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Shawn Newcomb
10-10-2009, 07:07 PM
Hey everybody!
Stumbled upon this site while doing a random internet search to see what is going on in Mark II land.
My car was originally shipped to the Philadelphia area (no invoice available). It was black with gray cloth interior and dealer added A/C in the trunk venting through the package shelf (no headliner vents or fender scoops).
I purchased the car in NH around 1997 or so as a #2 condition car. Someone in ME had "restored" it 10 years or so prior and painted the exterior grayish silver. That 'restoration' was amateur and incomplete. And so it remains awaiting a better day.

Barry Wolk
10-10-2009, 08:07 PM
Shawn,

Your early car had no Invoice because Ford owned it. It was an "Introductory Unit", a car that was to sit in the dealership showroom until the pipeline was filled. From what I've seen, the IUs were all black, as was mine.

You can get the Production Order for your car. It's a pretty cool document.

Welcome to the site.

http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg18/barry2952/1%20Mark%20II%20docs/Jan3101.jpg

linmk2
10-10-2009, 08:11 PM
Welcome to the forum. You have come to the right place for Mark II info and help. When you can, post some pictures. We all would like to see your Mark.

Shelly Harris
10-10-2009, 11:31 PM
Were the introductory units all with cloth interior?

Barry Wolk
10-11-2009, 09:36 AM
And no air conditioning, from what I've gathered. Why put expensive leather and air conditioning on a car that wouldn't be sold for awhile?

Nick DeSpirito
10-11-2009, 09:41 AM
Welcome Shawn. Got any pictures of the beauty?

Chuck Lutz
10-11-2009, 12:10 PM
Welcome Shawn. Now you're going to have some fun. :D

Barry, if I was going to put my best product on the showroom floor to attract attention I think I would show all the whistles and bells. I know there weren't too many options and Conti would make it whatever you picked without additonal charge (mostly) but why not pimp it out and show it. (I believe that, now, to be an appropriate and correct automotive adjective, based on feed back from my teenage kids).

Shawn Newcomb
10-11-2009, 12:30 PM
Thanks everybody. I do have the copies from the Ford Museum for my car stored with it (I'm living in NC) also the hardcover book, the owners manual, and the technical manual which I have consulted many times for the wiring diagrams.
I have photos of the car (none online) to show people that have no idea what a Continental Mark II is when the subject comes up. I run into that often. A '56 Cadillac, THAT they know...
With respect to some other thread I was reading the gray leather and carpets really do have a dark green quality to them much more than a modern gray. Puts me in mind of the gold used on old cars and sports car wheels that was that was kind of olive-greenish too.
In the interest of full disclosure, I noticed in my post that I referred to the car as a 2 on a 5 scale, but it technically it would really be a 4 out of 5 (had been languishing under a tree on its belly in the grass when I got it). Paint is shot, no rust on body, but floors and undercarriage suffered. Why don't rating scales for cars and chicks follow the same direction? I'm just saying...
And another thing, who pays thousands of dollars (I have their receipts) for a cosmetic restoration and paint job and promptly abandons the car under a pine tree for a decade until it goes all to hell then sells it for pennies on the dollar? Nevermind. Their loss, my gain. Enjoy your Sunday!

Barry Wolk
10-11-2009, 01:21 PM
Barry, if I was going to put my best product on the showroom floor to attract attention I think I would show all the whistles and bells.

Because they were losing $1,000 on each car, right from the beginning, they were watching their costs. That's a 12 1/2% loss on the $8,000 wholesale price of the car.

Besides, the cloth interiors were not exactly cheap, and were much preferred in some parts of the country. Same with a/c. Some parts of the country considered it to be an extravagance and wouldn't have ordered it that way, anyway.

My '56 Chris Craft Continental has a black interior. We look at that and shake our heads. Fact is, the boat was ordered for northern Canada and the extra bun warming capability was much welcomed. Different criteria for different parts of the world. I believe one foreign delivery Mark II had gas cans mounted in the trunk because local fuel access was poor.

Remember, the UI cars were not to be driven, from what I understood. They were to be static showroom displays. Why put air on a car that wouldn't even be started?

