The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172

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Lot 257
1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé
Registration no. 2900 PJ Chassis no. HK2 A172

£ 210,000 - 260,000
US$ 280,000 - 350,000
The 1963 London Motor Show
1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé
Registration no. 2900 PJ
Chassis no. HK2 A172
*One of only 182 made
*One of only 26 right-hand drive examples
*Barn stored for some 25 years
*Extensive restoration completed in 2020

Footnotes

  • "The HK500 was the most interesting car we ever made but the Facel II was the best. It was totally elegant." – Jean Daninos.

    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 necessarily very expensive – the Facel II was priced in Rolls-Royce territory – and bought by the rich and famous seeking something exclusive and distinctive. The roll call of owners includes royalty, politicians, diplomats, and entertainers: Tony Curtis, Danny Kaye, Ringo Starr, Joan Fontaine, and Ava Gardner being counted among the latter. Confirming that there was high-performance substance behind Facel's unquestionable style, they were owned and driven by great motor racing figures such as Sir Stirling Moss, Maurice Trintignant, and Rob Walker.

    Forges et Ateliers de Constructions d'Eure-et-Loire (Facel) was founded in December 1939 as a subsidiary of the military aeronautics company Bronzavia. After WW2 Facel was headed by Jean Daninos, formerly Bronzavia's technical director, who merged the company with Mètallon. Facel engaged in the supply of car bodies to Panhard, Simca, and Ford before diversifying into automobile manufacture in its own right with the launch of the Vega at the 1954 Paris Salon. A luxurious Grande Routière, the Vega featured supremely elegant coupé bodywork welded to a tubular-steel chassis. There being no suitable French-built power unit, Daninos turned to the USA, that chosen being a Chrysler V8, setting the pattern for future models.

    Launched in 1961, the Facel II was destined to be the last of the V8-engined models. Road testing one in 1962, Autocar commented: "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." Following an unsuccessful venture into engine manufacture that effectively bankrupted the company, production ceased in 1964 after a mere 182 Facel IIs had been built. Today these rare Franco-American GTs are among the most highly sought after of post-war classics.

    This spectacular Facel II is one of only 26 right-hand drive examples manufactured. It has the 383ci (6.3-litre) Chrysler V8 engine and Torqueflite automatic transmission. First registered on 16th April 1963, chassis number '172' was displayed on the Facel stand at the London Motor Show. It is known that the Facel was later offered for sale in Roy Salvadori's showroom on the A3, and it appears to have been sold and financed through a company of dubious repute called Southern Organs. In 1972, the car was owned by a Jon Wilson, detained in HM Prison, Cardiff, who wrote authorising a Mr Angelo Papacosta to sell the car on his behalf (letter on file). Little is known of the Facel's whereabouts thereafter; however, it is known to have spent some 25 years in storage in a garage from which it was recovered in 2017.

    In need of total restoration when discovered, the Facel has since undergone an extensive rebuild, with 125 man-hours spent on the paintwork alone, and has been refinished in what is believed to be its original colour combination of grey with red leather interior. Rather than replace the original interior a large proportion of the original leather has been retained. Other noteworthy features include power steering and the rare, chromed disc wheels. (The original wheels are available should the new owner wish to collect them post sale.)

    The car comes with a substantial file of history that includes an old-style continuation logbook; a V5C document; a bill of sale from A Papacosta; the aforementioned correspondence from 1972; an MoT test certificate from 1973; a 2015 Facel Vega Car Club article on the car and its owners; and various press cuttings relating details of its early history (perusal recommended).

    An exciting combination of elegant European style and American V8 power, this beautiful Facel II is a worthy successor to the legendary French Grandes Routières of pre-war days.
Contacts
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
The 1963 London Motor Show,1963 Facel Vega Facel II Coupé  Chassis no. HK2 A172
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