This 1958 Facel Vega coupe has not been seen in public or ever sold at auction in its 55 years living in Texas. Part of a 300-unit run in total, the FVS Series 4 Sport Coupe is widely viewed as the most elegant and successful car from this fledging Parisian automaker. Powered by the potent Chrysler 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 from the 1950s, the Facel Vega has distinctly European elegance in its styling, but proportions that made this car look like a tank versus the mini cars otherwise driven by the French middle class.
Originally advertised as the car “For the Few Who Own the Finest,” Facel Vega’s were ideal transport for the Monaco crowd. A two-speed, pushbutton automatic and Bugatti-quality cabin materials set the tone for a giant price.
A cruiser at heart, the FVS Series 4 Sports Coupe brings together two sides of the Atlantic in a partnership that would spin pure gold for Carroll Shelby when done the other way around.
Shelby brought over a few of the lightest and smallest European roadster he could find, then added a monster American V-8 engine. Facel Vega went a different route, importing the frame chassis and engine of Chrysler 300C to France, before adding custom coachwork outside and in.
Both were big advancements toward international collaboration during a time when even mailing a postcard from New York to Paris took almost 6 weeks to arrive.
This coupe does not major in business lessons, as it was the high point for Facel Vega’s car manufacturing venture. The Facellia replacement was a failure, taking the company and its styling grace with it.
Click past the jump to see more about the 1958 Facel Vega FVS Series 4 Sport Coupe, with exquisite images of its red leather cabin and bespoke luggage.
The resurrection of the Facel Vega brand has become a topic of conversation for the past year. While there has been no confirmation on when the revived HK Coupe Concept is going to be revealed, some indications from the people behind the project — one Caroline Castets — seem to suggest that this car is more than just a pipedream.
There’s still that issue of trademarks and the right for the new folks to use the "Facel" brand name, but that’s being discussed as we speak, so any developments on that will probably make news anyway.
As far as the car itself is concerned, the release of a new photo finally shows its front end and gives us an indication of what to expect for this sports car. So, what’s the early aesthetic feedback?
It’s hard to tell because the image is a little too dark for our liking. However, judging from the aggressive angles and the sloping hood, there are some sports car elements there that we like. At the very least, that front end is already looking better than the shagglebot rear that looks like it was designed with the idea of slapping components one on top of the other.
A lot of us might not be familiar with the Facel Vega name, but there once was a point in time when the French automaker was a pretty big deal. That was back in the 50’s and 60’s when Facel Vegas was considered the French version of Rolls-Royce.
Since then, Facel Vega has faded into oblivion, but now there are rumors going around that the company might return from the grave after recent teaser photos revealed a new Vega concept could make its debut at the Paris Motor Show. Some folks are speculating that the released images are nothing more than just design studies from an enterprising young designer, but considering there are a few teasers showing a car draped in a cloth cover, there’s a pretty good chance that these images are legit.
Apparently called the HK Coupe, the concept appears to be a sleek coupe with a fancy LED headlight configuration, a rather curious grille set-up that harkens back to the old Facel Vegas, and an interior that features a full-length center console, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and a 2+2 seating configuration.
No mention on what kind of powertrain this new Vega concept will carry, but since the old Facel Vegas ran with HEMI V8 engines, we won’t be surprised if the concept taps into the Chrysler engine once more.
More details are definitely to follow as soon as they become available, so stay tuned!
UPDATE 12/10/12: Details have been scarce on the Facel Vega HK Coupe Concept but new leads seem to have come to light after Facel Vega revealed a new batch of renderings on their Facebook page. Check them out in the gallery below.