I believe the reasoning for not demonstrating them was so that they could be sold as brand new cars. Someone here posted that their folks got their UI the Monday following a Friday dealership delivery. That wasn't the way it was supposed to work, from what I understand.

Chuck Lutz
10-11-2009, 01:31 PM
You could be right but I was thinking about more of the terms of today. You can buy the car that's all tricked out on the showroom floor but you're going to pay top dollar. I never thought they didn't expect to sell the IUs off the floor.
I hear what you're saying about leather and a/c. Again, I'm a baby-boomer that developed a taste for these things as quintessential 60's and 70's hardware on cars.

Shawn Newcomb
10-11-2009, 01:58 PM
It is interesting to see how interior appointments flipped in a century.
Early on leather seats were for commoners and chauffers and saddles, to be classy your interior needed to reflect the fine cloth materials of your parlor.
By mid-century it was a 50-50 proposition.
And now people demand leather upholstery in an entry level KIA.

Doc
10-11-2009, 07:41 PM
Shawn - welcome to the forum. We are both owners of "introductory units" or "early production units"--yours earlier than ours. Ours is the IU that Barry references above--it was shown at an invitation only event on Thursday, sat in the showroom over the weekend, and my folks drove it home on Monday. In his eagerness to take delivery of the car, my dad opted to take the first one that came to San Diego, rather than order one and wait. He was disappointed that it came with fabric inserts, but living in temperate San Diego, considered A/C an unnecessary luxury. Years later, when they were having the original cloth inserts replaced, he told me that when he asked why the car came with fabric seating surfaces, not all leather, the dealership told him that because the IUs were black and didn't have A/C, Ford was afraid the seats would be too uncomfortable (i.e. sweaty) in a closed black car, hence they used fabric, not leather.

Sounds like a great story to me (I suspect Barry is right, they were trying to control costs), but I like the rationalization anyway...

Ron Howard
10-11-2009, 08:46 PM
Welcome Shawn - this is a good place to learn about the Mark II.

Barry & Doc - my serial number is C5681068 which I am told is an early car. My paint code is 01 which is black and my trim code is 1F4M which is Deep Red Leather Seat Biscuits and Medium Gray Leather Seat Bolsters. I believe from the looks of my upholstery and carpet that they have never been replace. The odometer is showing 70,300 miles. Is the leather interior in my car unusual for an early car?

Ron

Barry Wolk
10-11-2009, 08:52 PM
Do you have the Production Order? It will tell you whether it was ordered or was a IU.

If your leather is in good shape, it's probably been replaced.

Ron Howard
10-11-2009, 10:26 PM
I hope to get down to the Benson this fall or winter to do some research on another car and will try to get a production order then.

Nick DeSpirito
10-13-2009, 06:37 AM
Ron,

Love the seat color combo. I've seen that on a lot of black Mark II's. Your rear arm rest looks too tall to fit. When upright, it should fit in flush with the back seat. Maybe it's just the angle of the picture?

continentalguy
10-13-2009, 10:19 PM
Ok Barry now I can beat you on this topic for sure lol ;) Our Mark II was an introductory unit says so on production order, was painted white, had leather seats, and had air conditioning. If needed and I can find a way to post it I can scan the evidence.

Barry Wolk
10-13-2009, 10:22 PM
From what I've seen, the IUs were all black, as was mine.

You get to be first.

continentalguy
10-13-2009, 10:36 PM
I guess the downtown Chicago area wanted a more classy car! ;) haha idk

Chuck Lutz
10-13-2009, 10:49 PM
I once read a statistic that of the 3000+/- 56/57 Mark IIs 2300 +/- were either black or white leaving only 700 +/- Marks "of color".

Nick DeSpirito
10-14-2009, 05:38 AM
Allan,

What's your VIN ?

Don Henschel
10-15-2009, 03:11 PM
You get to be first.

