Facel Vega FV3B, 1957 restoration
This 1957 Facel Vega FV3B is being 'body off' restored to top condition for its owner. This is a gorgeous Facel Vega FV3B from the very rare first FV3B series of which only 12 cars have been built. This early model still retains the narrow bodywork. This FV3B features the 5 Litre Poly engine and the 3-speed Torqueflite automatic gearbox. The Bodywork and the chassis have been restored from the bare metal as you can see in the photoreportage. The car has been painted and the bodywork has been mated to the chassis. The engine, most of the mechanicals and body trim have been fitted. Now the car is ready to be upholstered with first class leather!
To be continued.
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