Throwback Monday: Famous Factories

Continental Welcome to Throwback Monday where we take a look at how things once were, or at least how certain famous cars were once built. This week we’re looking at how the Continental was reborn. At the time of its debut in 1956, the Continental Mark II was the most expensive production car built in America. Its $10,400 list price made it almost twice as expensive as that year’s Lincoln. Despite that, Ford claimed it lost money on every one it built. Let’s see why that was. There were a lot of reasons why the Mark II cost so much to build. It wasn’t just a new car, it was a whole new division, positioned atop Ford’s family of brands. That meant a separate ad campaign to introduce both car and marque. The effort would have been for naught had the Connie not been spec’d to be a spectacular automobile, which is exactly as it turned out. That requirement added to production costs as the cars were basically hand-built, and individually quality-tested. This all took place in a brand new factory, the Allen Park Assembly Plant. Ford built 2,996 Mark IIs there between June of 1955 and May of 1957 when production ceased. Interestingly, Ford claimed that the Mark IIs weren’t classified by model year, but just as Mark IIs as though through a single, multi-year model run. In 1958 the Mark II and Continental brand were replaced by the Lincoln Continental Mark III, a somewhat horrifically-styled version of the top Lincoln. The Allen Park plant would be turned over to the new Edsel brand in the same year. Let’s go back and enjoy not just the building of, but the inception of Ford’s most ambitious car of the ’50s, and one that would stand the test of time as a icon of elegance and stately comportment. [youtube][/youtube]   Image: NYTimes

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