"Try reinventing yourself as a super villain. You’ll need a sadistic streak, a loud aquamarine double breasted suit, (think 80’s Bowie) a Trilby of the same colour and a ray gun. Now allow yourself a cruel chuckle as you "
Facel Vega – For the Few Who Own the Finest
Unbelievably, it’s over half a century since the regal Facel Vega first rolled out into the world. And though the high end sports car that graced the upper echelons of society is fifty years old, it might as well be five hundred years – because the Facel seems as if from another universe.
Sterling Moss, according to a Facel owner I met recently, received a brand new Facel every year from the factory, and would nearly always eschew other forms of transport to and from race meeting all over Europe in favour of this noblest of steeds.
The high water mark of the tragically short-lived brand came with the HK 500 of 1960, which was powered by a 5.9 litre Chrysler engine and made the car good for over 140 MPH. An ill-fated sojourn into the more accessible small sports car market did for the company – but the legacy remains.
The Facel wasn’t just the perfect gentleman’s steed in the cut of exterior jib, the interior was high-end gentleman’s club meets the early manifestation of the Playboy mansion. It oozed just the right sort of sophistication crossed with a burlyness that predated automotive political correctness by an aeon.
The fact that Dean Martin owned one gives the car its cool creds. But then one reads that world-famous existential goalie and wearer of dark rollnecks Albert Camus died in one– enough said.
The Facel Vega is an enduring car crush.
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