413ci Chrysler 'Max Wedge' OHV V8 Engine
Dual Carter 4-Barrel Carburetor
390bhp at 5,400rpm
4-Speed Pont-à-Mousson Manual Transmission
Front Independent Suspension – Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Dunlop Disc Brakes
*One of fewer than 185 Facel II's produced
*The rarest of the breed—one of 22 with the Max Wedge V8 and Pont-à-Mousson Manual
*Finished in its original Triple blue color scheme
*The ultimate Franco-American Hybrid
THE FACEL VEGA II
In its relatively short life, the French firm of Facel produced approximately 2,900 cars, all of which were stylish, luxurious and fast. Hand built, they were necessarily very expensive – the Facel II was priced in Rolls-Royce territory – and bought by the rich and famous seeking something exclusive and distinctive. The roll call of owners includes royalty, politicians, diplomats and entertainers: Tony Curtis, Danny Kaye, Ringo Starr, Joan Fontaine and Ava Gardner being counted among the latter. Confirming that there was high-performance substance behind Facel's unquestionable style, they were owned and driven by great motor racing figures such as Sir Stirling Moss, Maurice Trintignant and Rob Walker.
Founded by Jean Daninos in 1939, Forges et Ateliers de Construction d'Eure-et-Loir (FACEL) specialized in the construction of aircraft components and metal furniture. After the war the company engaged in the supply of car bodies to Panhard, Simca and Ford France, before branching out into automobile manufacture in its own right with the launch of the Vega at the 1954 Paris Salon. Government legislation had effectively killed off France's few surviving luxury car manufacturers after WWII, but that did not deter Jean Daninos in his bold attempt to revive what had once been a great French motoring tradition. A luxurious Grande Routière, the Vega took its name from the brightest star in the Lyra constellation and featured supremely elegant coupé bodywork on a tubular-steel chassis. There being no suitable French-built power unit, Daninos turned to the USA for the Vega's, that chosen initially being Chrysler's 4.5-liter V8, while there was a choice of push-button automatic or manual transmission.
Launched in 1961, the Facel II was destined to be the last of the V8-engined models, production ceasing in 1964 after an unsuccessful venture into engine manufacture effectively bankrupted the company. Production of the preceding HK500 amounted to only 500-or-so units between 1958 and 1961 and that of the Facel II to a mere 182 examples. Today these rare Franco-American classics are highly sought after.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
According to Facel factory production records kept by the Amicale Facel Holland, chassis number HK2A 163 was built in June 1962. The Facel carried a production number of '163', indicating that it was the 64th Facel II produced. It was delivered with a top of the line 413 cubic inch Chrysler Max Wedge Hemi V8, an optional Pont-à-Mousson 4-speed manual transmission, Borrani wire wheels, and finished in Bleu Facel Irisé with matching blue leather upholstery. This Facel with all the best performance options fitted was delivered new to Lebanon.
While details of its history are sparse, at some point the Facel made its way from the Paris of the Middle East to the Paris of France. From October 10, 2001 to June 30, 2006, the FV was subject to comprehensive restoration work by Garage TECHNICA AUTO in Paris. Letters and receipts on file document the work. Acquired by the vendor about a 12 years ago, a comprehensive set of photos from just prior to the purchase are included in the file.
Facel IIs are rare machines, but to find one with tire melting torque and a manual transmission – all skinned in the gorgeous French coachwork and luxury interior that made them so popular to celebrities and titans of industry – is a rare and special thing indeed! While the car has been in storage for the last dozen years, and recommissioning is recommended before active use, once sorted this velvet gloved iron fist will be ready to transport you to the theater, restaurant, or hotel—quickly.