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Facel-Vega FV4 Coupe, Brown, for sale in Huntington Station, New York, for $197,500.
--Aubergine with Tan leather interior and Brown carpeting, Fully Restored with Numerous Best-in-Class Wins, 354 CID Chrysler Hemi V-8 Engine (325 BHP at 4,600 RPM), Extremely rare One of only 36 Built.
The Facel Vega was the grand touring car of choice for motoring celebrities such as Stirling Moss, Maurice Trintignant and Rob Walker. The stylish body and sumptuous fittings attracted another type of clientele that included Danny Kaye, Tony Curtis, Ava Gardner and Pablo Picasso. From the introduction of the FV in 1954 through 1958 when the HK 500 model was launched, less than 300 examples were built.
All Facel Vega cars are rare, but the FV4 model is one of the most exclusive with a mere 36 built in total. This example was completed on July 27, 1957, and although little is known of its early history, it resided in Northern California for at least 35 years before being purchased in October 2004 by Larry Gesiakowski, owner of WGM Restorations of Chicago, Illinois. At the time, the car was original and complete but showing its age. Over the next four years, Mr. Gesiakowski painstakingly returned the Facel Vega to its former glory, often consulting with Facel experts Hans Rúhe in the Netherlands and Mark Morgan in California to ensure that originality and correctness were strictly adhered to during the restoration. As the original, chemically - etched, rolled-sheet aluminum rocker panel trim was no longer available, it was fabricated and hand scribed for the car, proof of the expert care and attention that was taken during this restoration. A book of photographs documenting the work accompanies the car.
Despite its appearance, the dashboards of the Facel Vega were not wood but expertly hand-painted trompe l’oeil metal. An artist was called in to painstakingly replicate the work done in the Paris factory decades before. Inside the trunk, the fitted tool tray is completely equipped, down to the spare Marchal bulbs. Factory options include distinctive and very desirable Robergel wire wheels, power steering, power brakes, electric windows and tinted glass.
Featured in the July/August 2008 issue of the AACA magazine Antique Automobile, the completed car was stunning. The quality of the car is amply reflected in its concours record. It has been shown three times and, in each case, it has captured Best in Class honors: initially at the Palos Verdes Concours in September 2010; next at the Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance in La Quinta, California in February 2011; and most recently in May 2011 at the Greystone Mansion Concours d’Elegance in Beverly Hills, California.
A perfect blend of elegant continental style and brawny American power and a worthy heir to the throne of the legendary pre-war French grand touring cars, this is a grand touring 100+ mph road warrior.