Facel Vega Facel 2, 1962 restoration
Facel Vega Facel II, year 1962. This impressive Facel Vega Facel II was sold new featuring the 400 SAE bhp Chrysler 413 V8 engine fitted with twin Carter four-barrel carburettors and the Pont-à-Mousson four speed manually operated gearbox. This fine automobile is being fully restored to concours condition for its owner. The automobile was fully stripped. The body paint was stripped in a special bathing process. This body of this Facel II must be rebuilt with new sheet metal up to the waistline. On the left side some sheet metal was renewed in the past (door and rear wing). The sheet metal works are completed and the body was given a full KTL coating by a specialist firm. The V8 engine was also fully overhauled and restored. In the photos you can also see the mechanics busy assembling pistons on the connecting rods. The piston pins were cooled in dry ice to -78 degrees Celsius (shrinkage) while the connecting rods were heated to a few hundred degrees (expansion) at the location of the small end. The assembly must to be done very quickly, after a few seconds the piston pin expands and the 'small end' shrinks, so that the piston pin stays firmly in place. The chassis was fully restored and rebuilt with all restored, overhauled and new parts. As the bodyuwork returned with KTL coating inside and out the body was smoothened to perfection. Now, the bodywork is ready for the final paint system.
To be continued.
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 bhp or a 6.7 litre 400 bhp). 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.
6.7 litre V8 engine
carburettor(s): 2 x Carter AFB "fourbarrel" carburettor
capacity: 400 SAE bhp at 5400 rpm.
gearbox: 4-speed manual gearbox (Pont-a-Mousson)
top-speed: 240 km/h.
brakes: disc brakes all round
weight: 1800 kg.
Facel Vega history
The French company Facel (Forges et Ateliers de Construction due’s et Loir) 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