A King’s Excellence

It’s always good when a Facel turns up anywhere, so rare are they, but when an unexpected car turns up in an unexpected country it’s especially good. That’s the case of a rare Excellence EX2 spotted by Miguel Sanchez, editor of the Spanish classic car magazine La Escuderia, at the Retro Malaga classic car exhibition in Spain recently.

EX2s are particularly rare as only eight of them were ever built. They are the Excellence with the normal windscreen, rather than the wraparound of the earlier EX1s. They also feature a relatively conventional rear bodywork rather than the American fins on the earlier cars.

The car that Miguel Sanchez saw had been driven the 497 miles from Marrakech to Malaga in the south of Spain for the exhibition by its owner, Salim Bekkari. It has been in Spain before but it started life in the ownership of King Hassan 11, King of Morocco. Indeed, Bekkari has its first insurance document, made out on July 1, 1962 to ‘Sa Majeste Le Roi’ (His Majesty, the King) in Rabat.

According to Jean Daninos’s own book, this was chassis number EX BO135; His Majesty had already owned an HK500. However, according to the much more accurate Facel Vega register, His Majesty’s Excellence was EX2 C003, also known as EX1 B137. It is not unknown for Daninos to be wrong, as previously mentioned here.

The great thing about the EX2s is that every one of the eight cars has been traced and is known about and several are on the road. C003 was originally Brunswick blue with grey upholstery, air conditioning and tinted glass. The car seen in Malaga certainly looked in excellent condition and is clearly driveable, so it was a pleasure to see it in Spain, although no doubt it was returning the 497 miles back to its native Marrakech after the show.

Finally, big thanks again to Miguel Sanchez for telling us about it. Gracias!

 

 

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