FACEL (Forges et Ateliers de Construction d'Eure and the Loire), was founded by Jean Daninos, and supplied bodywork to Delahaye, Panhard and Simca. In 1953 it was decided to build cars. After producing such 2.700 cars, Facel went bankrupt in 1964. We looked under the hood of a Vega Excellence and saw a thick American V8.
A big V8
Facists were seen as purebreds by purists because Daninos bought engines from DeSoto (Firedome) and later from Chrysler (Hemi and Wedgeheads). Our Facel is an Excellence (1958-1963, 152 st. Produced) from 1958 with the optional manual Pont-à-Mousson bucket. Under the hood, the car is wonderfully authentic and 'fairer' than any politician can be. The Chrysler V8 is one of the illustrious 'Wedge' genus: less legendary than the 'Hemi' blocks, but at least as good. Chrysler stopped the production of those Hemi (spheric) blocks with their hemispherical combustion chambers in 1958 and Facel was allowed to make the leftovers. The Facels were then given the new 'Wedgeheads' with wedge-shaped combustion chambers. In 'production' the 152 had Excelences Hemi- or 'Golden Lion' Wedgeheads.
So a Wedge block
The Hemi blocks had their distributor cap on the back of the engine. That identifies our powerhouse as a Wedge engine. And that is true in technical terms. The two four-fold caburateurs are sitting under the slightly excited chrome filters. We see a field of tension between the bodywork, the interior and the engine compartment. Carriage and interior are in shiny top condition. The engine compartment looks neat, but more appropriate for its age. It is the full 100% patina there under the hood with its two stylish twilight lights in the hood edges. The reason for that patina could again be that phenomenal V8. American V8s were designed to be maintenance-free - Americans don't last forever and stay whole for two weeks. In addition, American horses were gross SAE horsepower. that just plus 20% compared to the DIN horses measured on practical use. The liter capacity of such a thick Chrysler block is actually modest.
And such a V8 doesn't run very fast either
So as long as such a motor is not used on a drag strip, it always works at its ease. And a Facel Vega does not belong on drag strips. So it has probably never been necessary to give the engine anything other than normal European maintenance. Everything looks a bit dusty. Including the plugs with their original color codes. A different spark plug wire, because there were no tie wraps in 1958. Maybe a fresh distributor cap? The ignition coil also looks more recent than its surroundings. The chrome is probably also from a later date and shows that the engine compartment has never been greasy. There is even real asbestos around the gas supply line to the carburetors. This beauty has probably slept just as long as Snow White. At The Gallery she is kissed awake. And everyone lived happily ever after. Only the battery is farm fresh and will soon get another clamp for the good. A day of wonderful cleaning and polishing the chrome parts. We would not do more under the hood!
Under the hood of the Facel
Liquid cooled V8 with push rods and two quadruple carburetors, cylinder capacity 413 CUI (is exactly 6.767,831 cc), compression 10: 1 approx. 360 / 380 hp at 5.400 rpm, max. Torque 450 Nm at 3.600 rpm. top speed approx. 200 km / h.
The weak points
None in this context. Further under the hood, the handling was not always in accordance with the power.
An American V8 that has been serviced from new to Europe? 100% trouble-free and thoroughly reliable.
The parts supply
Considering the numbers made, this is good. Thanks to 'Amicale Facel' and www.mopar.com.
The prices of the parts
"A lot of money" does not have to mean "expensive". But remember that an Excellence is never made for people who had to ask themselves what it cost.
The value of such a car
Someone once said "If you want to know what it costs, you cannot pay him". With the numbers produced, the question is: "Is one for sale?". Don't be shocked by amounts up to around half a million euros
Specialists, clubs and information
www.facel-vega.com, www.amicalefacel.nl, www.facel.de, www.facelvegacarclub.co.uk,
www.TheGalleryBrummen, www.stolzeclassiccars.nl, www.mopar.com
The luxury brand Facel Vega did not last long, but it left some beautiful classics. Now there are rumors that a new model will appear. Whatever is true, the images that pop up taste for more.