1962 FACEL VEGA FACEL II
Led by the indefatigable Jean Daninos, Facel-Vega rekindled France’s elite-level, coachbuilt automobile industry immediately after the marque was established as an offshoot of contract body manufacturer FACEL S.A. in 1954. The FV/FVS – Facel-Vega and Facel-Vega Sport – were the marque’s first offerings, produced along four distinct variations from 1954 through 1958. The Excellence sedan, scaled-down Facellia, and HK 500 followed, all built to exceeding quality standards in small batches. For its part, the HK500 was succeeded by the Facel II in 1961 with handsomely modernized and refined styling cues, plus even greater power, and performance with Chrysler’s new 383ci “Wedge” V-8 engine powering it. Ultimately the last V-8 model from the Facel-Vega marque, the Facel II was also one of the last models released under the careful watch of Daninos, who was encouraged to resign from the company during August 1961 amid mounting financial losses.
Regardless, the Facel II remains one of the most handsomely styled and well-built elite Grand Touring cars of the entire postwar era – from either side of the Atlantic. Purposefully styled, much as a finely tailored suit of clothes, the Facel II retained the marque’s signature multi-element radiator grille motif and twin-stacked headlamps, now revised slightly, and covered. While obviously drawing heavily on its predecessors. the Facel II’s revised roof treatment looked fresh and modern. Now featuring a simplified profile, thinner pillars, and flatter windscreen, the Facel II delivered much-improved vision all around. Performance and driving dynamics were enhanced in all disciplines. A fast, luxurious, and dashing Grand Routier, the Facel II was produced in small numbers from 1961 through 1964, with as few as 182-183 constructed in all.
According to Facel factory production records maintained by the marque experts at Amicale Facel Holland, this striking 1962 Facel-Vega Facel II was built during January 1962 to order for famed New York automobile importer Hoffman Motors for display at the 1962 New York Auto Show. Carrying a production number of '107', this example is the 8th Facel II produced. Equipped with Chrysler’s potent 383ci “Wedge” V-8, the Facel II also featured a Torqueflite three-speed automatic transmission, Borrani wire wheels, and a Tudor Grey paint finish over red leather upholstery. Standard equipment was comprehensive, including 4-wheel Dunlop disc brakes, a limited-slip differential, power steering, a single four-barrel Carter AFB carburetor, power windows, clear glass and an HMV radio with automatic antenna. Although details of its subsequent early history in the United States are sparse, by 2002 the Facel II was part of a enthusiast’s extensive collection housed in London, England. The next owner acquired the Facel II in 2009 and retained it until mid-2021.
As offered, this exceedingly rare 1962 Facel-Vega Facel II is simply captivating in a fittingly sophisticated livery of black over red upholstery. This car has enjoyed regular care and maintenance, and thus never required a full restoration, though it has received a quality exterior refinish in black, with paint desirably deep and glossy. Additionally, the engine was serviced, detailed to a high standard, and new tires fitted to the Borrani wheels. The paintwork is complemented by the striking leather interior, with matching wool carpet and correct woodgrain-effect dash. Switchgear and instruments are correct fitments, including the marvelous three-spoke wood-rimmed steering wheel. All standard factory features are present, including Chrysler’s renowned Torqueflite automatic transmission, plus the added comfort provided by a retrofitted air conditioning system.
Looking crisp and elegant throughout, this exceptionally rare 1962 Facel-Vega Facel II is a collector-grade example of these stylish French GT cars. It will certainly provide an excellent experience for the next caretaker and provide an ideal and welcome entry into today’s top long-distance classic rallies, including the Copperstate 1000 or New England 1000, where the Facel’s unrivaled comfort and outstanding performance can be put to the test.
Offers welcome, trades considered
STOCK NUMBER 7106
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