Facel Vega HK500 – 1959
Perico001 has added a photo to the pool:
In its relatively short life, the French firm of Facel produced approximately 2,900 cars, all of which were stylish, luxurious and fast. From being chiefly engaged in the supply of car bodies to Panhard, Simca and Ford France, Facel branched out into automobile manufacture in its own right in 1954 with the launch of the Vega at the 1954 Paris Salon. A luxurious Grand Routier, the Vega took its name from the brightest star in the Lyra constellation and featured supremely elegant coupé bodywork welded to a tubular-steel chassis. There being no suitable French-built power unit, Facel turned to the USA for the Vega’s, that chosen initially being Chrysler’s 4,5-litre, 180 bhp V8, while there was a choice of push-button automatic or manual transmission.
An improved model, the HK500, appeared in 1957. Maximum power was now around 360 bhp courtesy of the latest, 5,9-litre version of Chrysler’s ‘hemi’ V8 and top speed rose to around 140 mph. Power steering became an option and Dunlop disc brakes were adopted as standard equipment in 1960. Capable of effortless and virtually silent 120mph cruising, the HK500 possessed, according to The Motor, ‘a brilliant combination of good comfort and quite exceptional roadholding.’ HK 500 production amounted to a mere 500-or-so units between 1958 and 1961, and today this rare Franco-American Grande Routière is highly sought after.
This right-hand drive car was supposed to be supplied to the HWM dealership in the UK, but ended up being delivered new in France to Société A Carle, Paris on 11th May 1959. The original registration was ‘2114 JA 75’, and the car was delivered with the optional Pont-à-Mousson manual gearbox, chromed Rudge wheels, and disc brakes.
On 27th January 1961, the Facel was sold to a motor dealer in Paris 16 (Paris Cannes Automobiles). Later in 1961, the car was sold to Société SADAM in Metz and reregistered as ‘840 JS 57’. There are invoices on file for SADAM’s period of ownership dating from 18th April 1961 to 24th September 1965.
From 1972 to 2004, the Facel was in Alsace, France with various owners, including Mr Pierre Marie Knoll, who sold it to the current vendor in 2004. Between 2011 and 2012 the car was restored (exterior and interior) by Espace Century of Wissous, France. Finished in white with contrasting red leather interior, this stunning, rare, and desirable HK500 is offered with invoices and photographs of the restoration, French Carte Grise, and ‘Amicale Facel’ certificate.
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