Today see's Silverstone's Auction Sale at Salon Prive held in the spectacular surroundings of Syon Park, whist flicking through the catalogue we came across this 1960's Grand Tourer.
1960 FACEL VEGA HK500
Chassis Number: HKBE5X
Engine Number: TY7-29546
Number of cylinders: 8
Year of Manufacture: 1960
Estimate (£): 145,000 - 165,000
With no post-war European power plant unit to coincide with the already magnificent luxurious interior and exterior, Daninos wanted an engine to match- which suitably came in the form of a 276 cubic inch (4.5 litre) De Soto Firedome V-8. This was a dependable engine, with a 7.5:1 compression ratio with pushrod-operated overhead valves, pushing out 170 horsepower at 4,500 rpm with a top speed of 130mph. Despite the staggering $7,000 sticker price at launch, buyers were still flocking to take ownership of Daninos beautiful creation.
Later developments saw the introduction in 1956 of the Facel Vega FVS, further evolving to 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 V-8, which produced a thundering 360bhp and claimed a top speed of 147mph. Through this outstanding combination of alluring styling and significant power, the Facel Vega HK500 legend was born.
The media were hugely excited with Facel's latest sports coupe. 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". Adorned for its charm and style, the Facel Vega HK500 captivated the hearts of the masses, with numerous celebrities such as Dean Martin and Ava Gardner taking ownership of this pinnacle of French elegance. Styling, by Jean Daninos himself, the Facel Vega seamlessly incorporates American styling with French glamour.
Mechanically, the HK500 was very similar to its predecessors. The chassis was designed by Lance Macklin, a tubular frame featuring independent front suspension coils and wishbones; whilst at the rear, a live axle is held in place by longitudinal semi-elliptic springs. With over 350bhp available from the roaring Chrysler V-8, the HK500 was one of the fastest cars of its day. This meant that sufficient braking-power was required. This car comes equipped with a Dunlop disc braking system that made a dramatic improvement for the HK500 over older Facel models which retained an inferior drum braking system.
Now freshly restored by the respected workshops of Byrnes Motor Trust Restoration, Inc. this immaculate example is to be entered for the GT Class of the Salon Privé Concours D'Elegance 2014 before going under the hammer shortly after the judges' verdict has been announced...
Resplendent in gleaming Silver with black leather seats, this capable lefthand drive GT is laden with sports clocks and unique stainless steel interior items, all correct to original specification. A rich burr walnut effect instrument panel faces the driver as they peer through the famous wrap-around windscreen. The 4-speed automatic gearbox manages the power from the tremendous V8 expertly, whilst the power steering provides more comfort and refinement to the driving experience.
The Facel Vega HK500 model is amongst one of the most fabulously crafted automobiles of the 1960s and has become an uber-fashionable and much-sought car in recent years. This beautiful example is one of the best having been meticulously restored from the ground up and will make the perfect addition to any classic car collection
ChassisIndependent, coil spring
Beam axle, semi-elliptic leaf spring
worm and roller
chassis and seperate body