Garage find 1960 Facel Vega HK500 joins H&H Classics Buxton Auction

Garage find 1960 Facel Vega HK500 joins H&H Classics Buxton Auction

No Reserve
 

Registration No: VFF 926
Chassis No: HK1 BP4
MOT: Exempt


Thought to be 1 of only 98, UK-supplied cars
Genuine ‘garage find’ example, residing in current ownership for nearly fifty years
Seemingly complete with what appears to be its original Grey leather upholstery
Desirable 6.3 litre, disc braked example


"In the world of motoring some few cars come to deserve the adjective 'great' because, although they have faults like everything else in this imperfect world, they provide such a highly desirable combination of virtues. Driving the latest Facel Vega HK500 in Britain, France, Switzerland, and Belgium…we found it hard to keep superlatives out of the conversation" (Motor, April 1960).


The most famous and successful of the various Facel Vega models, the HK500 was introduced in May 1958. True to company founder Jean Daninos' vision of a hand built 'grand routier' that could compete on the world stage, the newcomer counted the likes of the Ferrari 250GTE, Maserati 3500GT and Aston Martin DB4 among its rivals. Derived from that of the preceding FVS, the sport saloon's tubular steel chassis was equipped with independent double-wishbone front suspension, a 'live' rear axle and four-wheel finned drum brakes (though, discs were soon optional). Maintaining the short-lived manufacturer's reputation for performance, the HK500 was powered by a 5.9 litre (later 6.3 litre) Chrysler V8 OHV engine allied to automatic transmission. While, those looking for even greater thrills could specify a four-speed Pont-a-Mousson manual gearbox and dual four-choke Carter carburettors. One of the fastest cars of its generation, Autocar found a manual HK500 to be capable of 0-60mph in 8.4 seconds, 0-100mph in 19.1 seconds and a theoretical 140mph.


Beautifully wrought, the four-seater's steel body was characterized by a dramatic three-piece grille, wraparound windscreen, stacked headlights, cut-away tail lights and imposing bumpers. As stylish inside as out, the Facel Vega's cabin boasted sumptuous leather upholstery, electric windows and a wood-effect painted steel dashboard. With a select clientele that included Pablo Picasso, Ava Gardner, Sir Stirling Moss, Ringo Starr, Tony Curtis, Maurice Trintignant, Joan Fontaine, Danny Kaye, François Truffaut and Rob Walker, the HK500 remained in production until 1961 by which time some 490 are thought to have been made. Though, the Facel Vega Car Club believe just 98 of these were supplied new to the UK.


According to its accompanying continuation green logbook, this particular example – chassis HK1 BP4 – was first UK road registered on 15th July 1960. A desirable ‘HK1’ model equipped with disc brakes and the enlarged 6.3 litre V8 engine, the Facel Vega was acquired by its previous keeper, Kevin Silcock Esq of London, some seven years later. Last MOT tested during 1972 at a recorded 55,000 miles, the HK500 accompanied Mr Silcock when he relocated to Flintshire that August. In need of some TLC by the time that it entered the current (deceased) ownership in 1976, the four-seater has been kept garaged for the past five decades. Still riding on Borrani, centre-lock steel wheels, the Facel Vega was carefully extracted during late February 2023. Seemingly complete down to its windscreen washer bottle and under bonnet lights, the Grand Routier is thought to pleasingly retain its original Grey leather upholstery. Equipped with 'push button' automatic transmission, no amount of cobwebs or dust can obscure the HK500’s road presence. Rare and stylish in equal measure, this RHD ‘HK1’ has the makings of a very rewarding project. Offered for sale with continuation green logbook, expired MOT certificate and older V5C Registration Document.

Auction: The Pavilion Gardens, Buxton - 26th April 2023


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