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Facel Vega FVS

The Facel Vega FV/FVS was a car produced by French (FV2). 47 of these early FVs were built in 1954 and
car maker Facel Vega from 1954 to 1959. It continued 1955. Six were convertibles, but as these suered from
until 1962 as the HK500.
rigidity troubles the rest of the large two-door Facels were
pillarless coups.[1]

1
1.1

History

1.2 FVS

FV

Early Facel Vega FVS (1956 FV2B), combining the rst front
design with panoramic windshield

The 1956 FVS featured a panoramic (aka wrap-around)


windshield. Sometimes referred to as FV2, the car featured the same engine as in the later FV1s. Subsequently
the 5.4-litre FV2B appeared, with 255 hp. Later versions
oered a three-speed automatic, and disc brakes were
available from 1958. At some point a reworked, more
harmonious front end was introduced, featuring what
looked like twin stacked headlights but what were actually
headlamps on top and auxiliaries beneath. Power steering and power brakes were both standard as of 1957.[2]
For 1958, the engine grew to 5.8 litres (FV4) and 325
hp, although the earlier 4.5 and a 4.9 (FV3/FV3B) were
also listed as available. In total, 357 FVs and FVSs were
built.[3]

Rear view of early FV

The Facel 'Vega' was launched at the 1954 Paris Salon.


By 1956 the cars were called FVS (for Facel Vega Sport),
earlier cars often being referred to as simply FV.[3] The
1954 versions of the Facel were tted with a DeSoto Firedome (Chrysler) 4.5 litre Hemi V8 engine, paired with
either Chryslers two-speed Powerite automatic transmission or, at extra cost, a four-speed manual made by
Pont--Mousson.[4] At this stage, the 180 hp FV was capable of 172 to 193 km/h (107 to 120 mph) depending
on which rear axle ratio was installed. The chassis, designed by Lance Macklin, was tubular framed, featuring
coil springs and double wishbones at the front, with a leafA four-door version, called the Excellence, was added to
sprung live rear axle.[1] Styling, by Daninos himself, was
the lineup in 1958, but was even more rareed than the
somewhat American and perhaps a bit heavy, with ruditwo-door version.
mentary tail ns. The body was an expanded version of
the earlier, Facel-bodied Simca/Ford Comte. An abundance of stainless steel brightwork was tted.

1.3 HK500

The interior was uncommonly luxurious, and of exceptional workmanship. The dashboard was aircraftinspired, and one of the rst to feature a middle console
over the gearbox. The rear seats folded at to provide
a luggage platform and additional access to the boot.[1]
In 1955 the engine capacity increased to 4.8 litres and
200 hp (FV1), which later in the year grew to 250 hp

For 1959, the Facel Vega HK500 was introduced. Essentially, it was just a renamed, upgraded FVS. Equipped
at rst with the 335 hp[5] 5.8-litre V8 from the FVS, the
HK500 soon received a 360 bhp 6.3 litre Chrysler V8
making for a top speed of 147 mph (237 km/h). 60 miles
per hour came up in 8.5 seconds.[2] Initially disc brakes
1

Facel Vega HK500

were optional, becoming standard in April 1960.[3] The


crisply designed Facel Vega II replaced the HK500 in
1962, after 489 had been built. One was a specially made
convertible. Total FV/HK production was 842[2] or 846
depending on the source.
French publisher Michel Gallimard was driving his
HK500 on January 2, 1960 when he lost control and
crashed outside of Villeblevin. The crash killed him
and one of his passengers, Nobel laureate Albert Camus.
Some have speculated that the driver was not familiar
with the cars handling and weight, and that contributed
to the severity of the crash.[6]

Notes

[1] Flammang 1994, p. 201.


[2] Flammang 1994, p. 202.
[3] Lawrence 1991, p. 111.
[4] Wood 2002, pp. 5859.
[5] Or 325 hp, sources dier.
[6] Bayley, Stephen. Albert Camus Crash. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
[7] From Flammang 1994, pp. 201-203 and Lawrence 1991,
p. 111. Some of these numbers vary slightly depending
on the source.

References
Flammang, James M. (1994). Standard Catalog of
Imported Cars, 1946-1990. Iola, WI, US: Krause
Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-87341-158-7.
Lawrence, Mike (1991). A to Z of Sports Cars.
Bideford, Devon, UK: Bay View Books. p. 111.
ISBN 1-870979-81-8.
Wood, Jonathan (2002). The Ultimate History of
Fast Cars. Parragon Books. pp. 5859. ISBN 14054-6068-7.

REFERENCES

Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses

4.1

Text

Facel Vega FVS Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facel_Vega_FVS?oldid=710743221 Contributors: Liftarn, RussBot, Malcolma,


Hmains, SamBlob, Bigjimr, T@nn, DH85868993, Typ932, Jan D. Berends, Addbot, Yobot, Kytabu, Mr.choppers, RjwilmsiBot, Spicemix,
Helpful Pixie Bot, Beestly and Anonymous: 2

4.2

Images

File:1956_Facel_Vega_FV2B_no56106.jpg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8a/1956_Facel_Vega_FV2B_


no56106.jpg License: CC BY-SA 3.0 Contributors: Own work Original artist: Mr.choppers
File:Facel-Vega_FV_Rear-view.JPG Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/74/Facel-Vega_FV_Rear-view.JPG
License: Public domain Contributors: Own work Original artist: Luc106
File:FacelVegaHK500.jpg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cd/FacelVegaHK500.jpg License: CC BY 2.0
Contributors: originally posted to Flickr as Facel Vega HK500 Original artist: Brian Snelson

4.3

Content license

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0