Stripped for Paint: 1961 Facel Vega HK500

Facels are among the most imposting coupes to come out of the 1960s, and struck a balance between brute and ballerina. I use this description because of the svelte design in places, with the thin pillars and airy greenhouse, paired with a Chrysler-sourced Hemi V8 spewing upwards of 360 b.h.p. This example looks a bit rough around the edges as it was stripped for a repaint that never happened, but overall appears sound. Find it here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $99,500.

Just look at those haunches! The Facel definitely took inspiration from big American coupes of the era, resulting in the aforementioned split personality between French delicacy and American firepower. The resulting coupe was truly a car for the elite, with rich materials used throughout and a cost-of-entry that ensured only the era’s playboys and daughters of aristocrats could own one. Production was limited as well, with fewer than 500 of models like the HK500 here ever made.

Despite the luxury within, you still had to crank your own windows! The interior of this car remains in excellent condition, with even the fragile wood veneers on the dash still presenting well. Leather seats front and rear are in surprisingly good nick, and the seller claims it remained in the care of a single owner since 1963. It was parked for the aforementioned paint job in 1974 which never commenced, and the Facel sat in storage for decades. Obviously, some care was taken during that time as it hasn’t significantly deteriorated.

There are some bits included in the sale, such as the original California black plates. Not much else is seen here, other than some errant trim and the missing taillight lenses. With only 55,000 miles from new, the Hemi V8 should fire up again with relative ease, but the seller doesn’t elaborate on its mechanical health. I suppose if you’re playing with a $100K for a project, the running condition is less important than the solidity of the body – and this one looks quite good. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Paul Connor for the find.


WANTED 1988-1989 Chrysler Conquest TSI Wanted. Prefer Red. Will travel nationwide for vehicle. Contact

WANTED 1981-1983 Chrysler Imperial Looking for an excellent condition Imperial, preferably in original, unrestored condition. Contact

WANTED 1968-1970 Dodge Charger Project car with papers for export to South Africa $20K Contact

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  1. David Parkin

    Psst- guys no veneers to delam in a Facel! The woodgrain is PAINTED on.Cheers David

    • Peter

      You are kiddin us? That is what they used to do old doors to make a false grain.Usually where the base wood is plain and needs ‘ketchingup’. I find it odd facel did not run to a genuine wood veneer.

  2. Joey

    Did anyone else notice they placed the lift pads under the exhaust pipes and raised the HK500 to inspect the underside. Someone needs to visit the wizard for a brain!

    • Ben McLaughlin

      Bent it too!

    • Peter

      Does not actually inspire confidence. I have concerns this motor is full of sand blasting grit. Whoever doing the work on it is incompetent.

  3. stillrunners LAWRENCE Member

    Keep your Vette’s boy’s…….I always wanted a Facel !

  4. Dolphin Member

    Buy it now about $100K.
    Recent median auction price paid for HK500s: $140,500 (SCM Guide).

    Sitting for many decades, it will need everything gone through in addition to bare-metal paint to bring it up to the $140K level.

    If you can’t do a lot of the work yourself, you can’t get there from here.

  5. Joe Haska

    Dolphin, If your numbers are correct and you do the math you are absolutely right, which really sucks, because this car is just too cool! If you picture what it would be like restored, and it could be restored, and a fairly easy restoration. Problem “Easy” does not mean cheap, and to do it right would not be cheap. So we are back to where we started,it just doesn’t make sense, to restore this car, at the buy price. So sad, too bad!

  6. Classic Steel

    Wow and me sitting on a trust fund and looking to burn thru it !

    Seriously it’s cool but not 100 k cool

    Let me know when it’s listed for 30k 🤣
    As being rare mean cash in the bonds and sell the kids’

  7. Francisco

    “imposting ?”

    • Peter

      try to substitute ‘ imposing’ for that imposting.

  8. Puckster

    Buy it, make it safe to drive, do whatever is needed to keep it from rusting, enjoy it for a decade or two and then sell it and retire on the proceeds!

    • Hank

      Granted, that’s a lousy engine photo in the ad, but it doesn’t look like a hemi to me.

      • Per

        The HK500 started with the Typhoon VII @ 5.9 litre and by 1961 it had the 6.3 (383cui) IIRC. So not the hemi.

      • Paul Cheshire

        Polysphere most likely a 361

  9. Madbrit

    Closest I got to owning one was a Dinky (or was it Corgi) die-cast model…… LOL. Would dearly love one though.

  10. lawyer George

    Good gosh! Doesn’t seem that long ago you could buy a restored Facel for $40 grand.! Is my clock set on fast forward. Should have bought a 356 when they were selling for under ten. Maybe I could get involved in BitCoin, whatever that is–and lose the rest of my money. Prices are so high now a guy takes a real risk buying anything. Model A’s! When did that happen?
    Zounds. This just ain’t fun anymore.

  11. Randy

    All that missing trim is going to be a bear to find.

  12. John D

    One of these Vegas has been on my ‘Lust List’ since I first saw one.

  13. Billy Bob

    Green Hornet?

  14. Milt

    Looks like the same FV advertised on E-bay “all other” by the Beverly Hills Car Club. If so, comments on both BarnFinds and BAT says a lot about this outfit.


    My neighbor in South Florida back in the 90’s had one that he used as a daily driver.Dude was a suave silver haired “retired” diplomat. Translation: He (probably) had family money…and worked in the diplomatic corps to stay busy.Smoked a pipe…and had a way with the polished 40something divorcees.Gorgeous car.

  16. Mike

    Back in the mid 80’s, I spotted one sitting at a mechanic’s shop with a $5.5k Price tag. I knew what it was, but didn’t have the cash. I needed dad’s help to float a loan. After my sales pitch, it was no dice. “just stick with your 914”. He finally got to see one in person in 2007 and was blown away. He told me that I should of twisted his arm a little bit more. If I knew that, I would have twisted them out of their sockets!

  17. Maestro1 Member

    They are brilliant, impressive and impossible cars.

  18. Robert W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Unless something has changed, those “veneers” were originally painted!

  19. Three Pedal Steve

    Not sure what kind of Hemi would have been placed here when new.

    The early style 332/354/392 went out of production after 1958. The new 426 street hemi did not appear until 1964.

    From what I remember these cars had a 383 “Wedge” mated to a 727 torqueflite transmission.

    • JPF

      Think it’s a 361–not a Hemi. Must be an early car. Later HK 500s got the B block 383 with dual carbs.

  20. RicK

    What a cool place for a radio. Like the Black Cal plate too.

  21. Ulf Ekelund

    This lovely car is in Sweden

  22. skagit340@gmail,com

    I came across a facel vega in the late 80s. On a used car lot-$499/ran and drove.I didn’t know what it was,but neat looking. Wish I knew what I do now.
    They did have a 67 rs/ss Camaro not running but complete! I made the deal -made the mistake on mentioning the rare console with gauges. Guess what was missing when I came to p/u the car a few days later. nobody knew what happen the the console,still a good buy $399.

  23. Peter

    Is that the sand blasting medium on the floor ??? I wonder where that has got to in this car?

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