1961 Facel-Vega HK500

Jean Daninos was the Facel Vega's father. His company, Forges et Ateliers de Construcion d'Eure et de Loire (Facel) in Paris, made machine tools before the war but afterward concentrated on metal office furniture and domestic cabinets while also subcontracting parts for French automobile manufacturers. Daninos was brought up in the tradition of the great French Grandes Routieres from Delahaye, Delage, Talbot-Lago and Bugatti and determined to continue the tradition after World War II. Facel's first project was a beautiful, refined coupe body on a Bentley Mark VI chassis, then a similar coupe on the Simca Vendome platform. They were the precursors to the Facel Vega which was introduced in 1954 with Chrysler Corporation V8 power and Torqueflite transmission. It was the first of the post-WWII Euro-American hybrids, and it remained in production into the early 60's. Combining the best of American V-8 power and torque, reliability and drivability with refined French design and comfort, the Facel Vegas have earned a place among the most attractive and practical of the early postwar Continental automobiles. This example is, as far as can be determined, a California car from new. A prior owner stripped it to bare metal in preparation for a cosmetic restoration, gave it a coat of primer for preservation and then abandoned the project. It runs and drives, is basically complete and is ready to be finished in a new owner's choice of colors and materials. All the hard to find pieces and components including chrome and polished stainless trim and the rare oval air cleaner on the 383 Chrysler V-8 are there. Nothing major appears to be missing. The body is not dented or rusty. Equipped with rare and very desirable steel Rudge knockoff wheels, power steering, power brakes, power windows and automatic transmission, this is a straightforward cosmetic restoration or the basis for a Concours-winning comprehensive restoration to better than new condition. It belongs on the Riviera, in the Hamptons, at Monterey, on Miami's South Beach or cruising Santa Monica and Malibu.

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