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Lincoln

Elizabeth Taylor's 1956 Continental Mark II a dazzler

If only “Liz and Dick” were this good.

A 1956 Continental Mark II once owned by Elizabeth Taylor made a rare appearance on the Lincoln stand at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, and it dazzled the crowd as well as its former owner would have if she walked through the door.

The elegant two-door was a gift to the star from the Warner Bros. studio and specially finished in custom paint matched to the color of Taylor’s eyes and a two-tone interior with the same hue over white. Now owned by Robert and Nancy Ratinoff of Sherman Oaks, Calif., it sports license plates with the name “Lizzie” on them. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this is the first time it’s been on public display since 1980.

Although Continentals were sold as a standalone brand at the time, the car shares many of its underpinnings with contemporary Lincolns, including its 285 hp 368-cubic-foot V8.

With a price tag of $10,000, the largely hand-built hardtops were the most expensive American cars of the day, but the company still managed to lose money on every one of them, finally leading to the Continental’s turn as a slightly less premium model under the Lincoln umbrella.