Facel Vega Facel II, 1963
Facel Vega Facel II, year 1963. Colour Bleu Facel Irisé with a blue leather interior. This tremendous Facel II was extensively restored by Amicale Facel Holland. The automobile is in superb (excellent++) condition, near concours! This Facel II features the 6.2 Litre (383 cu.in.) Chrysler V8 engine, 3-speed automatic transmission (Torqueflite), power steering, power windows, Dunlop disc brakes all round, Powr-Lock limited slip differential, air conditioning, de luxe seat adjustment (optional when new!) and Borrani wire wheels.
Amicale Facel Holland purchased this automobile from the first owner in the year 2007. According to the history file the first owner bought the car directly from the factory in Paris. Being a diplomat in Spain he drove the Facel to his home in Madrid. As his work location changed to the United States he had the car shipped to New York. At least four times he shipped the Facel with vessel Queen Mary to the factory in Paris for service and repairs. The owner drove the Facel II almost daily until the mid 1990'ies and the car was serviced at a classic car company in his region. Then he had the automobile displayed in a classic car museum for some years.
As AFH purchased this Facel II the automobile was still in good and presentable condition. Still the decision was made to restore the automobile extensively. After the car was fully stripped the body was restored from the bare metal and the car was painted in it's original body colour again. The engine, gearbox, suspension and steering were overhauled to perfection. The electrical system was fully checked and renewed were necessary. Air condition was fitted using modern components and fitted in the original style. Some additional options were fitted like electric cooling fans in front of the radiator, micro-lock, brake fluid low level warning lamp and a hazard warning system.
This fine automobile was built with utmost care to immaculate perfection. A full photo reportage of the restoration is present. Since the restoration was finished (August 2009) the automobile has driven only 1500 kilometers. The car comes complete with the original tool kit, factory original wooden blocks(!) to secure the car on a slope, instruction manual, workshop manual and several Facel books.
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The Facel Vega II is the follow-up to the legendary Facel Vega HK 500. The undercarriage of the Facel II is identical to it’s predecessor i.e. welded steel chassis, independent suspension with coil springs in the front, a live axle leaf spring system at the rear and disc brakes all round. The Facel II, however, is equipped with a more powerful Chrysler V8 motor (either a 6.2 Litre 390 pk or a 6.7 litre 400 pk). The 6.7 Litre motor of the Facel 11 has two four-barrel carburettors.
The body of the Facel II has little in common with it’s predecessor except for the fact that it’s appearance, like the HK 500, is stylish down to the last detail. The tail end and side window sections of the vehicle have the trademark "new edge" design which can be found in today’s concept vehicles from Ford and Cadillac; a mixture of sharp angles and fluid curves.
The Facel II also has an ingeniously constructed panoramic windscreen and rear window with extraordinarily beautifully integrated indicator lamps set into the top flanks of the rear wings. The interior, like the HK 500 is majestic; a beautiful mock walnut dashboard sloping gracefully away to it’s rounded corners, finely crafted handles and switches and sublimely comfortable leather seats. The Facel II also has many of the American novelties, which in the 60’s were simply well-built, robust and downright reliable pieces of equipment. The Facel II was an incredibly luxurious and expensive car of which only 183 were ever built. In 1962-'63 the Facel II was one of the fastest production line cars in the world, continuing the reputation the HK 500 had built for itself in the years before.
6.2 litre V8 engine
carburettor(s): 1 Carter "fourbarrel" carburettor
capacity: 355 bhp. at 4800 rpm.
gearbox: 3-speed automatic (Torqueflite) or 4-speed manual gearbox
top-speed: 220 km/h. (automatic), 240 km/h. (manual)
brakes: disc brakes all round
weight: 1800 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