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Thread: Facel Vega Facellia 1960-1963

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    Facel Vega Facellia 1960-1963

    In 1960, Facel entered the sports car market with the Facellia, a small car along the lines of the then popular Mercedes 190SL. Facellias were advertised in three body styles: cabriolet, 2+2 coupé and 4-seat coupé — all with the same mechanicals and a 96.5" wheelbase. Styling was similar to the Facel HK500, but with rather elegant (though fingernail-breaking) flush door handles. Following Facel Vega's demise several of M Daninos's styling cues were "borrowed" by Mercedes-Benz.

    With the idea of creating a mass produced all-French sports car competing with the Alfa Romeos, Facel eschewed its standard of American engines, and the Facellia had a 4 cylinder 1.6 L DOHC engine built in France by Paul Cavallier of Pont-à-Mousson. The engine had only two bearings supporting each camshaft, using special steels, as opposed to the usual four or five. Despite the metallurgical experience of Pont-à-Mousson, this resulted in excessive flex, timing problems and frequent failures. The engine was pronounced a disaster and the Facellia with it. The troublesome engine was replaced with a Volvo P1800 powerplant in the Facel III, but the damage was done. Production was stopped in 1963 and despite the vision of it being a "volume" car only 1100 were produced, which is Facel's highest production number. Facel lost money on every car they built, the luxury car side of the company being supported entirely by the other work done by Facel Metallon, Jean Daninos's obsession being very similar to that of David Brown of Aston Martin.

    The small Facellia met with little success and the losses from this, due to strong competition at the luxury end of the market, killed off the company. Facel left the car market completely in 1964. What was, according to some, the best small Facel, the Facel 6, which used an Austin Healey 2.8 litre engine, came too late to save the company, fewer than 30 having been produced when the French government scuttled the endeavour.

    Source: wikipedia

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