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In 1955 Ford formed a new division, Continetal, to build the Continetal Mark II, one of the most elite cars made in the 1950's. The new division was headed by William Clay Ford, son of Edsel and grandson of Henry Ford.
The Mark II (there never was a Mark I) carried a price of $10,400, twice that of the 1956 Lincoln and equal to that of Rolls-Royce. Much of the car was built by hand. Even though a Lincoln engine and drive train were used, the car was not a Lincoln. It is claimed that Ford lost $1,000 on every car produced.
The beautiful, hand-crafted automobiles were purchased by the rich and famous, including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Loui Prima, Dwight Eisenhower, Barry Goldwater, Spike Jones, Nelson Rockefeller, Henry J. Kaiser, Howard Johnson, and the Shah of Iran.
The unprofitable Continental Division was closed in 1957 when the Ford Motor Company went public. A total of about 3,000 Continetal Mark IIs were built in its two-year existence.