Facel Vega Facel II
Hollywood in Holland: Ex-Debbie Reynolds Facel
The great Debbie Reynolds was a special lady. Well known for her acting in movies like Singing in the Rain and the Unsinkable Molly Brown, she was among the most popular Hollywood stars of her time. With singing she had big success as well and in several movies she combined both talents. After growing up poor, her new fortune and fame helped her to step up the ladder quickly. As a respected member of the Rich & Famous she got herself a Facel Vega Facel II in 1963, which we offer for sale now.
The Facel II was Facel Vega’s best car in the eyes of Jean Daninos himself. Despite the company’s bankruptcy in 1964, due to the Facellia’s warranty issues, they kept building stunning grand tourers for the high society until the very last end. The Facel II was seen not just as the HK500’s successor, it was also capable to compete against two-seated GT’s like the Aston Martin DB4, Ferrari 250 GT and Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing. Against all odds, the Facel II was hard to beat. In zero to sixty mph sprints it was the quickest of them all. Only at higher speeds, up to 100mph the mentioned Ferrari was a bit faster in acceleration. All others had to let the Facel II go first. The last true Facel Vega went impressively fast in silence.
The look and feel were truly unique in the car world, American brute force with European handling and brakes were matched with an interior that was at least at the same level as British luxurious interiors were. When parked or when passing by everyone would notice its French elegance from every angle. If it wasn’t the Facellia that took down the company, the Facel II would have had a huge impact on the car world for a long time. At least it impressed famous people in time to order these last true Facel Vega’s. Tony Curtis, Ringo Starr, Count Volpi and Debbie Reynolds were among the few Facel II buyers.
Debbie Reynolds was a rising star in the 50’s and continued her fame and glory until her death in 2016. After her impressive Hollywood career in the 50’s and 60’s and her successes as a singer, she didn’t leave the spotlights. During the 70’s she got her own television show. Although it hit her own income she wasn’t afraid to make hard statements against the tobacco commercials on television and radio.
Besides her theatre performances and other side steps as an entrepreneur, she started to collect Hollywood memorabilia. Her best known item must have been Marilyn Monroe’s white dress, which was sold for 4.6 Million Dollar at auction to compensate financial setback for a museum that should have housed the Reynold’s collection. Younger generations will remember Debbie Reynolds for her role as the mother of Grace in the popular TV Series Will & Grace that was broadcasted in many countries. This was a great comeback which made many laugh out loud. Despite some personal and financial mishaps, Debbie Reynolds kept on going strong and spirited. Although Debbie seemed healthy, she died a day after her daughter Carrie had a deadly overdose. Todd Reynolds, Debbie’s son and brother of Carrie, later told that his mother didn’t want to leave Carrie alone and that her stroke might have been her way to stay with her.
Debbie sold the Facel II to Hollywood’s unsung director Charles “Chuck” Walters in 1975. Walters is known for being the director who made Hollywood dance during the golden age of Hollywood musicals. In one of Walter’s films, Debbie Reynolds convinced him of her abilities. In her role as (the unsinkable) Margaret “Molly” Brown, she paid tribute to the lady who had survived the Titanic, and who fought successfully for the rights of workers and women, and for education and literacy for children. Walter’s kept the Facel II in a small museum in Arkansas, until he passed away in 1982. With the car comes correspondence between Debbie and ‘Chuck’, in which Mrs. Reynolds states that she still misses the car, mostly because of her beauty.
The car was purchased by the American Facel specialist Roger Spaulding, who got the Facel II for his wife Karen. Karen at first was quite shocked that her beloved BMW was traded for the benefit of a good deal, but as soon as she saw the Facel II it was love at first sight. She kept the car until the late 90’s. Richard Kent Nystrom was a relative of Karen (and Roger) and he purchased the Facel Vega in 1999. Nystrom was a renowned Professor of Art History who collected and restored rare classic cars. The Facel II was partly restored and kept in his collection until after he passed away in 2003. And then the current owner got the car and finalized the restauration. For his own personal taste, the car was finished in dark blue instead of the original white. Although the smaller Facellias look great in white, the bigger Facels lack a bit of class when painted in the lightest colour. It was Debbie who made this car shine.
Only 180 examples of the handsome Facel II were ever made. This is a great opportunity to acquire a first series Facel II with a famous Hollywood star as first owner. The car comes with complete history and is in a great shape. The Facel II is among the most sought-after of all 1960s Grand Tourers. Not just because of the looks. It’s the performance as well. En route it will give many cars a hard time, while you cruise in style.
Restored between 2009 – 2017
Chassis number HK2-A183 (83rd produced, 1st Serie Facel II)
Comes with some Debbie Reynolds memorabilia: letter to Charles Walters and black California license plate: DEB-000
1963-1975 Debbie Reynolds (Hollywood Actress)
1975-1983 Charles Walters (Hollywood Director)
1983-1985 Charles Williamson (Friend of Charles Walters)
1985-1999 Karen Spaulding (wife of Roger Spaulding, Facel specialist)
1999-2003 Dr. Richard Kent Nystrom (Classic Car Collector)
2004-2009 Dhr. F. van Harten (Facel enthusiastic, private restorer)
2009-2019 Current owner