Three owners from new, with the current owner since 1966
1958 Facel Vega FV4 'Typhoon' Coupe
Chassis no. FV457NY9
Engine no. 0231
354ci Chrysler OHV Hemi 'Typhoon' V8 engine
Dual four-barrel carburetors
325bhp at 4,600rpm
Three-speed automatic transmission
Double wishbone front suspension and live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs
Four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes
-Three owners from new
-Originally delivered to Pennsylvania
-In the care of the current vendor since 1966
-Recent complete engine rebuild
-A beautifully preserved example of a classically elegant GT
The FV4 'Typhoon'
Seventy years after the Statue of Liberty was built in the harbor of New York City a four wheeled Gran Turismo ambassador that combined French styling and design with reliable and high performance American running gear took to the roads, it wore the badge of Facel Vega.
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, of course, necessarily very expensive and were bought by the rich and famous seeking something exclusive and distinctive. Confirming that there was high-performance substance behind Facel's unquestionable style, they were owned and driven by great motor racing legends.
Founded by Jean Daninos in 1939, Forges et Ateliers de Construction d'Eure-et-Loir (FACEL) specialized in the construction of aircraft components and later auto body construction, before branching out into automobile manufacture in its own right with the launch of the Vega at the 1954 Paris Salon. A luxurious Grand Routier, the Vega took its name from the brightest star in the Lyra constellation and featured supremely elegant coupé bodywork welded to 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 Hemi V8, while there was a choice of push-button automatic or manual transmission.
Improvements to the first FV model were not long in coming, the FV1, introduced in March 1955, featuring a lengthened wheelbase for increased rear seat room and a more powerful Chrysler V8, and not too long after the FV4B came along, with a 354 cubic inch 'Typhoon' Hemi V8 was shoe-horned into the engine bay.
The Motorcar Offered
Dating from the late 1950s, by which time minor improvements had seen this model advance to the FV4, frequently referred to as the 'Typhoon' owing to its power unit, this is a neatly preserved example of this rare breed. Ordered new in Pennsylvania, it was first registered in the Keystone State on January 6th, 1958. The first owner put the car up for sale only five years after purchasing it. It was in the newspaper classified that its next owner, or more specifically her younger brother, found the car listed. Encouraged by her brother, who clearly had fine taste in cars, Ellen Beswick of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania acquired the coupe in 1963. Enjoying the Facel for only three years, she then sold it to the current owner in 1966.
By the time it was acquired by the vendor, the elegant Facel was in good running order but had been repainted a rather lurid shade of Apple Green. Going in for its second repaint as a less than 10 year old car, it was reskinned in its current dark red. Enjoyed for a several years, by the early 1970s the car was put into climate controlled storage.
Besides the repaint, the coupe is in original, preserved condition. It still retains all of its ornaments, badges and scripts as well as its unique taillights, and Marchal driving and turn lamps. Even the rare original Robergel wheels, hubcaps and retainers are still mounted on the car. The big Chrysler sourced solid-lifter Hemi V8 has just recently been removed, cleaned, and rebuilt to ensure that the beating heart of this velvet hammer is in good nick.
Facels have always had a devoted following, their avant garde design appealing to those who appreciate something a little different and keen to sample the qualities that proved so attractive to the many high profile original owners of these cars. With only three owners from new, this fine car provides the potential to follow in their footsteps.
- Please note that the correct engine number for this vehicle is TY5562131