1962 Facel-Vega FACEL II

Come 1962, Jean Daninos, the boss and owner of Facel Vega, realized that his landmark car, the HK500, was starting to look a little dated. Not that it wasn’t still a good looking car, it was (and still is, by the way, over 40 years later), but times had changed and the 50s design didn’t have the appeal it once had.

No sooner said than done, and the Facel II was introduced to the market. This terribly expensive car was mechanically very similar to its predecessors, but boasted a new look that reflected the new tendances de style of the 60s. Basically it was wider, lower and more muscular-looking.

1962 Facel-Vega FACEL II
1962 Facel-Vega FACEL II

Under the massive hood hid a 6.3-liter Chrysler V8 that cranked out 360 horsepower. This raw power enabled this heavy car to reach a top speed of 135 miles an hour, and a respectable 8-second 0-60 acceleration time.

The four-speed manual transmission was standard, but a three-speed automatic, also from Chrysler, could be ordered. The Facel II exhibited good handling, and its disc brakes were greatly appreciated to bring this beast to a stop.

Perhaps the Facel II’s greatest4 flaw was its price: it was incredibly expensive, costing well over twice what comparable cars were selling for, and this lack of economic foresight contributed to put the final nails in Facel-Vega’s coffin, which closed definitely in 1964. Only 184 Facel II cars were ever produced.

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