1958 Facel Vega FV4 Coupe For Sale
1958 Facel Vega FV4 Coupe
Jean Daninos founded FACEL (Forges et Ateliers de Construction d’Eure-et-Loir) in 1938. The dynamic and driven Daninos rapidly grew his company into a world leader in the forging, stamping, and welding of stainless steel and other alloys. Facel became a significant contributor to the French aviation industry. After World War II, Facel diversified its portfolio to include consumer products such as stainless steel furniture, while also remaining active in aviation.
Jean Daninos had a penchant for stylish luxury automobiles, a passion that eventually led to a coachbuilding division within Facel’s increasingly varied operations. Daninos actually began his career in the automobile business, training at the right hand of Andre Citroen, and contributing to the development of the revolutionary Citroen Traction Avant. Through his connections in the motoring industry, he secured contracts for Facel to produce car bodies for Panhard and Simca. From 1951 through 1954, he provided the coachwork for the very pretty Ford Comète and later partnered with Pininfarina to construct a series of ten bodies for the Bentley Mk VI. That experience provided the ideal launching pad for Facel’s expansion into the luxury car market.
In 1954, Facel’s coachbuilding wing became a full-fledged automobile manufacturer. The new Facel Vega was a distinctly French GT car with lavish trimmings and sophisticated style, powered by a range of Chrysler V8 engines. Timing for its release could not have been better, as Delahaye and Delage were out of business, and Talbot-Lago was struggling for survival, it left Facel Vega as France’s only prestige car. The first model was known simply as the FV, which evolved into several series, culminating with the Chrysler 300 Hemi-powered FV4 and FVS. Few cars could match the Facel Vega FV for its exclusivity, cross-country ability, or elegant style. Between 1957 and 1958, Facel produced approximately 67 FV4s, and they were the preserve of Hollywood stars, racing drivers, and famous artists around the world.
Offered here is a beautifully restored and extensively upgraded Facel Vega FV4, one of approximately 46 surviving examples. This car is fully restored from the ground-up and updated for all-day, high-speed touring comfort. According to registry records, this is the 36th FV4 constructed, imported to the USA via Max Hoffman Motors, and ultimately delivered to a buyer on the West Coast. Original equipment included the 300 horsepower Chrysler 300B Hemi engine, pushbutton-operated automatic transmission, and Robergel wire wheels. The early history is not fully known at this time, although in the late 1990s, it passed through Hyman Ltd. At that time, it was a very well-kept example that had had some restoration work done as needed. Since trading hands, it received a full restoration to include a host of thoughtfully engineered upgrades to boost performance and reliability.
First and foremost is the body, featuring an all-black livery with restored brightwork all around. The quality of the paint is very good, displaying deep reflections and excellent panel alignment. Custom touches are subtle but effective, including front and rear bumpers shaved of their over-riders and tucked tightly against the body. The taillights are bespoke LED units with Frenched-in custom made lenses (spares and moulds are included), and the restorers also shaved off the thin chrome banding that usually defines the edge of the rear quarters, giving this car a smooth and cohesive look. The remainder of the brightwork is factory correct and beautifully presented. Heavy-duty, deep-dish chrome wire wheels wear chunky high-performance BF Goodrich rubber.
Initial impressions of the cabin are that it is well-restored to original specs with beautiful red leather and woodgrain trim. But a closer look reveals this is more than merely a standard car. Features include an aluminum tilt steering column, burl-finish Moto Lita steering wheel, custom Classic Instruments gauges, a Kenwood AM/FM/CD player with aux input, and discreet air conditioning controls and vents by Vintage Air. The leather upholstery presents in good condition, displaying some moderate creasing on the driver’s seat but otherwise tidy and well-maintained. Red carpets, dash top, and headlining are in similarly excellent order.
The most significant changes to this Facel took place under the skin. The Chrysler Hemi V8 remains in its rightful place, backed by a Torqueflite automatic, and equipped with a serpentine belt system powering the updated alternator, compact A/C compressor, and power steering pump. Beneath the “batwing” air cleaner is an EZ-EFI self-tuning, throttle-body fuel injection setup produced by FAST fuel injection. Significant chassis work enhances the handling and high-speed stability, comprising of tubular control-arm front suspension system with coil-over dampers, power rack and pinion steering, and powerful Wilwood cross-drilled and ventilated disc brakes. Based on the proven Mustang II design, the front suspension is lighter, easily adjustable, and more easily serviced compared to the original. In the rear, a Ford 9-inch rear axle is supported by adjustable coil-overs and located by a heavy-duty 4-link setup for excellent stability and handling. Wilwood calipers clamp cross-drilled and ventilated rotors at all four corners. Lastly, a custom-built stainless exhaust system allows the big Hemi to breathe and provide a superb soundtrack.
Despite the extensive list of modifications, none of the Facel-Vega’s understated elegance is sacrificed. This marvelous example delivers all the style and sophistication of the original but enhanced with modern technology for effortless all-round performance. This rare and beautiful Facel FV4 is not so much a wolf in sheep’s clothing as it is a wolf in a finely tailored suit.
Offers welcome and trades considered
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Stock number 6667
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