This Facel Vega Facel II is one of only 182 examples made – and also one of only 26 right-hand drive versions – and that makes it rare indeed. Stored in a barn for approximately 25 years, it underwent an extensive restoration which was completed just last year.
Jean Daninos, the founder of Facel (Forges et Ateliers des Constructions d’Eure-et-Loir), was an engineer who had once collaborated with Citroën on the Traction Avant and spent some time in aviation design.
Of the various models made under his direction, Daninos once said, “The HK500 was the most interesting car we ever made but the Facel II was the best. It was totally elegant.”
His Facel company was also responsible for producing bodies for custom cars such as the Panhard Dyna cabriolet and the Ford Comète. But it was the first Vega model, designed by Daninos himself and debuted in 1954, that brought him worldwide accolades.
This first model, equipped with a Chrysler engine, brought Daninos and Facel clients from celebrities to racing drivers including Tony Curtis, Ava Gardner, Ringo Starr, Joan Fontaine, Stirling Moss and Maurice Trintignant.
The company ultimately met its demise in the mid-1960s but during the ten years they were produced, the company built approximately 3,000 automobiles. All were hand built, and that meant models such as the Facel II were priced in same range as the Rolls-Royce cars of the time.
Launched in 1961, the Facel II was destined to be the last of the V8 Chrysler-engined models. At the time, Autocar called the car “a striking amalgamation of French, American and British components, the big Facel has a wonderful way of covering the miles extremely fast without mechanical fuss.”
This spectacular Facel II on auction is powered by a 383ci (6.3-litre) Chrysler V8 engine and Torqueflite automatic transmission. It was once displayed on the carmaker’s stand at the London Motor Show, and it has a bit of a mysterious history. Little is known about this car’s whereabouts after 1972, but it’s thought to have spent 25 years hidden away before being recovered in 2017.
At that point, the car required complete restoration and an extensive rebuild took some 125 man-hours to re-do the paintwork alone.
It’s believed it was refurbished in the original color combination of grey with red leather interior and a large proportion of the original leather was retained. The car is fitted with power steering and extremely rare chromed disc wheels.
As you might expect, this unique car comes with a voluminous file history which includes an article from the Facel Vega Car Club written in 2015 that provides details of the car and its owners.
As a combination of European style and American V8 power, this beautiful Facel II is an amazing and unique artifact and as such you can expect to pay dearly for it. So how much? It’s expected to fetch between $290,000 and $360,000 USD.