Facel Vega FV4, 1958 restoration
This 1958 Facel Vega FV4 is being 'body off' restored to top condition by Amicale Facel Holland for its owner. The car has been fully stripped and the sheet metal work is progressing. Right now the entire roof is being reconstructed. The original car is fitted with a V8 392 Hemi engine and a 3-speed automatic Torqueflite gearbox. The sheetmetal of the bodywork was beautifully restored and the body was given a perfect new paint system. The chassis has been restored and the suspension was overhauled. The bodywork and the chassis will be mated later this year. Updated 19 September 2017. To be continued.
The Facel Vega FV4 is the successor of the Facel Vega FV 3B. The Facel Vega FV4 is a very luxurious 'grand routier' with excellent road holding capabilities and an overwhelming engine capacity. The Facel Vega is a 'majestic' sports car, the interior and the exterior show very characteristic details and ravishing French design. The automobile is very comfortable, even at very high speeds. The car features the finest leather seats, a beautiful dashboard, power windows and all the luxury one can ever wish in a classic car. All bright work at the exterior is not chromed; all these parts are fabricated of stainless steel. The steel body is built upon a very strong steel tubular chassis. The FV 4 came in two series 35/32 cars the first series fitted with a 5.8 litre engine, series 2 with a 6.4 litre unit. The suspension is independent at front and a live axle is used at the rear.
cylinder capacity: 5801 cc. / series II 6430 cc.
capacity: 340 SAE bhp. / 375 SAE bhp.
carburettors: Carter 'four barrel'
gearbox: 3-speed automatic or 4-speed manual
weight: 1750 kg.
Facel Vega history
The French company Facel (Forges et Ateliers de Construction due’s et Loire) was first established in 1938 as a manufacturer of stainless steel products for the aircraft industry. After the second world war Facel began constructing automobile bodies for Simca, Ford France and Panhard.
In those days, the company was under the leadership of Jean Daninos.
Jean Daninos had always dreamt of manufacturing his own design of super car; the "Grand Routier" or in other words, a luxurious, comfortable and practical 4-person sports car. 1954 saw this dream become a reality with the introduction of the first ever Facel automobile onto the market, the Facel Vega FV1, equipped with a powerful and trustworthy American V8 Chrysler motor.
The addition of the Chrysler motor meant that Facel was one of the first manufacturers to combine European styled body work with a big reliable American V8...
The Facel Vega's were expensive and highly exclusive but they sold well, particularly amongst film stars and the rich and famous. With the passage of time the newer models became increasingly more expensive as extra improvements and features were introduced. At the end of the 1950’s, Facel had a motor designed specifically for use in a smaller model, the Facellia.
Unfortunately, these motors had so many teething problems that the huge amount of warranty claims they caused led the company into serious financial difficulties. The last ever models of the Facel line were fitted with Volvo P1800 (Facel III) and Austin Healey 150 pk six cylinder motors ( Facel 6). In 1964 this proud automobile finally went out of production.
Facel Vegas are cherished by enthusiasts all over the world to this very day. This extremely unique class of vehicle can easily be placed alongside classic makes such as Rolls-Royce, Bentley en Lagonda. Even though Facel did not manufacture it’s own motors, it is safe to say that the vehicle commonly known as the "Grand Routiers" of automobiles is of absolute top class and continues to leave a deep and lasting impression.
© Marc Vorgers