Lot 172 - 1959 Facel Vega HK500
|Odometer reading||40,514 miles|
|Estimate||£130,000 - £155,000|
- One of just 105 righthand drive examples
- Original UK matching numbers car no.317
- Fully nut and bolt restored in 2019
- The 'Liony' Millais HK500 car
Founded by Jean Daninos in 1939, Forges et Ateliers de Construction d'Eure-et-Loir (FACEL) originally specialised in the production of aircraft materials. After World War II, Facel distributed car bodies to Panhard, Simca and Ford France. It would not be until 1954 that Facel began to manufacture its own vehicle, the Facel Vega FV, unveiled at the Paris Salon in 1954. Crippling legislation immediately after the war made it virtually impossible for luxurious cars to be manufactured in France but despite this, Jean Daninos was passionate about reigniting the romance of lavishly glamorous French motoring. Despite the staggering $7,000 asking price at launch, buyers were still flocking to take ownership. Later developments saw the introduction, in 1956, of the Facel Vega FVS, further evolving into the all-new HK500 in 1959. The chosen engine to power the next chapter in Facel history was the most famous of them all, the 383 cubic inch, 6.3 litre, V8, which produced a thundering 360bhp, a claimed top speed of 147mph and 0-60mph time of just 8.5 seconds. Through this combination of alluring styling and significant power, the Facel Vega HK500 legend was born. The media were hugely excited with Facel's latest sports coupé. A 'Mechanix Illustrated' magazine tester, Tom McCahill, said the HK500 was, "Sexier than the Place Pigalle and throatier than a Russian basso; a sporting piece of equipment that looks like money, which is exactly what it costs ($9,795 new). A car to be appreciated as a remarkable and wonderfully satisfying road companion".
Adored for its charm and style, the Facel Vega HK500 captivated the hearts of the masses, with numerous celebrities taking ownership of this pinnacle of French elegance. Drawn by Jean Daninos himself, the Facel Vega seamlessly incorporated American styling with French glamour. With over 390bhp available from the roaring Chrysler V8, the HK500 was one of the fastest cars of its day. The Facel Vega II replaced the HK in 1962, at which time, only 489 were built and reportedly only 105 were righthand drive.
Number 317 from the very limited number of 489 HK’s produced and number 71 of just 98 UK cars,
this stunning HK500 is presented in gleaming deep black coachwork with opulent contrasting deep blood red hide, and stunning woodwork. A privately owned example, part of a large private collection during which a full comprehensive nut and bolt restoration has been overseen which was completed earlier this year. It was originally registered to Raoul Millais, a prominent portrait painter, equestrian artist and sportsman with the registration 4 PPF. The next known owner was a D. Dickson of Tottenham, London who, from past Exchange & Mart adverts, sold the car in 1976 as a restoration project to N. Simpson in Lewisham before Richard White who was a Facel Vega Owner’s Club Member. The registration 4 PPF seemed to disappear during this time and was somehow lost with the advent of the new DVLA computer system, therefore an age related replacement was requested and in early 2020 the car became 928 XVK. Our vendor rescued the car eventually from a known restorer in Cornwall before undertaking this breathtaking restoration.
Supplied with the car is a new MoT test certificate valid until March 2021, unsurprisingly without any advisories, and a UK V5C registration certificate, photographs of the restoration and Facel Vega Owner’s Club correspondence detailing original ownership and history. Also accompanying the car is the original specification sheet supplied by the Facel Vega Car Club and a copy of the original service record with 13 handwritten records until late January 1963.
A truly exceptional and achingly gorgeous example with a great history, this is a unique opportunity to own one of the most iconic motorcars of the 1960s and follow in the footsteps of Ava Gardner and Dean Martin to name but a few, especially given this example is as new and with a notable first owner.
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Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.