This FV1 was built to European specification and delivered new via Charles Hornburg, the Facel agent in Los Angeles, USA to local resident Michael Chasen. Mr Chasen kept the car until 1991 when it was acquired by a Mr Collet in France.
In 1995 the Facel was sold to Robert Grilli, who sent it to marque specialists Atelier Tisserand et Fils in 2002 for a complete mechanical restoration.
Fully rebuilt, the car retains its original paintwork and superbly patinated blue-green leather interior, its wonderful condition suggesting that the odometer reading of only 63.000 kilometres is genuine. The car is offered with French Carte Grise.
In its relatively short life, the French firm of Facel produced approximately 2,900 cars, all of which were stylish, luxurious and fast. Hand built, they were, of course, necessarily very expensive, the Facel II was priced in Rolls-Royce territory, and were bought by the rich and famous seeking something exclusive and distinctive.
The roll call of owners includes royalty, politicians, diplomats and entertainers; Tony Curtis, Danny Kaye, Ringo Starr, Joan Fontaine and Ava Gardner being counted among the latter.
Confirming that there was high-performance substance behind Facel's unquestionable style, they were owned and driven by great motor racing figures such as Sir Stirling Moss, Maurice Trintignant and Rob Walker.
Founded by Jean Daninos in 1939, Forges et Ateliers de Construction d'Eure-et-Loir - FACEL - specialised in the construction of aircraft components and metal furniture.
After the war the company engaged in the supply of car bodies to Panhard, Simca and Ford France, before branching out into automobile manufacture in its own right with the launch of the Vega at the 1954 Paris Salon.
Government legislation had effectively killed off France's few surviving luxury car manufacturers after WW2, but that did not deter Jean Daninos in his bold attempt to revive what had once been a great French motoring tradition.
A luxurious Grand Routier, the Vega took its name from the brightest star in the Lyra constellation and featured supremely elegant coupé bodywork welded to a tubular-steel chassis.
There being no suitable French-built power unit, Daninos turned to the USA for the Vega's, that chosen initially being Chrysler's 4.5-litre, 180bhp V8, while there was a choice of push-button automatic or manual transmission.
Improvements to the first FV model were not long in coming, the FV1, introduced in March 1955, featuring a lengthened wheelbase for increased rear seat room and a 4.8-litre Chrysler V8 producing 200bhp.
In September 1955 the FV2 arrived boasting a new wraparound windshield, a 250 horsepower Chrysler motor and for the first time Facel's famous faux burr walnut dashboard, which was actually painted steel.
Six months later Facel introduced the Vega FV2B, which was identical to the preceding FV2 apart from its 5.4-litre, 285bhp Chrysler V8.
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