Sold for £115,875
(including buyers premium)
Registration No: 519 XVD
Chassis No: HK1 GE7
"In the world of motoring some few cars come to deserve the adjective 'great' because, although they have faults like everything else in this imperfect world, they provide such a highly desirable combination of virtues. Driving the latest Facel Vega HK500 in Britain, France, Switzerland, and Belgium…we found it hard to keep superlatives out of the conversation" (Motor, April 1960).
The most famous and successful of the various Facel Vega models, the HK500 was introduced in May 1958. True to company founder Jean Daninos' vision of a 'grand routier' that could compete on the world stage, the newcomer counted the likes of the Ferrari 250GTE, Maserati 3500GT and Aston Martin DB4 among its rivals. Derived from that of the preceding FVS, the sport saloon's tubular steel chassis was equipped with independent double-wishbone front suspension, a 'live' rear axle and four-wheel finned drum brakes (though, discs were soon optional). Maintaining the short-lived manufacturer's reputation for performance, the HK500 was powered by a 5.9 litre (later 6.3 litre) Chrysler V8 OHV engine allied to automatic transmission. While, those looking for even greater thrills could specify a four-speed Pont-a-Mousson manual gearbox and dual four-choke Carter carburettors. One of the fastest cars of its generation, Autocar found a manual HK500 to be capable of 0-60mph in 8.4 seconds, 0-100mph in 19.1 seconds and a theoretical 140mph.
Beautifully wrought, the four-seater's steel body was characterized by a dramatic three-piece grille, wraparound windscreen, stacked headlights, cut-away taillights and imposing bumpers. As stylish inside as out, the Facel Vega's cabin boasted sumptuous leather upholstery, electric windows and a wood-effect painted steel dashboard. With a select clientele that included Pablo Picasso, Ava Gardner, Sir Stirling Moss, Ringo Starr, Tony Curtis, Maurice Trintignant, Joan Fontaine, Danny Kaye, François Truffaut and Rob Walker, the HK500 remained in production until 1961 by which time some 490 are thought to have been made, although the Facel Vega Car Club believe just 98 of these were supplied new to the UK.
Chassis number HK1 GE7 was built in April 1961 per order of the UK Agent HWM with production and body number 827, engine number TY7-212107 (Chrysler V8, 383ci / 6.2L), Automatic gearbox (3 speed Chrysler Torqueflite ), disc brakes and power steering in Right Hand Drive configuration. The UK agent HWM sold the car new to Mr. Ernest Doe (owner / director of Ernest Doe & Sons in Ulting / Essex, dealing in tractors and agricultural machinery) on the 9th of November 1961, probably with a discount because the new Facel II had already been introduced on the market. From HWM records it is known, that Mr Doe did not like the power steering and had it removed. In April 1964 the car was sold to Mr. Pryor in Navestock / Essex. In 1970 the car turned up for sale and was bought by Mr. Michael Mirecki, living in North London, who kept it until 1980. In 1990, it apparently was sold to France, to Mr. Kaluziner and then it was bought in 2000 by a Gentleman in Switzerland. The car then returned to the UK and was registered 15th November 2018. The vendor acquired the car in 2019 and set about a full respray with Cotswold Classic Car Restorations to brighten the car up from Black to the gorgeous Light Metallic Blue it presents in today. At this time he also had of the chrome re-plated and serviced the mechanical parts of the car in the meantime. The vendor also decided to fit a Bentley-derived power-assisted steering conversion at this point which has made the car easier to handle. The vendor has now decided to thin out his collection to make room for other cars after multiple appearances at Goodwood Revival and other shows during his ownership.
On inspection the car presented very well with its plush original Black Leather interior appearing inviting and well-conditioned. The beautifully presented metal false-walnut dashboard is a spectacle in itself with every gauge one could imagine telling the driver everything that he or she could wish to know. On turning the key the big Chrysler V8 fired into life with ease and a pleasing burble erupted from the twin tailpipes that subtly emerge from holes in the large and beautifully sculpted chrome bumpers. The car appeared to drive well with the 3-speed automatic gearbox and power-assisted steering making the car a luxurious and easy cruiser.
So, you fancy looking like a French film star? Feel like jumping out of your monoposto racing car and into a vehicle of luxury just like Stirling Moss? Perhaps the relatively obscure (and in our opinion underrated) Facel Vega is the car for you. Please note that we will be taking this car to Goodwood Revival 2023 so please call to arrange a viewing if you are attending.
All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.
You can collect your new pride and joy from our venue until 1pm the day following the sale or our partners are on hand to help arrange safe transportation:
Auction: 30th Anniversary Sale at The Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 20th Sep, 2023
Established in 1993, H&H has sold some of the world's most significant motorcars and motorcycles over the past 30 years. Now owned by its employees and trusted by over 75,000 clients worldwide, we are the longest established auction house of our kind in Europe.
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Tuesday 19th September 2023 from 1pm to 8pm
Wednesday 20th September 2023 from 9am
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