Facellia Coupe

1962 Facel Vega Facellia

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | July 10, 2023

Photo – Osenat

Most Facel Vega cars were boaty grand tourers meant for rocketing you from Nice to Monaco. With the Facellia, Facel Vega wanted to show they could do “sporty” too. It was supposed to be targeted at the Mercedes-Benz 190SL, Porsche 356B, and Alfa Giulietta.

Three body styles were offered: a cabriolet, a four-seater, and a 2+2 (the different between the last two, I think, being roofline). Power is from a 1.6-liter twin-cam inline-four that made 115 horsepower. That engine had serious problems, and warranty claims, in which Facel replaced broken engines, ate through all of their money.

The Facellia debuted at the 1959 Paris Motor Show, and a Series 2 came about in 1961. It was replaced by a Volvo-powered Facel III in 1963, but the financial issues pretty much spelled an end for the brand. Just 1,045 Facellias were made. Read more about this one here.

Facel Vega HK500

1960 Facel Vega HK500

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | May 27, 2023

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

Facel started out in 1939 in France – what great timing. The company was actually started by aircraft manufacturer Bronzavia. Jean Daninos took Facel over at the end of the war and started body manufacturing for automobiles. This all led up to the marque of Facel Vega being founded in 1954.

In 1959, they launched the HK500, which was an updated version of their earlier FVS. It had power from a 6.3-liter Chrysler V8 that made 360 horsepower. The HK500 would only be produced into 1961 before being replaced by the Facel II. Just 489 were built.

This right-hand-drive car was repainted in the last several years in a pretty excellent shade of gold with polished lower panels and coverless-bronze wheels. It looks mean, which, with 360 horsepower, it kind of is. It now has an estimate of $115,000-$140,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold, but Historics won’t say for how much, probably to appease the prickly new owner.

Facel Vega Facel II

1963 Facel Vega Facel II

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | April 17, 2021

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

Facel SA was a French company that started as a component manufacturer that turned toward coachbuilding and eventually automobile production. Their first cars went on sale in 1954, and the company ended up bankrupt in 1964. The Facel II was their last gasp.

It’s a two-door, four-seat grand tourer that went on sale in 1962. It’s powered by a 6.3-liter (383) Chrysler V8 good for 355 horsepower. Top speed was 135 mph when equipped with an automatic transmission like this one. The cars were quick in their day – faster than a Gullwing, a DB4, and a 250 GT.

Only about 180 were produced through the end of the road in 1964. This one was on the London Motor Show stand and spent 25 years in storage before being restored in 2017. It is now expected to sell for between $360,000-$430,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Facel Vega Facellia Cabriolet

1961 Facel Vega Facellia Cabriolet

Offered by Aguttes | Paris, France | March 15, 2020

Photo – Aguttes

Facel S.A. was a French company that got its start building aircraft components. From there they turned to furniture and then automobile bodies. Finally, in 1954, Facel Vega was founded to build complete automobiles. They were like a small, independent, French version of Alfa Romeo. Their cars were luxurious, expensive, and exclusive.

The Facellia first appeared in 1960. It was like a French alternative to the Mercedes-Benz 190SL. A small, sporty car. A new one would’ve fun about $4,000 in the U.S. at the time. The Facellia was produced from 1960 through 1963.

Coupes and cabriolets were offered, with the convertibles coming first. Power was from a 1.6-liter inline-four good for 115 horsepower, but the engines were built in-house by Facel, instead of earlier cars that used Chrysler V8s. This was the car’s undoing.

Pretty much every car had to have its engine replaced under warranty, which ruined Facel’s reputation and ate most of their cash. By mid-1961, a fix was in place for the F2 series of cars, but the company was gone by 1964. In all, 1,045 examples of the Facellia were produced. This one should bring between $43,000-$54,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $74,345.

Facel Vega FV4

1958 Facel Vega FV4 Typhoon

Offered by Mecum | Los Angeles, California | February 16-17, 2018

Photo – Mecum

Among the muscle cars, station wagons, and pickup trucks offered at Mecum’s Los Angeles sale is this European beauty. Facel Vega’s first cars were the two-door Coupes of the “FV” line. There were three different models, the 1954-1955 FV, the 1956-1958 FVS, and the 1958-1961 HK500.

This is an FVS, more specifically an FV4 (the FVS was split between FV3, FV3B, and FV4 models). Most FV4s were powered by a 5.8-liter Chrysler V-8. This FV4 is powered by the 6.3-liter Chrysler “Typhoon” V-8 that makes 360 horsepower. This was the same engine from the mighty Chrysler 300B. This is also the engine that powered most of the later HK500s.

