead cam engine, I’m sure it should say overhead valve.

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Uh… I’m pretty sure you meant overhead VALVE, not overhead CAM?

It means collector car prices are dropping. More cars than buyers.

Overpaid. Few Lincoln’s are classic cars. Presidential Lincoln’s, the exception.

I think you are right. Car collectors (of a certain age group) are also dropping… which is where the drop in demand is coming from.

My 21 year old son likes cars. He has a Mustang Convertible and he loves driving my Scat Pack Charger. But he has no real appreciation for anything pre-muscle car. Even those are only marginally interesting to him, and that is mostly because I regaled him with my tales of owning a 69 Road Runner, 70 Challenger, and a 69 Impala SS Convertible.

While i think you meant overhead valve - be advised that the first Ford overhead cam was the GAA Engine put in M4 Tanks for WWII. V8; DOHC, 4 valve per cylinder; dual carb; two spark plugs per cylinder; two magnetos, aluminum block and aluminum heads.

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"…#3-condition (Good) value for Mark IIs has increased 29.7 percent over the past five years…"

People have discovered this amazing car with its tasteful unique looks and restrained cool and a 30% increase in value over the past 5 years makes it a hot commodity. This really was a bargain!

Wow that’s a little scary for car collectors everywhere - at least those who expect to make $ or at least retain value. What a car - I’ll offer $12500 right now!

One of the best looking American cars ever made, I’ve always wanted one of these. You can see the styling elements carried through to the Thunderbird and even the Mustang.

I have a vague recollection that the car was originally a one-off custom built for a member of the Ford family, but people liked it so much Ford ended up putting it into production.

What a buy sure wish I could have been there. Yes I’ve noticed that prices are coming down a bit. Maybe some of us not so well funded can get back in the market

I was a bidder at Auburn this year and this result is the reason why you sometimes are not better off selling by auction. There was a massive sign collection this year that did extremely well, which shows the opposite, sometimes it is best to sell at an auction. Each day was different with different buyers and the Continental was just sold on the wrong day and time, not that anyone would have known that. I disagree about the bargain of the auction though… I liked the 1950s Mack open cab pumper for $3,100.

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I have owned 1956 Continental chassis C56B2034, a 20k mile (actual) example purchased in Auburn in 1998 and sympathetically restored by D&D to the point where it was a Meadowbrook class winner in 2007. My favorite moment was at Bay Harbor in Petoskey, where no less than Tom Gale stuck his head in the car and said, “You know, they were never this straight from the factory.”

I have followed the Mark II market for years, always believing that they were grossly undervalued, even for very good cars, until I realized that that was not completely true. While they have not brought big prices in the East and Midwest, cars at the Scottsdale and Monterrey auctions have, exceeding $100k and in one case even reaching $300k! For comparison, years ago, people were astonished when Elvis’ Mark II brought something like $250k (memory is hazy on that, I’d be grateful for a correction if I’m wrong).

After being both and active buyer and seller at Auburn for almost 30 years (I live only 20 miles from the auction site), I’ve pretty much quit selling at live auctions, and the Continental featured here is one example why- everyone wants you to go no reserve, and, in some cases, the minimum value to put on a reserve can be $200k or higher! (note: Auburn is not yet one with a giant reserve requirement, but they are just as protective of their sell-through rates as anyone else- one of their guys estimated my car in the $60’s, wouldn’t THAT have been fun! I missed the auction for the first time in decades this year.

It’s a bargain to anyone who reacts to it the way I do and has the cash to spare. The price would have been higher if I were there as the winning bidder would have had one more serious competitor.

This was truly a bargain. These autos were and are the pinnacle achievement of the Ford Motor Company. There will never be anything like it from Ford again. It is a dream car I will never have.

These Continentals were almost certainly among the finest stylings; compared with the myriad excesses everywhere else.
Subdued, but not muted; the whole car exuded pure Class.
Of all cars of the 1950’s, this might be my own first choice to own, (along with the 1953 Buick Skylark, and the 1957-'58 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham.)

An absolutely beautiful machine. It wasn’t a Mark II, but a buddy of mine had a '64 with suicide doors back in high school. That back seat was an enormous leather couch. And I would be remiss if I didn’t share this gentleman’s '57 Mark II that he’s taking to SEMA this year - https://youtu.be/Xu74bwEc5K4 He did a really nice job on it.