There seem to be a number of "firsts"
with these highly unusual cars;)
Welcome Shawn , it's great having another member with more info to share!
Speaking of upholstery, would some of you Mark II owners with the so-called Matelasse or Nylon post some pictures. According to an early (yellow covered) authenticity manual I have, the Matelasse shown doesnt come close to what I have. According to a sheet of specs. sent to me by Lowell for my code 3J2F interior, I should have deep green Matelasse seat biscuits. The material I have looks more like a woven nylon resembling a wavy Corduoroy (the best way for me to describe it). Maybe this is another "first" as well as my VIN plate showing only a 16 paint code with my dealer invoice showing a factory two tone paint. As for the interior cloth, the cardboard in my door panels of which the cloth is sewn onto looks original and not re-uphostered with the original factory quality control inspection stamps and stitching.

Doc
10-15-2009, 03:29 PM
Don - You're right...it seems the more information we share, the more confusing it gets--and some of our long-held assumptions are being disproven. Our car was delivered with the nylon biscuits (light blue-grey); I'd describe the pattern as more geometric than wavy; something of a small grid. What I find most interesting about your post, however, is that you mention the door panels have the same, presumably original cloth, yet ours were done in the white leather of the bolsters, not the fabric.

Barry Wolk
10-15-2009, 03:29 PM
That sounds like the material in my friend Al's old Mark II. It was the original material. It had simply badly faded to another color. I think that may be what happened to some of the steering wheels. In my business UV poisoning of plastic can do some very strange things.

Barry Wolk
10-16-2009, 02:58 PM
The 10mp Cannon Power shots are under $200.00. Do it.

continentalguy
10-16-2009, 03:20 PM
My vin number is C5691371 sorry I did not put it on sooner, been a little under the weather.

Shelly Harris
10-17-2009, 04:22 PM
The 10mp Cannon Power shots are under $200.00. Do it.


yes, help me on a camera. Current 8 yr old camera 's battery door broke off. I looked at some cameras at WalMart. Whether they were $89 or $199 they are looked the same. The few times I take a pic, the cheaper the better, but forget junk. Also battery should be AA I guess -- you can buy those anywhere. Help. I want to get some pics of my upholstery to show it off.

Barry Wolk
10-17-2009, 04:48 PM
Every camera I've had in the last 5 years has been a Canon. Pretty bulletproof.

Go to the Costco web site and pick one out. If you don't have an account I'll put it on my charge and you can send me a check.

http://www.costco.com/Browse/ProductSet.aspx?Prodid=11470597&whse=BC&Ne=4000000&eCat=BC|79|83|3264&N=4001477&Mo=7&pos=6&No=5&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=3264&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&ec=BC-EC10604-Cat83&topnav=

Mad Scientist
10-17-2009, 06:54 PM
I have a Canon A560 I think it was around $150 or a little less. The main reason I got is because it has an automatic position, just point an shoot it does all the rest.

Also it runs on two "A" batteries nothing special.

Barry Wolk
10-17-2009, 06:59 PM
Mine has a rechargeable battery. I've taken 300 pictures on one charge.

Don Henschel
10-18-2009, 05:47 PM
yes, help me on a camera. Whether they were $89 or $199 they are looked the same.

My thoughts as well!:( My sights are on Cannon as well. I can't get excited or motivated on those smaller cheaper ones. I might just spend a bit more on an EOS. I don't take many pictures, but when I do I want something good! It's like our Mark IIs,....... buy a belly button car, or buy a real car.
Like Barry mentioned "Mine has a rechargeable battery. I've taken 300 pictures on one charge."
The Canons and other makes I use at work have AA batteries. I'm always carrying extra batteries around when I use them. The rechargable batteries are the way to go.

Barry Wolk
10-18-2009, 06:18 PM
That's the difference between a $100 camera and a $200 camera.

Shelly Harris
10-18-2009, 08:11 PM
The rechargable batteries are the way to go.

Yes that is correct. I bought a Casio ES-A6 today at Costco for $125.00 but won't get to open it up and use it till next weekend. I followed the recommendations of a fellow shopper (Japanese guy, so he must know cameras --- :)) who said that the small rechargable batteries beat out the double AA models handily. They last much longer whereas double AAs can fail after a half hour's use. Also, an additional recharable battery is only about $6 to have a spare. Hopefully my carb will be back and I can get pics of that along with the upholstery.