Only 36 FVS cars were built with this huge engine – and there were 85 FV4s built in total (1958 was the only year for the FV4). These are highly sought-after cars and this one has had a body-off cosmetic restoration. The interior is brilliant and you could eat off of the engine, it’s that clean. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Sold $214,500.

October 2017 Auction Highlights

Welcome to October, though we’re starting in September with Mecum’s Louisville sale. We didn’t get to feature anything from this one, but this 1968 Shelby GT500 was the top sale, bringing $90,500. Click here to see what else sold.

Photo – Mecum

Onward to Bonhams’ sale at the Simeone Foundation in Philadelphia. This is always a good one, and their top sale here was $1,001,000 paid for this 1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost London-to-Edinburgh Sports Tourer by Reuters.

Photo – Bonhams

We featured a number of cars from this sale and some of those failed to sell, including this Stearns-Knight, the Mobile Steam car, and a previously-featured Humber. The Stoddard-Dayton Raceabout sold for $106,700 and the 1917 Mack C-Cab truck was a steal at $8,800 (because that’s probably about what the paint on it cost). Click here for everything else.

RM Sotheby’s was also in Pennsylvania in October, in Hershey to be exact. Sadly the most interesting car of the entire auction, the Gasmobile, was withdrawn (as was the Derby). The top sale was this 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow for $2,310,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Some big dollar feature cars included the Belgian-bodied Duesenberg for $1,485,000, the other Duesenberg for $549,000, the White Yellowstone Bus for $165,000, and the Stearns-Knight Touring for $132,000.

Other feature cars that sold included a pair of Stanleys, with the older one bringing $55,000 and the newer one $36,300. The Moon Roadster sold for $66,000. The Apperson Touring sold for $24,750 and the Sears Motor Buggy $35,200. Click here for complete results.

How about some results from Coys? This 1926 Bugatti Type 37 was the top seller at their Blenheim Palace sale back in July. It brought about $968,950. We didn’t feature anything from this sale but you can see more from it here.

Photo – Coys

Finally, Motostalgia’s McPherson Collection sale in Texas. We featured a Zimmer Quicksilver that ended up selling for $15,400. The top sale was this 1958 Facel Vega FVS Series 4 for $190,000. Click here for complete results.

Photo – Motostalgia

Facel Vega Excellence

1960 Facel Vega Excellence

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | October 30, 2016

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

Facel S.A. was founded in 1939 in Paris (great timing!) to make aircraft components. In 1948, they started an automotive division and their first production cars appeared in 1954. The early two-door cars were sporty, stylish and the epitome of French style in the 1950s.

What’s usually forgotten is that Facel Vega produced a sedan. Between 1958 and 1964, they built the Excellence – a model with a name that leaves a lot to live up to. Built in three series, each had slight styling changes and a different engine. This is the most common of the three, the second series, which was built from late 1958 through the middle of 1961. It is powered by a 360 horsepower 5.9-liter Chrysler V-8.

Only 137 of the series two cars were built with only 156 examples of the Excellence produced in total before Facel Vega production ceased in 1964. This highly original example has been owned by the same guy since 1979. The Excellence is a full on powerful luxury sedan right there with the Bentleys, Lagondas, Rolls-Royces, and Maseratis of the day. Exceedingly rare, this one should bring between $90,000-$135,000. Click here for  more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

The First Facel Vega

1954 Facel Vega 54 Prototype V

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 5, 2016

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

Facel S.A. was a company founded by Jean Daninos in 1939 to make aircraft parts. After the war, they turned to building bodies for other French manufacturers. In the early 1950s, Daninos decided he wanted to build his own car, an attractive French car using big Chrysler engines.

This very car was the first car produced by Facel that wore the Vega name. It was a prototype that Daninos sent to the U.S. for engine testing with Chrysler and then became the factory tester and demonstrator. It has some details that differ from later production cars, like a shorter wheelbase.

The engine is a 4.5-liter Chrysler V-8 making 180 horsepower. Once production Facel Vegas were ready, Daninos kept this as his personal ride and had its styling updated and repainted. It has had other owners over the years but it has never been completely restored. This is the first Facel Vega and it is as it was when company founder Jean Daninos owned it. It should bring between $385,000-$600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $560,968.

April 2014 Auction Recap

April was kind of a busy month for auctions, so let’s get to it. First up is Silverstone’s Restoration Show Sale, where the top sale went to this half-complete 1962 Facel-Vega HK500 restoration project. It sold for $107,500.

