Why the Facel Vega HK500 Is Collectable
Photography by Rémi Dargegen for Artcurial Motorcars
The Collector is a weekly series produced in association with Gear Patrol, where we discuss the car, and Gear Patrol discusses the essential gear inspired by the car. (Click here to see the rest of The Collector Series on Petrolicious.
Mr. Jean Daninos, an engineer, founded Facel, standing for “Forges et Ateliers de Construction d’Eure-et-Loir” or “forge and construction workshop of the department of Eure-et-Loir”, in 1939. He had experience in the aviation field, as well as in automobiles, having worked with Citroën on their Traction Avant model, so Facel became a contracting company for both industries. Jean’s ultimate aspirations, however were always to one day design and manufacture his very own automobile. For a while, the FACEL company built an assortment of different projects, from mopeds to engineering components for Rolls Royce, as well as producing bodies for Delahaye, Panhard, and Simca automobiles, amongst others. When Panhard unexpectedly cancelled manufacturing plans for one of their new models, Jean saw his chance to build his own luxury performance vehicle. The Facel Vega, first appearing in 1954 as the FV, and later as the HK500 in 1958, was that vehicle. Facel owners included Pablo Picasso, Tony Curtis, Ava Gardner, and Sir Stirling Moss. Why not you too? For the HK500 is still an intriguing Franco-American combination worthy of your consideration today.