Classic Pin Up: Office Pin Up



Saturday Car Post: The FACEL Vegas

The French-made
Facel Vegas, particularly
the FV, HK 500,
and Facel II —
are rarely seen items at
most American vintage
car shows–

but were some of the most luxurious and stylish
non-domestic cars made in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Ford Comete

Facel started in the automobile
business after World War II
by manufacturing special
order car bodies for
companies like Simca,
Bentley, Panhard, and
Delahaye – although their
first real mainstream
marketing challenge was
with the Ford Comète.

They started building their
own models in 1954, with
the FV and then the HK500.

These were American style
luxury coupes made for the
European market – and were
equipped with Chrysler built
V-8 Hemi engines like the
DeSoto 276 c.i. in 1954 – 1955,
the Chrysler 331 c.i. in 1956,
and a 354 and 383 available
after 1958.

So, despite their size, these
cars made good off the line
speed and handled extremely

Still, a smaller sportier model
to compete with the Mercedes
Benz SL class , especially the
190 SL, was the goal of their
engineering team in 1959 –
and in 1960, they released the
Facellia – available in three
body styles –  a cabriolet,
a 2+2 coupé and a 4-seat

Since their intent was to create
a more ‘European’ sports car,
they replaced the Chrysler made
powerplant with a badly designed
Pont-à-Mousson manufactured
4 cylinder 1.6 liter engine.

That turned out to be a serious
mistake for the company, with
the resulting disastrous warranty
repair costs threatening to
bankrupt them-

Facel switched over to
a practically bullet-proof
Volvo-made B-18 straight
four engine – but the damage
to the company’s image was
already done.

Even a last minute model release, in 1964, of
the Facel-6, with an
Austin-Healey made 2.8 liter
engine failed to revive the

Their main claim to fame these
days is the number of famous
celebrities who were Facel Vega owners –

– Frank Sinatra owned a
Facel II, as did Ringo Starr,
Princess Grace, Pablo Picasso,
the Shah of Iran,
and many others.

Ava Gardner
owned three.

The magazine “Motor”
described the Facel II
in it’s heyday the best :

” One can enjoy the latest
refinements of American brute
force with European standards
of control in an environment
of British luxury and
French elegance. ” 

And it’s hard to argue with
any car that matches THAT


!!! HOY !!!