1959 Facel Vega HK500

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Red Metallic | Coupé | 3 Speed Automatic | 6.3 litre V8 | 00691 miles showing | SOLD

WPCS 2.1.0
 

Founded by Jean Daninos in 1939, Forges et Ateliers de Construction d'Eure-et-Loir (FACEL) originally specialised in the production of aircraft materials before the outbreak of war in 1939. After World War II, Facel distributed car bodies to Panhard, Simca and Ford France. It would not be until 1954 that Facel began to manufacture its own vehicle, the Facel Vega FV, which was unveiled at the Paris Salon in 1954. Crippling legislation immediately after the war made it virtually impossible for luxurious cars to be manufactured in France, but despite this, Jean Daninos was passionate about reigniting the romance of lavishly glamorous French motoring.

Offered here this 1959 car (HK P5) was the very first Facel Vega to arrive in Australia. Factory records show it was completed on May 15th and was delivered new by Auto Becker, an exclusive car dealership in Dusseldorf, Germany. The records show it was originally painted black, with black leather interior, with automatic transmission, power steering and a 3.31 rear axle ratio. Fitted with Borrani knock-on wheels with spinners.

In 1964 the car was bought in Germany and shipped to Western Australia, becoming the first Facel Vega in Australia. The car was sent to local conversion specialist Terry Priestly for conversion to right hand drive, as a conversion was required at that time for registration under Western Australian regulations. At that time, it was one of the most exotic cars in Western Australia, where we had yet to see cars such as Ferrari and Maserati, Porsches were little 4-cylinder cars and Jensens were yet to arrive here.

Relatively early on, the colour was changed to a Red Metallic in the late 1960’s.

The car was displayed at the Classic Car Show at Whiteman Park in the late 1990s alongside two other Facel Vegas, a first in Australia for a trio of Facel Vegas being together.

In February 2008 the car was sold to the previous owner who undertook a comprehensive restoration of the car. This work was overseen by West Coast Automotives, who had previously completely restored another HK500, so were well placed to handle this car. The Facel was completely stripped and every element – mechanical, bodywork, interior, electrics was totally rebuilt. Parts were sourced from around the globe. The drum brakes were replaced with a set of new Dunlop discs, which were an option when the cars were new, and a sensible upgrade. The engine valve system has been upgraded to suit unleaded petrol, an electric cooling fan added to avoid overheating issues when running around town.

The bodywork and paint were done by Rowe & Son, known for their restoration work. The main brightwork was refurbished, chrome parts replated, the upholstery re-done and a new steering wheel sourced.

A brave creation in the face of adversity and a wonderful piece of French automobile history available for sale.
 
 

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