Facel Vega FV3B

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Vega FV3B





The Facel 'Vega' was launched at the 1954 Paris Salon. By 1956 the cars were called FVS (for Facel Vega Sport), earlier cars often being referred to as simply "FV". The 1954 versions of the Facel were fitted with a DeSoto Firedome (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 172 to 193 km/h (107 to 120 mph) 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 Daninos himself, was somewhat American and perhaps a bit heavy, with rudimentary tail fins. The body was an expanded version of the earlier, Facel-bodied Simca/Ford Comète. An abundance of stainless steel brightwork was fitted.

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.

In 1955 the engine capacity increased to 4.8 liters and 200hp (FV1), which later in the year grew to 250hp (FV2). 47 of these early FVs were built in 1954 and 1955. Six were convertibles, but as these suffered from rigidity troubles the rest of the large two-door Facels were pillar less coupés.

The 1956 FVS featured a panoramic (aka wrap-around) windshield. Sometimes referred to as FV2, the car featured the same engine as in the later FV1s. Subsequently the 5.4-litre FV2B appeared, with 255 hp. Power steering and power brakes were both standard as of 1957.

Later versions offered a three-speed automatic, and disc brakes were available from 1958. At some point a reworked, more harmonious front end was introduced, featuring what looked like twin stacked headlights but what were actually headlamps on top and auxiliaries beneath. For 1958, the engine grew to 5.8 litres (FV4) and 325 hp, although the earlier 4.5 and a 4.9 (FV3/FV3B) were also listed as available. In total, 357 FVs and FVSs were built.

A four-door version, called the Excellence, was added to the lineup in 1958, but was even more rarefied than the two-door

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