A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £64,400
The Facel 'Vega' was launched at the 1954 Paris Salon and fitted with a Chrysler 4.5 litre Hemi V8 engine, paired with either Chrysler's two-speed Powerflite automatic transmission or, at extra cost, a four-speed manual made by Pont-à-Mousson. At this stage, the 180hp FV was capable of 107 to 120mph depending on which rear axle ratio was installed. The chassis, designed by Lance Macklin, was tubular framed, featuring coil springs and double wishbones at the front, with a leaf-sprung live rear axle. Styling, by Jean Daninos himself, was at the time considered somewhat American and perhaps a bit heavy, with rudimentary tail fins, however, this timeless design cuts a look on the Kings Road today. The interior was uncommonly luxurious, and of exceptional workmanship. The dashboard was aircraft-inspired, and one of the first to feature a middle console over the gearbox. The rear seats folded flat to provide a luggage platform and additional access to the boot. Later cars saw an increase in engine capacity and from 1956, the addition of a beautiful panoramic (aka wrap-around) windshield which to this cataloguers eye is the overriding feature of the later Facel Vega's. For 1959, the Facel Vega HK500 was introduced. Essentially, it was just a renamed, upgraded FVS, derived from. Equipped at first with the 335hp 5.8-litre V8 from the FVS, the HK500 soon received a 360bhp 6.3 litre Chrysler V8 making for a top speed of 147mph. Sixty miles per hour came up in 8.5 seconds. Initially disc brakes were optional, becoming standard in April 1960. The crisply designed Facel Vega II replaced the HK500 in 1962, after 489 had been built. One was a specially made convertible. Total FV/HK production was 842 or 846 depending on the source. The car offered here today is a late Facel Vega HK500 from March 1962 in the unusual specification of righthand drive configuration mated to manual gearbox. The original colour of the car is Grey, and it is recommended that the new owner literally choose the colour of the interior during restoration. More than 15 years ago there was an attempt made to begin a restoration so the body has been prepared and primed for paint. It is now unlikley that any good painter would want to trust somebody else's preparation, so this will require re-addressing. Upon first inspection you'd be forgiven for assuming this to be a daunting project, whereas in actuality it is in fact a reasonably straight-forward restoration proposition when you consider that nearly all component parts are present. The only major item that cannot be immediately identified by this cataloguer is the wraparound windshield. Of course, interested parties should make every effort to come and see the car and the parts offered with this Lot to satisfy themselves as to how complete this project is. Here is an unusual opportunity to undertake a worthwhile project which upon completion will see the new owner welcomed into a small fraternity of Facel Vega HK500 owners. We can think of fewer more satisfying projects to undertake and look forward to continued correspondence with the successful buyer with updates of the restoration.