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Lot 227: Facel Vega II Coupé

The Monaco Sale, Bonhams (11 May 2012)

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 necessarily very expensive  the Facel II was priced in Rolls-Royce territory  and 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. Launched in 1961, the Facel II was destined to be the last of the V8-engined models, production ceasing in 1964 after an unsuccessful venture into engine manufacture effectively bankrupted the company. Production of the preceding HK500 amounted to only 500-or-so units between 1958 and 1961 and that of the Facel II to a mere 182. Today these rare Franco-American classics are highly sought after. Chassis number 'HK2B138' is the 138th of the final 'B' series. The first owner was a lady from Frankfurt who bought the Facel from Auto-Becker in Düsseldorf, while the second was an Iranian who took the car to a museum to Iran and brought it back to Germany in 1978. Its current owner - a member of Amicale Facel Vega in Germany - bought the car in 1992. The detailed history is known to him from the time of delivery. Noteworthy features of this particular example include the 6.3-litre, 390 horsepower Chrysler V8 engine; four-speed Pont-à-Mousson manual gearbox; electronic ignition (discreetly hidden); power steering; electric windows; Jaeger instrumentation; original radio; and 7"x15" wire wheels (the original Borrani 6"x15" Facel II wheels are available if required via separate negotiation with the vendor). Between 1993 and 1998 the car was totally restored by Diemer & Dalheimer in Saarbrücken, acknowledged as the best Facel Vega restorers in Europe. Work included removing the body from the chassis and stripping it to bare metal; overhauling the chassis and engine; completely refurbishing or replacing the interior; and rewiring the electrics. All the original fastenings were restored and retained. A highly detailed photographic record of all work is available. The restoration costs in 1998 were the equivalent of considerably more than ¬270,000. Around 5,000 kilometres have been covered since restoration and this beautiful Facel is described as 'like new' both mechanically and cosmetically. Indeed, its quality has been recognised with honours awarded at several prestigious Concours d'Élegance. The car was last exhibited in 2010 on the Amicale Facel Vega stand at Rétromobile in Paris. Finished in black metallic with red leather interior, this stunning Facel II is offered with restoration invoices, German historic registration papers and TüV. Bonhams recommend close inspection of this very superior example.

Lot Details
Auction The Monaco Sale
Bonhams, Monaco
Lot Number227
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price€220000
Hammer Price (inc premium)€253000
Condition rating1
Registration number
Chassis numberHK2B138
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2