1962 Facel Vega, Facel II, Registration Number 694 JGW, Chassis Number HKII-A122
Presented at the 1961 Paris Motor Show, the Facel II or HK2 marked the pinnacle of achievement for Jean Daninos, who had been striving to create a French deluxe range of worthy of the great pre-1950 road cars by Delage, Delahaye, Hotchkiss, Salmson and not forgetting Talbot. Power grew from 203-253bhp on the FV between 1956-58 (a period characterised by the FV’s panoramic windscreens) then to 335bhp or 360bhp on the HK500 of 1959, which could top 140mph-making it the fastest four-seater coupe in the world. FACEL also produced a long-wheelbase, four-door limousine called Excellence which, despite its price, met with some success until 1961.
But in 1959 Jean Daninos created a new, lower and even racier-looking model, the Facel II (or HK2) a large-windowed coupe with rounded windscreen and rear window, and a thin roof barely visible in profile. Derived from the HK 500, this gave supreme expression to Daninos’ ideas about performance, style, capacity and luxury quality. With its Chrysler big block engine, superb interior lined with the finest available leather, refined dashboard and airy interior, this immediately became a classic embodiment of luxury a la francaise, without excess or ostentation. Of the 183 Facel II examples produced only 27 of these were right-hand drive.
Chassis number HKII-A122 was delivered new on 26th March 1962 to International Cars, London in very rare right-hand drive specification. It was finished in Iridescent Blue metallic and Luxan blue Connolly hide and featured a three speed automatic transmission, power assisted steering, a radio and Borrani wire wheels. According to the information supplied by Amical Facel, this car was sold to its first owner in March 1962, a Mr Dick Wilkins of powerboat racing notoriety. It was sold to a Mr Marriot in February in 1963 and a Mr Cowley in 1966. The car had two further British owners before being exported to Malaysia in 1997. It spent 13 years in the far east before returning to Europe in 2010, when it was purchased buy a German collector. By this time the car had been left completely original and unrestored condition and was purchased by a well known British collector of Facel Vega, as a true restoration project in February 2013. This car boasts its original V8 Chrysler TY8 Typhoon engine, a 6.3 litre producing 360bhp and capable of 150mph.
It was then purchased by my company in September 2015, who set about totally dismantling the car and carrying out a complete restoration to show condition, a bare metal respray to the original Factory colour, new Luxan blue Connolly leather, new dark blue Wilton carpets, new black Wilton carpet in the boot area, new dark blue Alcantara headlining correctly stitched, all gauges and electrical wiring loom fully rebuilt, engine, gearbox and back axle fully rebuilt, new polly bush suspension all fully rebuilt, a fully rebuilt braking system including 4 pot Cooper Craft front callipers, new full twin stainless steel polished exhaust system custom built, new 205/70 R15 tyres, five new stainless steel wire wheels, full tool kit, fully detailed under side and engine bay, over 3000 man hours invested and over £200,000 spent to make this HKII one of the best for sale on the open market.
Complete with a fresh Mot until June 2018, this Facel II simply radiates French sophistication and elegance. This car would suit any serious collector who likes to stand out from the crowd. Other notable owners of Facel II’s include Ringo Star, Pablo Picasso, Joan Collins, Tony Curtis, Christian Dior, Ava Gardner (bought 3) Princess Grace of Monaco, Frank Sinatra and Sir Sterling Moss.
Chassis number A122 represents an unparalleled opportunity to add one more name to that illustrious list.