Facel Vega Facel 6 cabriolet, 1964
Facel Vega Facel 6 Cabriolet, year 1964. First French registration 13-11-1965. Colour blue metallic (‘Bleu Facel Irisé, original factory colour) combined with a black leather interior, black carpet and a black soft-top. This gorgeous Facel Vega Facel 6 is a very special and rare classic automobile. Only about 40 Facel 6 cars were produced, of which only 8 cabriolets. Today only 5 of these Facel 6 cabriolets are still known to exist. The six-cylinder engine Facel 6 is a further development of the Facellia and the Facel 3 four-cylinder models. The more upmarket Facel 6 features a 150 bhp Austin Healey engine, a stronger tubular chassis and the same manual gear-box and rear-axle as the V8 Facel Vega cars. The performance, ride and comfort are more on par with the V8 models, now however in a more compact cabriolet model!
Per order of a client, this fine Facel Vega Facel 6 was fully restored to top condition by Amicale Facel Holland (AFH) in the years 2012- 2014. During the restoration the car was fitted with EZ electric power steering and more powerful disc brakes at the front. Since completion of the restoration the car was garaged at AFH; the client did not want to drive this Left Hand Drive (LHD) car in his own country. So, the car has driven very little since it was completed. This Facel 6 is in immaculate top condition; concours!
The rarity and the quality of this 1964 Facel Vega Facel 6 was recognised on the 2016 edition of the Concours d’élégance Schlosz Ludwigsburg in Germany; the car won the first prize in the class “Post War Open 1960 – 1968”! This very special Facel Vega was also part of the Facel Vega theme exhibition at the Concours d’élégance Paleis het Loo in 2014, and the car was part of the Facel Vega theme exhibition which was held at the 2017 InterClassics show in Maastricht.
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For some years Facel Vega founder and owner Jean Daninos had the idea to fill the 'gap' between the Chrysler powered V8 models and the compact Facel III which were powered by the Volvo four cylinder engine. He decided to develop a six cylinder model. In the year 1964 the Facel 6 was presented. The Facel 6 was based on the Facel III. The Facel 6 featured a stronger chassis and a longer bonnet to house the six cylinder in line engine. This robust engine was a slightly modified Austin Healey unit producing 150 SAE bhp. and giving the Facel 6 a top speed of 195 km/h. The four speed manual gearbox and the live rear axle were carried over from the powerful V8 models. The level of luxury was also a step up from the Facel III model.
The Facel 6 was conceived in a time frame at which Facel Vega was struggling for survival. As the firm went into receivership in 1964 a total of 44 Facel 6 cars were built. 35 coupes, 1 Hardtop Soudé (cabriolet with fixed hardtop) and 8 cabriolets.
BMC type six cylinder in-line engine
carburettors: 2 S.U.
cylinder capacity: 2860 cc.
capacity: 150 SAE bhp. at 5250 rpm.
top-speed: 195 km/h.
gearbox: 4 speed, manual (Pont à Mousson)
brakes: Dunlop disc brakes all round
weight: 1180 kg.
Facel Vega history
The French company Facel (Forges et Ateliers de Construction due’s et Loire) was first established in 1938 as a manufacturer of stainless steel products for the aircraft industry. After the second world war Facel began constructing automobile bodies for Simca, Ford France and Panhard.
In those days, the company was under the leadership of Jean Daninos.
Jean Daninos had always dreamt of manufacturing his own design of super car; the "Grand Routier" or in other words, a luxurious, comfortable and practical 4-person sports car. 1954 saw this dream become a reality with the introduction of the first ever Facel automobile onto the market, the Facel Vega FV1, equipped with a powerful and trustworthy American V8 Chrysler motor.
The addition of the Chrysler motor meant that Facel was one of the first manufacturers to combine European styled body work with a big reliable American V8...
The Facel Vega's were expensive and highly exclusive but they sold well, particularly amongst film stars and the rich and famous. With the passage of time the newer models became increasingly more expensive as extra improvements and features were introduced. At the end of the 1950’s, Facel had a motor designed specifically for use in a smaller model, the Facellia.
Unfortunately, these motors had so many teething problems that the huge amount of warranty claims they caused led the company into serious financial difficulties. The last ever models of the Facel line were fitted with Volvo P1800 (Facel III) and Austin Healey 150 pk six cylinder motors ( Facel 6). In 1964 this proud automobile finally went out of production.
Facel Vegas are cherished by enthusiasts all over the world to this very day. This extremely unique class of vehicle can easily be placed alongside classic makes such as Rolls-Royce, Bentley en Lagonda. Even though Facel did not manufacture it’s own motors, it is safe to say that the vehicle commonly known as the "Grand Routiers" of automobiles is of absolute top class and continues to leave a deep and lasting impression.
© Marc Vorgers