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Thread: 2905

  1. #1
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    Default 2905

    Hello-
    I'm new to the forum and was the former owner of C56E2905. My father, Robert Stork, and I acquired the car in August of 1980 (my birthday) from the original owner's widow. I took over sole ownership in 1993.

    The car was purchased new by Theron G. Riley and his wife Mabel of Flint, Michigan in October of 1956. He owned a successful soft ice cream business called Bouquet Ice Cream. They had not ordered the car. The engine number was E2905R because a replacement engine was installed by the dealer in 1969. They lived on Parkside Drive in Flint and one of their neighbors, clothier A. M. Davidson, also owned a Mark II, his in black.

    The dash plaque read Theron G. Riley.

    I sold the car in 1994 to Russ Linde of Oregon.

    I hope this information is useful. I do have photos of it from when I owned it.

    Jeff Stork

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Chicago North Shore
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    Jeff:

    Thanks for the information. If you have some photos please use the "manage attachments" section just below the edit box when you author a post.
    Shelly

    C56C2292
    '56 Continental Mark II

  3. #3
    John S Guest

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    I am aware of of some other details regarding this cars history, as Theron & Mabel were my Uncle & Aunt.

    Theron was an aeronautical engineer by training (U of M), and served as president of AC during the early 30s. His then VP (whom I knew as Uncle Red) was Harlow Curtice, who would go on to be president of GM in the early 50s.

    I posted quite a lengthy bit about the car and its owner here - it does not seem to have remained - if that was inappropriate, I apologize.

    If more info is useful, please shoot me an e-mail.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    John, I don't know what happed to your post, but here's what you said:

    Theron G. Riley and his wife Mabel were uncle & aunt to me. Besides, owning Bouqet, he had one or more restaurants (where, if I remember correctly, he met my aunt).

    In addition, he was president of the AC division of General motors
    during the early 30s. He also produced a single prototype monoplane called the "Riley Special" (he was an aeronauitical engineer by training). My recollection was that during the WWII years, he also engaged in the manufacturing of aircrart seating for war planes, type and purpose unknown to me.

    Now, regarding this particular vehicle: I can recall that it was a
    wonderful cream color (perhaps "camel" is a better name?), with
    similarly colored leather interior. Following a minor fender-bender, he
    was very upset that the local dealership wanted to repair the damaged fender, and even after Uncle Theron's insistence to replace, a new one stateside could not be found.

    The result: Uncle Theron paid to have someone drive down to Mexico City, where a NOS fender had been located.

    Similarly, the engine replacement in 1969 (the year I graduated high
    school) was done because my uncle rejected the notion of a rebuilt motor in the one car he truly cared about.

    As Mssrs. Stork and subsequent owners will attest, this car accumulated a goodly number of miles on the odometer. Theron and Mabel wanted their adopted daughter Suzanne to see as much of the USA as possible, so they took many road trips. I recall Aunt Mabel including Howard Johnsons in several of her vacation descriptions.

    The MK II was a necessity - uncle Theron suffered from acute Diabetes - especially in his legs - and being a rather tall man, the MK II had the prerequiste legroom.

    Their home at 2751 Parkside Drive had a great, long brick garage with
    living quarters above for a chauffeur & family (he didn't use one), and
    the MK II was ALWAYS stored in it, in the first bay, with one of the
    50-ish Ford Panel trucks in the next - even though they had exited the
    ice-cream business years earlier.

    I recall visiting my Aunt after Uncle Theron's passing, and her utter
    and complete sadness that the Henry Ford museum rejected her offer of the car.

    There is much more history attached to this particular vehicle than one
    might think, especially when you consider that uncle Theron was friends with Harlow Curtice (President of GM in mid-50s), and many other prominent business leaders of the time.

    I joined this forum for the express purpose of commenting on this
    particular car, and although I cannot think of anything else relevant,
    if the need arises, I encourage the admins to contact me.

    Best wishes to all who invest in maintaining what I consider one of the finest post-war styling and driving efforts ever produced.
    *
    Pat Marshall
    Lancaster, OH

  5. #5
    John S Guest

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    Thanks for finding and posting that info Pat.

    Best wishes for everyone!

  6. #6
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    How fun to read the recollections from a family member. I never met Mr. Riley, but I liked Mrs. Riley very much. She made me promise to take good care of the car and told me stories about places they had gone in it, including a visit to the Continental factory on Ecorse Road for adjustments. As I was backing it out of the driveway for the last time, she disappeared into the library for a moment and emerged with the hardbound owner's manual.

    I must correct John on the color- the car has been repainted in its original Starmist White in the late 60s and had its original medium gray and white leather interior when I acquired it. It's worth noting that it had seat belts, which were rarely fitted.

    Attached is a photo the week I brought it home in 1980, plus a couple from 1994 showing the original interior and the seat belts.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
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    Oh, and I found this in the file- 2905's original Michigan Title. It's titled as a '57- Michigan would allow that back in the day when a leftover model was sold.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Good new information. I found pictures of the plane that Theron's Aviation Company built in 1928 in Flint, Michigan.

    Here's the link to the updated history:

    http://www.markiiforum.com/showthrea...0190#post20190
    Pat Marshall
    Lancaster, OH

  9. #9
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    Jul 2016
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    Oxford Michigan
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    Default

    Well, how the years pass.
    I had to re-submit forum registration to post once again.

    Hopefully, someone will make the link to the aircraft pics available (I've lost mine).

    And thanks for your photos, Jeff.

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