Now is as good a time as there will ever be to buy a Facel Vega. I did a quick flit around a couple of websites, checked out some upcoming auctions and came up with 34 Facel Vegas for sale around the world – well, Europe or the USA.
I’m not going to go through every car, but the models include FV2(1 car listed), various FV3 (4), FV4 (4), HK500 (14), Facel 11 (3), Excellence (5), Facellia (1), Facel 3 (1) and one that had such an imprecise description that I’m not sure if it was an HK500 or earlier; maybe the dealer didn’t really want to sell it! It’s interesting to note that most of these are then ‘big’ cars rather than the smaller engine Facellias, Facel 3s and Facel 6s of which there are only two. The French president of the Amicale Gerard Dufour recently pointed out that he felt that this was because most Facellias were sold in France – although I have recently been told of a LHD Facellia chassis for sale in the UK.
The cars for sale are in the USA, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria and the UK and three of them are right hand drive, all HK500s. They of course vary from being virtual wrecks requiring complete restoration – these are always regarded as investments by their owners – to already restored cars and so consequently they also vary in price from a 1962 Facellia in Los Angeles for $29,500 requiring full restoration, to a restored Facel 11 in Holland for £277,000.
If it’s history you require, there is the ex-Maurice Trintignant FV3B available in Holland, the ex-Ava Gardner Excellence – and last of the EX1 models – for sale for £193,250 also in Holland, and Bonhams is auctioning the ex-Tony Francosa HK500, lot 363, at Retromobile in February with a wide estimate of €120-€180,00. This is the car frequently photographed with Ava Gardner and fellow actor Francosa omitted, but super sleuthing by the French Amicale club found the American actor in the background and realised it was his car, not hers (she did own three Facels).
Incidentally, it’s always fun to read Bonhams descriptions of cars to see what they’ve got wrong. In this instance, they say that this car is HK6-A6, the sixth HK to be built. It is, of course, HK A6 and indeed it is the sixth car to be built, but that doesn’t necessitate two sixes! And it is wrongly described as being Dove Grey which may be more logical than the correct Dover Grey. Also coming up at Retromobile but in the Artcurial sale is a restored FV3, lot 6, the second of the ‘small’ cars.
There is quite considerable variety available too, particularly with HK500s. For instance, several HK500 projects are advertised by a restorer in Holland but if you’re really brave – or maybe foolhardy – how about a lot of three HK500 wrecks at New Milford, Connecticut for a mere $58,000? For a fraction less, you could get a part restored Excellence in Los Angeles.
The sites monitored were as follows: https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/list/509/ and https://www.ebay.com/sch/Other-Makes/6472/i.html?_fsrp=1 . No excuses for not owning one!