Facel Vega FV4 Typhoon 1957 – 340 hp, only 36 built – Top French class and elegance, one of the last handmade French cars !

Born at the beginning of WW2, the Facel company firstly worked in aeronautics before its new director, the talented Jean Daninos decided to focus his business on the automobile bodywork when the war ended in 1945. For a few years he built bodies for Panhard, Simca, Ford France and even Bentley with Pininfarina before he decided to create his own car in 1952. Wishing to achieve a high performance level, he turned to Chrysler to buy engines, powerful and modern V8s he could not find with French manufacturers. He introduced his FV prototype in 1954 at the Paris Motor Show and year after year he improved his luxurious and sporty 2+2 coupé to give birth to the FV4.

Produced between 1957 and 1958, the Facel Vega FV4 was especially designed for North American customers, a very promising market for the French brand, and received the most powerful engines of the range. The FV4 first series was equipped with the mythical Chrysler V8 Hemi TY5 “Typhoon” of 5.8 L (354 ci) producing 340 hp, and was produced confidentially with only 36 exemplars, all for export. The FV4 has an unrivalled style and embodies the French class and elegance with its impressive grill, its chromed bumpers, its polished aluminium rocker panels and its rear lights signed with a “V” remembering the Vega name, suggested at the period by Jean Daninos’ brother to evocate one of the shiniest star of the Lyra constellation, symbol of power and prestige. Its body is entirely in aluminium and handmade. Innovation from Facel Vega, the FV4 has a fake wooden dashboard which is in reality a painted sheet of metal, and its all-in-curves windshield offers a panoramic view. Its interior is luxurious and only uses noble materials: leather, wood, chrome and Jaeger meters. It is also spacious and allows to enjoy the road at nearly 225 km/h in an absolute comfort for the period and a surprisingly silent mechanics! Great French luxury brand, Facel Vega was one of the last French manufacturers to build cars by hand. The FV4 was intended for stars, high diplomats, ministers, only a few privileged people could afford the luxury of driving in this kind of cars. At the time it was sold at a price close to 4 millions of Francs (10 000 $), representing 4 times the price of the technological flagship of Citroën, the DS, and was close to the price of some Rolls-Royces!

Our FV4 was delivered new on June 14th 1957 by the distributing agent Hornburg of Los Angeles in the USA, luxuriously equipped in options with Robergel spoke wheels, power steering, braking assistance and electric and tinted windows. It has the chassis 57H46 with the body number 0212. The car only knew two owners until 2005 when his current owner bought it at Aston Martin New Orleans and imported it in France. Then he started a meticulous restauration that lasted more than 10 years. From its naked chassis, nearly 100 000 € were spent to restore its aluminium body, its chassis, its TY5 engine number 562120, its Salisbury axle, its Chrysler 3-speed automatic gearbox and its running gear. The whole comes with a file of detailed invoices. The car is matching numbers, its original dashboard has been preserved and its mostly original Dark Green leather interior has an exceptional and magnificent patina. The car even still has its rare tools from the period including wrenches, pliers, spark plug and bulbs! The car only drove 400 km since its arrival in France in 2005 and is registered by the Amicale Facel Vega, there would only be 15 survivors left nowadays. The car will be delivered to its new owner with appraisal value and contrôle technique.