I used to have my own writeup, but I think I will wait I while to compile one, due to the fact that I feel guilty from simply plagurizing from contributors. I will comment and edit things, however. -Matt
Sold under the Continental nameplate, it ran from 1956-7. The cars were hand assembled with virtually any color or upholsterey scheme customer requested. Only one or two convertibles were built, and they were prototypes. One of these prototypes was used by the Ford family. The color was light blue. The hood ornament for this model was thought up little more than 24 hours before production. It was the star/rectangle we know well today. - Matt
The Mark I was made from 1939 through 1948, with the exception, of course, of the war years. A few 1942's were made and production began again in 1946. They used V12 engines. - Allan Fetherolf
The first Continental was the Mark I, done at first as a styling excersise By Edsel Ford, and to be used by him on his winters in Fla. He told the engineers it had to look "Continental", hence the name. Public reaction was so positive they put it into production in 1941. This Continental lasted until, I think, 1948. In the mid fiftys, Lincoln resurrected the Continental name again for their long hood-short deck personal luxury car to compete with the Cadillac Eldorado. This was the Continental Mark II. It sold for $10K and didn't do well at all. In the late fiftys, you could buy either the Lincoln, or the Continental (they both looked almost the same, trim being the only difference. I'm drawing in memory here, but I think in '58 the Continental was called the Mark III, and in '59 it was called the Mark IV. I'm not sure about '60. These were hidious looking cars with slanted headlights, and looked like they weighed 10 tons. Lincoln restyled the car for '61. In '68 another car was introduced to compete, again, with the Cadillac Eldroado. It was styled along the same themes as Edsel's first Conti, and the mid 50's attempt (long hood, short deck, personal luxury) and was to be called the Mark III. Engineers at Ford thought that the '58-'60 Marks were not at all deserving of the "Mark" name, thus the number rollback to Mark III. Bt the way, personally, I think Ford should have made a convertible version of the '68 Mark III. I've seen a custom one and it's a knockout! Hope this has helped you, Matt. My sources are a dozen car reference books and a Lincoln book that Ford put out when they introduced the Mark III. - Jeff King
Appendium: I seem to recall that Edsel went on a Inter-American trip, and returned anxious to make a car that represented what the continent meant to him, or something to that tune.