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Thread: Facel Vega FV/FVS/HK500 1954-1962

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    Facel Vega FV/FVS/HK500 1954-1962

    The Facel Vega FV/FVS was a car produced by French carmaker Facel from 1954 to 1959. It continued until 1962 as the HK500.

    FV
    The Facel 'Vega' was launched at the 1954 Paris Salon. By 1956 the cars were called FVS (for Facel Vega Sport), earlier cars often being referred to as simply "FV". The 1954 versions of the Facel were fitted with a DeSoto Firedome (Chrysler) 4.5 litre Hemi V8 engine, paired with either Chrysler's two-speed Powerflite automatic transmission or, at extra cost, a four-speed manual made by Pont-à-Mousson. At this stage, the 180 hp (134 kW) FV was capable of a top speed from 172 to 193 km/h (107 to 120 mph), depending on which rear axle ratio was installed. The chassis, designed by Lance Macklin, was tubular framed, featuring coil springs and double wishbones at the front, with a leaf-sprung live rear axle. The styling, by Daninos himself, was somewhat American and perhaps a bit heavy, with rudimentary tail fins. The body was an expanded version of the earlier, Facel-bodied Simca/Ford Comète. An abundance of stainless steel brightwork was fitted.

    The interior was uncommonly luxurious, and of exceptional workmanship. The dashboard was aircraft-inspired, and one of the first to feature a middle console over the gearbox. The rear seats folded flat to provide a luggage platform and additional access to the boot. In 1955 the engine capacity increased to 4.8 litres and 200 hp (149 kW) (FV1), which later in the year grew to 250 hp (186 kW) (FV2). 47 of these early FVs were built in 1954 and 1955. Six were convertibles, but as these suffered from rigidity troubles the rest of the large two-door Facels were pillarless coupés.

    FVS
    The 1956 FVS featured a panoramic (aka wrap-around) windshield. Sometimes referred to as FV2, the car featured the same engine as in the later FV1s. Subsequently the 5.4-litre FV2B appeared, with 255 hp (190 kW). Later versions offered a three-speed automatic, and disc brakes were available from 1958. At some point a reworked, more harmonious front end was introduced, featuring what looked like twin stacked headlights but what were actually headlamps on top and auxiliaries beneath. Power steering and power brakes were both standard as of 1957. For 1958, the engine grew to 5.8 litres (FV4) and 325 hp (242 kW), although the earlier 4.5 and a 4.9 (FV3/FV3B) were also listed as available. In total, 357 FVs and FVSs were built.

    A four-door version, called the Excellence, was added to the lineup in 1958, but was even more rarefied than the two-door version.

    HK500
    For 1959, the Facel Vega HK500 was introduced. Essentially, it was just a renamed, upgraded FVS. Equipped at first with the 335 hp (250 kW) 5.8-litre V8 from the FVS, the HK500 soon received a 360 bhp (268 kW) 6.3 litre Chrysler V8, giving it a top speed of 147 mph (237 km/h). It could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 8.5 seconds. Initially, disc brakes were optional, becoming standard in April, 1960. The Facel Vega II replaced the HK500 in 1962, after 489 had been built. One was a specially made convertible. Total FV/HK production was 842, or 846 depending on the source.

    French publisher Michel Gallimard was driving his HK500 on January 4, 1960, when he lost control and crashed outside of Villeblevin. The crash killed him and one of his passengers, Nobel laureate Albert Camus. Some have speculated that the driver was not familiar with the car's handling and weight, and that contributed to the severity of the crash.

    Source: Wikipedia
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 02-26-2021 at 01:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    RM Auction Monaco
    10 May 2014

    1956 Facel Vega FV2B Coupé
    Sold for €106.400

    Chassis no. FV2B-56 114
    Body no. 0110
    ---------------------------------
    325 bhp, 330 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, Powerflite two-speed automatic gearbox, coil-spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,630 mm

    • Franco-American elegance
    • Muscular Chrysler Hemi power
    • Grand routier for all continents


    Jean Daninos was a Parisian-born engineer of Greek ancestry. He worked for Citroën in body engineering and as the head of special vehicles, but he left after the Michelin takeover. He founded Métallon, a fabricator of kitchen cabinets and sinks, and in 1939, he established Forges et Atéliers de Construction d’Eure-et-Loire, or Facel for short. The two firms combined and made aero engines during World War II.

    After the war, Facel-Métallon produced bodies for the Dyna Panhard, Simca, and Ford of France’s lovely Cométe, as well as some quite stunning one-off coachwork, notably on his own Bentley Mk VI. In 1954, Daninos decided to try his hand at a complete car. On a tubular chassis frame with box-section crossmembers, he mounted a Chrysler hemi V-8 engine, initially the smaller DeSoto version. The gearbox was either Chrysler’s Powerflite or the French Pont-a-Mousson four-speed manual, whilst the body was Facel’s own, executed in steel with stainless brightwork. Over the years, larger Chrysler engines were fitted, along with power assists and better brakes.

    This well-preserved, accident-free, original Black Facel Vega Coupé presents very well. The paint exhibits a deep shine, and the Dove Grey leather interior exhibits a pleasing patina. Its current owner has just completed a mechanical and cosmetic freshening, which included a complete fuel service and a carburettor rebuild. He reports today that it continues to run strong and shift and track properly, whilst the cosmetic attention paid to the engine bay and chassis has brought the car to an impressive standard. The carpeted boot is also nicely detailed.

    The car is equipped with electric windows, power steering, and Chrysler’s excellent Powerflite automatic gearbox, making it a delight to drive. The Facel Vega is a subtle crossbreed of French flair with American practicality, and it is comfortable on all continents. It is a grand routier in the proper sense, as it is fast, stylish, and elegant. With fewer than 3,000 built, all by hand, it is a worthy successor to the pre-war coach built European prestige automobile.
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    If I had enough money
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    1958 Facel Vega FVS Series 4
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    1958 Facel Vega FVS Series 4 #2

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    Facel Vega HK500
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    Pictures from past times. Those are always ace.

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    Facel Vega FV #7
    Last edited by Man of Steel; 02-26-2021 at 01:41 PM.

  9. #9
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    Facel Vega HKS #8
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