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

It was an interesting sale and I suggest you check out the full results here. Then we’ll move over to Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach sale where the top sale was a charity car (so we’ll ignore it). But the top actual sale was this 1935 Packard Twelve Model 1207 Coupe Roadster by Dietrich – one of the last bodied by Dietrich. It sold for $330,000.

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Most Interesting goes to one of the first lots of the sale, this 1978 Puma GTE for only $6,270.

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Also interesting (and yellow) was this 1988 Pegasus. The Pegasus was a re-worked Trans-Am but were actually titled as unique cars. Only 25 were built and this one cost someone $33,000.

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The final car I’ll showcase from this sale was the 1994 Chevrolet Highlander Concept (which is actually a 1992 Chevrolet S-10). It sold for $7,920. Check out full results here.

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Now on to Mecum’s Houston sale. The top sale there was our featured Ford GT40 Prototype for a cool $7,000,000. Our featured Locomobile and Cadillac failed to sell – and so did the Dragonsnake Cobra, even though it was bid to $1.1 million. Cool cars were topped by this 1934 Cadillac Fleetwood V-12 All-Weather Phaeton for $165,000.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Another great, old car was this 1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Huntington Limousine by Brewster. It brought $145,000.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Our featured Edsel Bermuda sold for $55,000. Check out complete results here. Earlier in April, Mecum held one of their tractor sales, and we featured five from this sale. Here’s the rundown:

  • Minneapolis 12-25 – Not sold
  • Rumely Oilpull L 15-25 – $10,500
  • Minneapolis-Moline Jet Star Orchard – $14,500
  • Rumely Oilpull X 25-40 – $20,000
  • Bull Little Bull – $81,000 – top sale of the auction

Complete results can be found here. Now we move on to H&H’s Imperial War Museum sale. The top result here was this 1969 Aston Martin DB6 for $265,300.

Photo - H&H Auctions

Photo – H&H Auctions

Our featured AC Greyhound brought $73,850. And the Marmon Speedster we featured almost doubled the high end of its estimate, selling for an awesome $90,300. Click here for full results. And finally, Mecum’s Kansas City sale, where this 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback brought $220,000 to be the top seller.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

We didn’t get the chance to feature anything from this sale, but two past feature cars did sell here, including a 1920 Cadillac for $24,250 and a very rare Abbott-Detroit Roadster for $35,000. Click here for full results

Bonhams Preservation Sale Highlights (10/12)

Bonhams held a really interesting sale at the Simeone Foundation in Philadelphia on October 8, 2012. Many of the cars were unrestored survivors but not offered from the Simeone Foundation itself (unfortunately). And some of them were quite interesting, the most interesting of which, I think, still has to be the Woods Mobilette cyclecar that we featured. It sold for $48,300. Our featured Hahn pickup failed to sell. Top sale went to a one-owner 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona for $357,000.

The “interesting sales” portion of this sale consisted of, well… most of the sale. This 1960 Facel-Vega Excellence Sedan is pretty rare and the price showed it, even in “used-car” condition, at $159,000.

But old cars were the name of the game. And barn finds at that. Check out this 1928 Packard Custom Eight Series 4-43 7-Passenger Touring and how, well, creepy it looks. Love it. It sold for $36,000.

And they got even older still: this 1903 Knox Model C Runabout was the oldest car that sold and it brought $69,000.

This 1917 Crane-Simplex Model 5 Dual-Cowl Victoria had wonderful Phaeton coachwork by Farnham & Nelson and is the type of car people dream about coming across in an old garage somewhere. It has never been restored – just preserved, which was the name of the game here and it’s incredible the kind of cars they found that hadn’t been restored. This one sold for $208,500.

Our two other feature cars both sold: the 1904 Buckmobile Runabout for $46,000 and the 1910 McIntrye High-Wheeler for $37,950. Another car I kind of liked was this 1913 Hupmobile Model 32 convertible. It looks gigantic for being a two-seater. It sold for $32,200.

This barn-fresh 1931 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8A with Lancefield Faux-Cabriolet coachwork was offered publicly for the first time since 1961. It sold for $186,500.

Not everything was priced exorbitantly. There were some steals to be had. Were I there, I would have definitely bid on this 1926 Buick Standard Six Model 20 Coupe – and probably right up to its $6,900 sale price.

And there were other cars that were just as attractive – in both style and price. You can check them all out here. In any case, this sale proves that there are people who love cars in original condition – even if that means unsightly rust and/or wear. Over-restored cars are pretty on TV or on the lawn at Pebble Beach. But those cars aren’t any fun and they are completely devoid of personality. Give me an 80+ year old car with scrapes and dings and chipped paint and torn seats over some trailer-queen exotic any day.