The Pick of the Day is a rare and luxurious touring car with a brawny American engine
Big, fast and French, Facel Vega is not a well-known collector brand in the U.S. despite being powered by a mighty Chrysler V8, slathered with luxury features and trim, and popular among the Hollywood elite during the 1960s.
The Pick of the Day is a 1961 Facel Vega HK500 in dark Brunswick Blue and a red interior with blue piping on the leather seats, a beautiful treatment for this handsome coupe. This is one of the rarer models with dual carburetors, which boost the 6.3-liter engine to 385 horsepower.
Chassis No. HK1 BR6X was originally sold in Pasadena, although not to a little old lady. As unsubstantiated legend has it, it was purchased by Reprise Records, which was founded in 1960 by none other than Frank Sinatra, according to the Marina del Rey dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com. The Chairman was well-known for his fondness for distinctive automobiles.
Built by the Facel auto company of France, the Vega was launched at the 1954 Paris Salon. Originally fitted with the 4.5-liter Hemi V8 from the DeSoto Firedome, the Vega’s flashy American-influenced styling was penned by Jean Daninos. The ultra-luxurious interior was impeccably designed and tailored, with an upright wood dashboard festooned with gleaming chrome switches and trim.
This Face Vega was stored from the late 1970s through 2010, when it was treated to a “comprehensive restoration including a rebuild of the engine and transmission,” the dealer says.
“A new aluminum radiator was installed and a complete chassis refurbishment was conducted followed by a bare-metal repaint,” the seller notes. “Subtle upgrades were implemented with dual-circuit power brakes (and) power windows. Also recently equipped with modern AC.”
The Vega is still very presentable after a recent “25k freshen up,” the dealer says. It recently won awards at California concours events but the paint is starting to show its age and could use some attention, the dealer notes. The car comes with its original fitted luggage.
A very stylish and exclusive automobile in its day, and a desirable collector car today, the Facel Vega is priced at $185,000 for a rarity that should get plenty of attention, as well as being easy to maintain with its durable Chrysler engine and automatic transmission.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.