Facel Vega Facellia F2, 1961
Facel Vega Facellia F2, year 1961. Colour red with a black leather interior. Black mohair soft top and hood cover. This beautiful and scarce Facellia F2 was fully restored by Amicale Facel Holland in the years 2000/2001. The automobile features a Stainless Steel exhaust and an original HMV radio.
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Known as a constructor of large, expensive and very luxurious "Grand Routiers" for the earths "happy few" Facel entered the market of compact luxury cars in the late fifties.
A market were Alfa Romeo was present with the Giulietta and Mercedes-Benz with the 190 SL.
In the year 1959 the Facel Vega Facellia saw the light of day; the Facellia was a beautiful and luxurious auto car.
Ever since Facel started building cars they were using large, powerful and reliable Chrysler V8 engines, a manufacturing concept not everyone appreciated. The Facellia should be equipped with a "native" Facel engine; Facel were to prove that they could build their own engine... The design specifications were promising; they wanted an advanced engine with high power-output, aluminium cast engine and cylinder head, with two overhead camshafts. Facel must have focused on the Alfa Romeo four cylinder engine as the one to beat, I presume.
As the Facellia hit the market the Facel engine was not problem free and showed some serious flaws. The first Facellia's were haunted by engine problems like oil-leakage and piston damage.
From the year 1961, with the introduction of the Facellia F2, all engine problems were solved. The 1600 cc. engine was an immaculate machine with a power output of 120 bhp. at 6400 rpm.(!) and giving a beautiful exhaust sound.
De Facellia was available as two-door coupé and as convertible. Like the big Facel Vega cars the interior of the Facellia was eye catching beautiful with all leather upholstery and the finest wooden dashboard imaginable. All exterior trimming was made out of artistically shaped stainless steel as can only be found on Facel Vega cars.
The Facellia became the best selling Facel Vega: approx. 1200 were built.
Facel Vega 4 cylinder engine
1 double Solex carburettor
two overhead camshafts
cylinder capacity: 1646 cc.
capacity: 120 bhp. at 6400 rpm.
top-speed: >112 mph. - >180 km/h.
gearbox: 4 speed, manual
brakes: disc brakes all round
weight: 1050 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