William Clay Ford, Sr. was not only the grandson of Henry Ford, but an invaluable asset to the automotive world in his own right. He personally supervised design and development over what we now consider to be classic cars including the Mark II that debuted for sale in 1956. Ford formed the Policy and Strategy Committee in 1957 and William Clay was appointed Chairman of that committee. He was the Vice President of Product Design by 1973 and was elected Chairman of the Executive Committee in 1978 and appointed at the same time, as a member of the Office of the Chief Executive. He subsequently was elected to be Vice Chairman of the Board in 1980 and Chairman of the Finance Committee in 1987. He retired in 2005 after almost 57 years of service.
The Franklin Mint commemorates that service in a gorgeous replication of William Clay Ford’s personal car. On their website, they say, “Created to the personal specifications of William Clay Ford, grandson of Henry, the customized ’56 Continental was fitted with many advances through the years, including the addition of a 460 cid engine and a blue-and-silver interior — colors of Mr. Ford’s Detroit Lions football team. These are among the authentic features re-created in this spectacular scale model. We’ve even replicated the one-of-a-kind emblem created for the horn ring, bearing Mr. Ford’s initials “WCF.””
The popularity of this car and models of it today is alive, well and flourishing. TFM has modeled five versions of the Mark II including this one. The original, as you know, was issued in 2001 in black. It was an instant hit. In 2002 the car was modeled in white and in a limited edition of 500 to commemorate the original white 1961 Lincoln of Pebble Beach fame that was held to the same number edition. By 2004 it was time for us to modify the car into a convertible LECC and in 2005 an FM independent dealer had it cloaked in a deep red edition of 1000 pieces. Call me crazy but for some reason, I find this iteration to be the most lovely. Perhaps it is the color that so well lends the classic lines as both distinguished and fittingly exquisite.
TFM crafted a whole new motor to simulate the 1:1 that its famous owner had installed. The detail is terrific. The horn ring FM mentioned is there and so is the great detail on the hood ornament, block lettering and interior fabrication. The paint is glossy, smooth and metallic-scaled extremely well. This is a model that looks beautiful all these years later, sitting next to any model you might have. It especially looks grand next to the other versions of the same car. This is the sort of repaint/revision I truly love.
-Tony F Perrone