1963 Facel Vega Facel II
Year of manufacture1963
Fred Kanter, Boonton, New Jersey (acquired circa 1972)
Mark Hyman, St. Louis, Missouri (acquired from the above in 2008)
Larry Smith, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (acquired from the above in 2008)
Current Owner (acquired from the above)
When Facel S.A. elected to craft its own cars, the French steel-forming manufacturer set a goal of developing the finest limited-production cars of the postwar era. Having already produced bodies for Delahaye, Bentley, and the award-winning Ford Comète, Facel utilized these inspirations to influence the first Facel Vegas. The new cars were sporty and elegant, appointed with finely crafted leather, accented by aviation-inspired instrumentation, adorned with luxury amenities, and outfitted with high-performance engines. The combination of French elegance mated to reliable and powerful American V-8 engines quickly created a stir, and customers included Ringo Starr, Pablo Picasso, Stirling Moss, and the King of Morocco.
In 1962, the Facel II emerged with a new dramatic design. The already-low profile now appeared more aggressive, balanced by a delicate crispness in the C-pillar and fender lines. Panoramic glass accented the chiseled hardtop, with stacked quad headlamps accenting its bold fascia, resulting in a sporting, elegant grand tourer. Advanced front double-wishbone suspension and a rear live axle, coupled with a handmade tubular chassis, returned competitive top speed and handling numbers against top marques of the period. Exceptional build quality and superb material craftsmanship adorned each car without compromise. Wildly expensive for the times, each Facel II was a bespoke creation, ensuring both exclusivity and prestige to the most privileged clientele.
The exceptional Facel II offered here has been beautifully restored to a very high standard. Originally delivered with the rare and desirable Pont-à-Mousson four-speed gearbox, and 6.7-liter dual-quad V-8 engine, the car displays premier Facel coachwork, penned by Facel founder Jean Daninos, combined with the company’s top performance drivetrain. A comprehensive restoration, commissioned by a previous owner, was completed in stunning Cabernet Metallic over a Cream Beige leather interior. This Facel II features power steering, power disc brakes, power windows, dual power radio antennas, and Borrani wire wheels. In late 2016 and early 2017, the current owner enlisted noted restoration experts Winning Makes, of Santa Barbara, California, to further refine the car. Winning Makes addressed the electrical system; renewed the brakes, including rotors and master cylinder; and fabricated specialized parts unique to Facel in order to maintain an accurate and authentic restoration. Particular attention was given to improving cosmetic finishes using correct fasteners and hardware; upgrading interior fittings; and refining mechanical systems for smooth operation. The work totaled some $40,000, and is documented by service receipts that accompany the sale.
Exquisitely appointed and restored, this Facel II conveys an elegant presence while offering remarkable performance. With only about 22 produced in this configuration, this historically important Facel represents the ultimate iteration of the revered French marque.