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1958 Facel Vega FVS Series 4 Sport Coupe

Sold For $200,750

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - ARIZONA 16 - 17 JANUARY 2014


Chassis No.
Body No.
FVSNY253
FVSNY258
  • Original U.S. specification; matching-numbers drivetrain
  • Awarded Best in Class at the 2013 Palos Verdes Concours d'Elegance
  • Rare example of a Franco-American style icon

340 hp, 354 cu. in. Chrysler Hemi V-8, dual four-barrel carburetors, two-speed Powerflite automatic transmission, independent front suspension, live axle rear suspension with trailing lower radius arms, coil springs, and anti-roll bar, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 105 in.

Addendum

Please note, contrary to the printed catalogue, this car is finished in its original silver color, though the paint is not original. Secondly, its trim is polished stainless, not chrome.

The title for this vehicle is in transit.


While still retaining its world-famous flair, post-World War II France’s high-end automotive market was dealt a crippling blow after a hefty new tax was levied on cars with motors displacing more than 2.9 liters. Automakers closed their doors en masse, leaving only mainstream brands to compete for high-volume buyers and a handful of small workshops dedicated to preserving the elegance once so commonly found in France.

Chief among those was Facel, a small and fiercely independent outfit that was started by Jean Daninos. It sourced big, high tech V-8 engines from Chrysler in Detroit to slot into coachbuilt grand touring coupes that rode on Lance Macklin-designed frames. Not only were Facel’s engines sourced from America, the cars’ flamboyant yet still distinctively French designs were designed to appeal to tastes on this side of the Atlantic.

Over a decade, Facel created 10 different short series of models with increasingly powerful Chrysler-sourced eight-cylinder engines. Despite the Vegas’ heft—they were, after all, luxury grand touring cars —they were remarkably quick vehicles that made the most of their underhood power. Opulence not seen in French cars since before the dawn of World War II dominated the showy Vega, which quickly became popular with a jet-setting crowd on both sides of the Atlantic.

This Series 4 Sport Coupe, which is finished in correct radiant silver metallic paint over red leather, was one of seven ordered by noted New York-based importer Max Hoffman in late 1957. It was assembled in October of that year, according to the curator of the Facel Vega register in Holland, and was delivered new, in 1958, with chrome wire wheels that had knock-off spinner caps and tinted glass. This highly original FVS Series 4 Sport Coupe is finished in its correct silver color, and it retains its original, matching-numbers powertrain.

This Series 4 has been kept in outstanding condition, and its remarkable preservation won it Best in Class at the 2013 Palos Verdes Concours d'Elegance. As that award indicates, it is in show-ready condition, with its silver paint contrasting gently with its abundant polished stainless trim. Inside, the red leather and wood trim remain excellently preserved, while a mechanical refurbishment, which included rebuilding the carburetors and generator, has left it ready to be enjoyed. Its next owner will also receive a correct tool kit, jack and spare tire.

This later Facel Vega is resplendent in unusual silver, and it represents a glimpse into a brief but memorable period of post-war French luxury car design.

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