1959 Facel Vega HK 500
- One of 190 built in 1959; one of 490 total examples
- Modestly driven example benefiting from 35 years of extended storage
- Believed to retain the original 6.3-liter Chrysler V-8 engine
- Comprehensive late 2000s restoration, subsequently dialed in by marque specialist Ken Brody
- Reportedly owned by no more than five dedicated caretakers throughout its life
- Tastefully upgraded for improved performance and reliability
In 1959 the French manufacturer Facel Vega updated the FV4 into the HK500, carrying over the prior model’s elegant design cues. Continuing to utilize big-displacement American engines, the manufacturer upgraded to a larger 6.3-liter Chrysler engine, and front disc brakes became standard equipment. Only 190 examples of the HK500 were produced in 1959, adding rarity to the model’s list of desirable attributes.
After spending its first 48 years under the ownership of just two caretakers, this Facel Vega was acquired by its third owner in 2007 after reportedly being placed in storage for 35 years. The HK500 was then treated to a substantial restoration by a group of marque enthusiasts led by “Facel Larry” Gesiakowski of WGM Restorations in Chicago, Illinois. Cosmetic considerations were addressed by Dave Shutten while the engine and transmission were rebuilt by Chrysler 300 Club president George Riehl. Numerous parts were sourced from Facel experts, including the noted Hans Ruhé in The Netherlands.
In 2013 the car passed to its fourth owner, Ed Harley of Charleston, South Carolina, and he retained a local business to considerably perfect the car before commissioning marque specialist Ken Brody to conduct a series of tasteful mechanical upgrades. This work included installing a dual-circuit master cylinder, vacuum assisted front disc brakes, cast-iron rear drums, and new custom-made wire wheels, as well as updates to the cooling and electrical systems.
In early 2018, Mr. Brody sold the HK500 to the consignor, who has continued to maintain the car while accruing limited mileage. Currently displaying approximately 42,000 miles, this beautifully presented Facel Vega would make a stunning addition to any gathering of French grand routiers, and an ideal acquisition for the collector of European-American sports hybrids.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mo20.