It’s that time of year again, when you can buy virtually any Facel Vega you desire. That’s because we’re approaching Retromobile, the classic car show in Paris in the first weekend of February, and the attendant auctions that go with it.
This year there is great variety and rarity in that the one car you can’t buy is an HK500, normally the most common of the big V8-engined cars. Instead, there is a 1956 FV2, two Excellences, two Facel 11s and two Facel 111s. And none of them, really, are suitable for the UK in that they are all left hand drive.
Having said that, the FV2 has been in the UK for many years although few of us were aware of its presence. It is lot 223 in the Bonham auction on February 6. It is chassis number 56-056 registered 647UYM and has been in a private collection but rarely seen and just as we can acknowledge its presence, it will probably leave the country. It is in excellent condition and estimated at £120 to £150,000. https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/26005/lot/223/?category=list&length=12&page=14
The day before, the first of the Excellences comes up at RM Sotheby’s. This is lot 139, a 1959 car from the Porter Car Collection and a relatively rare manual car. B052 was restored in 2000, it’s only had five owners and is estimated at €120-€160,000. https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/pa20/paris/lots/r0022-1959-facel-vega-excellence/830793
Having been restored, it would seem better value than the 1960 Excellence which comes up two days later at Artcurial, the French auction house, who offer B086 at the same estimate. This is one of the ex-Roger Baillon cars, the huge collection of largely unrestored cars which came up at Retromobile several years ago. Lot 59 has only been cleaned and is otherwise in original condition, hence the price. It was sold new to Helen Kirby de Bagration almost exactly sixty years previously and has been in Switzerland most recently. https://www.artcurial.com/fr/lot-1960-facel-vega-excellence-3980-59
Also coming up on February 7th at the Hotel Mercure across the road from Retromobile is a mini-collection of four Facels and couple of bits of spare bodywork, offered by Remy Le Fur and Associates. Both the Facel 11s and Facel 111s offered are in very original condition, which basically means that they are very dusty and dirty and in need of total restoration.
The two Facel 11s are estimated at €110-€130,000; one is chassis number 177 so quite a late car (there were 184) owned by the same individual since the late 1970s with 82k kilometers on the clock. It was unsold when Facel went out of business and then sold subsequently. The other car is much earlier, HK2 A 120 and first registered in March 1962. It was soon owned by Larrousse, the publishers and painted in their colours and again, has been owned but the same owner since 1978.
The Facel 111s are different models; the white car is from December 1963, a convertible with red interior. It has a manual gearbox and 86k kilometers on the clock. It was originally intended for Madagascar but ended up in Nice. It is estimated €25-€30,000. The four seater is cheaper at €15-€20,000 and is FB-C428, first registered in Belgium in early 1965, now with 21k kilomters. However, the sunshine roof is missing.
Finally, there are two pieces of bodywork: a Facel 11 front end comprising both wings and the nose section and this is estimated at €1000-€1500, while a Facel 111 rear bodywork is estimated at the same price. There is also a pair of Facel 111 front wings at €500 to €800. https://auctionart.auction.fr/_fr/vente/facel-vega-retromobile-63178#.XiXXTy2cb_Q
So there you are: lots of variety and surely something to please anyone.