Last night I watched a Facel wheel-spinner sell for £107 on e-bay. Quite a sum, one supposes but then you’re not likely to see one every day. Or are you? There is another single wheel spinner for sale at £160.50 and a set for £720 on e-bay. But therein lies a quandary which is typical of classic car ownership.
Last night’s item was obviously well used and needed re-chroming. It looked as though it would come from an HK500 rather than a Facel 11. I was watching to make sure it went to someone who wanted it and needed it, rather than an opportunist who just fancied buying something Facel on the cheap.
Consequently, when it had remained at £24.99 up to the final 30 seconds, I thought I had better put in a bid to secure it. I needn’t have bothered. Just as I was typing in something sensible, it rocketed from £25 to £31.55 to £48 to £105 to £107 in the remaining seconds, all bids from different would-be buyers. Someone – probably several people – obviously wanted it and quite badly!
I have wheelspinners on my Facel 11 similar to the set that is for sale. I think they have been made brand new by a company called Orson Equipment at Bilston, near Dudley in Worcestershire. They advertise them as being for use with wire wheels, which means that they have a longer thread. I have one such spinner (for sale, I guess, if you can convince me you need it). The ones that are on my car are for use with disc rather than wire wheels and have a shorter thread. Orson’s brand new set is priced at £720 for a set. Type ‘Facel Vega spinner’ into e-bay and you’ll find them.
The single spinner that Orson Equipment seem to be selling has the word ‘off’ written on the face, suggesting the direction of turn to get the spinner off. I don’t know if original Facels have this written on them, or maybe American spec spinners have these, but mine don’t. The price of this single right hand wire wheel spinner is £160.50, which would be about right for a single spinner in good condition, compared to the one that sold last night in average condition.