Facel Vega FV2B
The one that got away from Monsieur Baillon
In 1966 Mr. Roger Baillon had the idea for a car museum in Niort, France. He was the first French car collector and bought several cars that he wanted to restore and show to the public. In the same year he purchased two Facels from the French industrialist Gérard Foussier. An Excellence and the FV2B we offer for sale here. The FV2B was delivered new to Mr. Foussier in 1956. Due to Baillon’s financial setbacks in the 70s, this Facel Vega was sold in a large liquidation auction near Niort in 1979 where it was bought by the American car collector C.J. O’Brien II. Moreover, he didn’t drive nor register it either. The remaining Facel Vega Excellence was sold 36 years later after the remaining Baillon collection was found in barn find condition and sold at auction for the benefits of his two grandsons. One could say; this FV2B is the Facel that got away.
Although most Facel Vegas found their way to car collections for their beauty and rarity, driving a ‘Véga’ is an experience that will please many people. Especially the FV2B here, with its powerful four barrel hemi V8 and manual gearbox. It feels like a gran turismo that likes to accelerate out of corners as much as it loves to cruise at low and high speeds. From boulevards to the Autobahn and country roads: for a car of the 50’s that can seat four people in style and comfort, there’s no substitute. The FV2B set the mark. The Facel Vega FV2B was the first Facel that could exceed 200kmh. And the press noticed this. They called it the world’s fastest 4-seater silent sports car.
The FV2B got its power from 5.4 Litre Chrysler Typhoon V8, which also powered the 1956 DeSoto Fireflite (S-24). In the Facel it gained an extra 20hp, 250 in total, but only in the manual version. The automatic version got the stock 230hp version. The extra hp was said to be limited to carmaker Facel, but was also part of the “Power Pack” or “Maximum Performance Police Package” which Chrysler offered to the American law enforcement. It made the FV2B pull much harder than the slower FV2. The manual FV2B was capable to run side by side with a Mercedes-Benz 300SL up until the Facel’s top speed. The SL went on from there. And even by today’s standards the FV2B feels quick and powerful.
Jean Daninos set the standard with the FV2 for further Facels, like the better known HK500. It got the wraparound panoramic windscreen, which was a novelty for Facel, and also the painted steel dashboard with wood grain. It still had the single headlights, not the stacked twins that were introduced on the FV3. The FV2 was a driving sculpture and still turns heads today. The sleek bodywork and fine details on the outside do not only cover the big Hemi V8, but also an interior that will make you feel special when you drive or ride along. Everywhere you look, you can see the efforts those craftsmen most have made. Inside it feels more like a yacht than a car. In most saloon cars of the era it feels like you’re sitting on top of the chassis. With the Facel, with its tubular chassis, it feels more like you’re actually in the car. The interior has proven it wasn’t just a showcase of period luxury, it was also very stylish and timeless. Where most luxury cars become old fashioned during time, especially car interiors, the French car builder has proven how to set up a car interior that can not just match an exquisite, tasteful exterior, but also how a car interior can beat aging, trends and fashion. It was made to look good and last forever, so it seems. People noticed these qualities and therefore the car was a success and sold itself without lots of involvements of dealerships. Just 74 were built.
In 1990 the FV2B was sold back to Europe. Its German owner restored the car in 2012/2013. The car has matching numbers and is in a perfect condition. At JB Classic Cars we took good care of the car during the last couple of years and we made sure this Facel Vega was as good as a driver’s car as it was pretty, especially because this is one of the few Facel Vegas with a manual Pont-à-Mousson gearbox. The current owner spared no expense during is his ownership. It has body number 134, which for us was very special, because our bespoke FV2B Cabriolet has nr. 133. To see these rare cars side by side is a treat. It’s believed that around 40 examples of the Facel Vega FV2B are still in existence. Please visit our showroom for a visit and test drive.
Facel Vega FV2B in excellent condition
5.4 Litre Hemi V8 (250hp)
Pont-à-Mousson 4-speed gearbox
Low-mileage (collector’s car, once part of the infamous Baillon Collection)
Mechanical work carried out in 2017 (€ 12.500,-) by JB Classic Cars