Facel Vega II

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Vega II





Facel was a French manufacturer of automobiles from 1954 to 1964.

The company was named after the original metal stamping company FACEL, and the company's first model, the Vega, named after the star,] was introduced at the 1954 Paris Auto Show. The cars were advertised with the slogan For the Few Who Own the Finest.

Initially successful, the company failed after the debut of its mechanically troubled Facellia model.

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 Facel Vega 'Facel II' was a French Grand Touring car produced by Facel between the years 1962 and 1964.

It was powered by an American 6.3 litre (383 cu.in.) Chrysler 'Typhoon' engine which produced 355 hp (265 kW) in automatic-gearbox form and 390 hp (291 kW) in manual. Using Chrysler's three-speed Torqueflite automatic gearbox, the 6.3-litre Facel II could reach over 135 mph (225 km/h). With a French Pont-a-Mousson four-speed manual gearbox the full-four-seater 6.3 litre Facel II could attain over 150 mph (247 km/h) and out-accelerate its two-seater rivals, the Aston Martin DB4, Ferrari 250 GT and 'gull-wing' Mercedes-Benz 300SL, to 60 mph (97 km/h) and all except the Ferrari to 100 mph (160 km/h). Dunlop disc brakes were fitted on all four wheels and Hydrosteer power steering, leather seats, electric windows and radio aerial all became standard during the production run, with Armstrong Selecta-Ride shock-absorbers adjustable from the dash while driving fitted to the right-hand-drive British models. The curvaceous wrap-round dash was in fact metal but meticulously painted to look like wood. Many of the controls were airplane inspired. The later manuals were fitted with the even more powerful 6.7 litre (413 cu.in.) Chrysler "RB" wedge engine and were faster still.

Like its predecessor, the Facel Vega HK500, the Facel II was heavier than its two-seater rivals, weighing 1,880 kilograms (4,140 lb) (37 cwt) 'dry' and almost two tons with four passengers and a full petrol tank. There may have been some question about its ride and rear suspension - it used suspension virtually unchanged from the previous HK500 - but certainly none about its speed or glamour.

The Facel II was very expensive and highly exclusive. Its handsome design led to famous owners, including Pablo Picasso, Lionel Bart, Lord Brabourne, The Chrysler Corporation (and Mrs Carr, Walter Chrysler's daughter), Joan Collins, Tony Curtis, Christian Dior, Stanley Donen, Charlie Drake, Max Factor Jr, Joan Fontaine, Ava Gardner (who bought three), The Marchioness of Huntly (whose car had full-harness seat-belts), Herbert von Karajan, Danny Kaye, Louis Malle, The President of Mexico, Princess Grace of Monaco, Yves Montand, Hassan II King of Morocco, Baroness Sally Oppenheim-Barnes, William S. Paley, Prince Poniatowski, Anthony Quinn, Debbie Reynolds, Frank Sinatra, Ringo Starr, The Marchioness of Tavistock, François Truffaut, Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata, Robert Wagner, Sir Mortimer Wheeler, The Shah of Persia and Sihanouk (King-Father of Cambodia). Race drivers Sir Stirling Moss, Maurice Trintignant, Tony Vandervell and Rob Walker also had Facels.

In August 1961 Jean Daninos was obliged to offer his resignation and in 1964 the Facel company went into receivership, largely due to warranty claims against Facel Vega's smaller Facellia with its troublesome 'in-house' engine. As a result, Facel II production had to be discontinued with only 180 Facel IIs ever built.

Sold for: 572000 USD
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