1958 Facel Vega: Warehouse Sale

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To me, the Facel Vega is one of the most attractive cars ever made and an ideal classic to restore given its Chrysler-sourced mechanical bits. Listed here on eBay is a rusty Vega FV4 that will need complete restoration and a starting bid of at least $30,000 to get a chance at ownership.

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In addition to ample thrust from the Hemi powerplant, the Vega also had fantastic body lines and styling cues courtesy of Facel, a French car builder that targeted the rich and famous with its luxury lineup. While the seller acknowledges there is some rust, he downplays its presence – but I see some evidence of where corrosion has punctured the bodywork leaving visible holes. The rust could be surface-level only, but there’s so many different spots of cosmetic concern that it definitely requires a thorough inspection.

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White on red is one the best color combinations known to man, in my humble opinion. Surprisingly, this interior looks fairly complete and intact, but the woodgrain dash will need some work. Red carpets round out the striking color combo and don’t appear too filthy. I’ll bet those seats could come back to life with some high-quality detail work or re-dying.

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There it is: the legendary Hemi V8 that the seller claims has been fired up and run with no issues. With only 46,000 miles, there should be plenty of life left in that hi-po motor. The car here is a 1958 model and should have the 5.8L Chrysler V8, which is why I’m confused by the seller’s listing of the car as a Typhoon (which was a moniker associated with the larger 6.3L V8 found in the 1959 HK500, as I understand it.) Either way, are there too many questions with this classy Vega or is it worth restoring to its former glory?

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Comments

  1. Fred

    Pretty rough but not insurmountable. Well worth whatever you have to put into it, no way to go but up in value.

  2. RayT Member

    I love Facel-Vegas. But this one looks too far gone for anyone but a serious fanatic with an ultra-thick wallet. There’s so much rot that virtually every exterior panel would have to have serious metalwork done on it. That, in turn, makes me wonder about the integrity of the frame and inner metal. The interior appears to be history, as well.

    Never mind the claimed mileage. That engine will definitely need a complete rebuild as will, almost certainly, transmission, brakes and suspension. This is, in short, a total restoration waiting to happen, not some low-buck ride that could be driven while the cosmetic details are sorted out.

    The $30K bid price is only the tip of a very, very large iceberg. If I were to take on a “project” car, this would not be it. It won’t be on the road any time soon, if ever.

    It’s only for the extremely brave. Or a total chump.

  3. erikj

    Just a story , back in the late 80s a used car lot had a vegs ont lot. white and red like this one, I had never heard or seen one before , but I was going to get it the next day. Showed up with money. Somebody got it an hour before. Ran and drove-$399

  4. Fred

    That’s what you call “the one that got away”. Mine was a ’58 Ford Retractable hardtop, white, $300 , also in the 80’s.

    • Jason Houston

      It’s actually called a Skyliner and was built from 1957 through 1959. The Ford in-house service name was Hideaway Hardtop.

  5. Hector

    To your areas of confusion:

    This car DOES have a Typhoon name badge. In the additional photos in the Ebay listing there is a shot of the badge. I have also verified many other instances of the the FV4 cars being called Typhoons. The FV3 and FV4 cars were externally identical and bore no outward badging that distinguished them except for the Typhoon badge indicated the higher powered FV4 cars (FV3: 200-235 hp versus FV4: 340-375 hp). The name was obviously a carry over for the mildly restyled and re-engined 1959 HK500, which had no lower powered twin.

    Additionally the engine situation is far more complex than two displacements. First, there were two series of FV4 cars: the first series of 36 had 354 cid (5.8L) Chrysler Hemis; the second series of thirty cars had 392 cid Chrysler Hemis. The essentially identical, but lower powered, FV3 had a 277 cid Plymouth Poly motor and the FV3B had a 301 cid Plymouth Poly. Initially, the FV4’s replacement model,1959 HK500 (production started in May, 1958), had the 361 cid (5.9L) DeSoto Wedge. Sometime in early 1959 the engine was upgraded to the 383 cid (6.3L) Plymouth Golden Commando Wedge

    The serial numbers of the FV3 and FV4 cars are not in blocks, but mixed together, taking the form of 57NY# for cars produced in 1957 and 58NY# for cars produced in 1958. This car is 57NY7 which makes it the seventh car in the FV3-FV4 continuity after their production started in May, 1957. Thus, it is likely to have the smaller, earlier Hemi.

  6. Jason Houston

    “bits”?

  7. brakeservo

    When I was a kid in the 1960s in Burbank, there was a gas station on the corner of Olive, Verdugo and Sparks that had three or four of these things just rotting away in the back. No one wanted them and I thought the styling just plain weird. Today that gas station is a Starbucks, and I guess the cars (if they exist) are Mega-Bucks.

    • rusty

      hee hee

  8. Mark E

    BTW, the woodgrain dash on FVs are painted metal so unless they’re scratched up they should require no work.

    • Bill McCoskey

      Mark –
      I had a 1960 Facel-Vega Excellence, the 4-door luxury sedan with center-opening doors that locked into the floor, there were no center posts. You are correct, the dash “wood” is in fact aluminum flat plates, hand painted to replicate Burl Walnut. However if the car was not well cared for, and the dash panels kept waxed, the paint will flake off.

  9. 57Wayne

    Hector has it straight…but I’ll go for the HK 500 though with disc brakes and the 383.
    You guys with the ‘one that got away’ stories are off on Facel prices in the 80s though. I bought a Facellia for $3000 (1981)and looked at an HK for $4000 (1984). In 1990, I bought an HK for $40K. Couldn’t afford the Facel II for $75K. A few years ago I tried to buy one of three big Facels I knew of in a barn in central MA. Price was too high but Peter Kumar at Gullwing got them and then had no problem selling them.
    Back to this car, it is probably going to be the most expensive cheap Facel. It looks like most everything is there so if it is a labor of love and you can do the work, they are really cool. If not, buy a good one and save yourself money and a divorce.

  10. rogerowen

    First one of these I ever saw was on display outside their shop in Paris on a school trip in 1963, got the B&W ‘Box Brownie’ photo somewhere. Amazingly stylish car with big V8 ‘Grunt’. This one looks like it might be an expensive challenge though.

  11. Brad

    This one is far enough from perfect that I’d love to see it made into an ‘outlaw’. Stock exterior, blackwall tires, and a Hellcat Hemi.

  12. Fran

    Too bad I had to scroll down here to see a beautiful over picture of a nice black one!

  13. Horse Radish

    This is not this guy’s first rodeo.
    He’s selling at a profit, where-as the buyer will be spending a whole lot of $$$ and wait a long time to get it back.

    I will spare everybody from my ‘got away stories’, early eighties in L.A……

    Including a (french) “Ford” Comète (body made by Facel…..), super rare…

  14. ROAR

    It’is fun to hear of the great buys that we saw/bought in the 50’s-60’s, I bought lots of them and still have too many but I love to work on them and pass them on, I’ve had pictures of my ‘junk’ here Any successful dope seller can BUY a historic car but misses 60% of the fun of having one that YOU personally have held each bolt and nut of!!

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