Original condition Facel Vega FV4 as delivered to WGM Auto Restorations in November , 2004. This is what would be refered to as a good original car in need of restoration. Facel Vega was one of the last entirely handbuilt cars produced .
Another pic of the Facel . The car had been refinished completely at some time in the past but all the original trim pieces were there. The Robergel wire wheels were a rare option and finding a good set still fitted to the car even rarer.
The original interior of the FV4 was dry rotted and deteriorated from exposure to the sun. Again all the original parts were undisturbed, with the exception of the carpeting.
The completed restoration of the Facel as of April,2008 . Three years of painstaking efforts have brought this rare automobile back to its past splendor. Many challenges were encountered during the project . WGM Auto had to remanufacture and fabricate several unavailable parts .
Refinished in a very deep shade of maroon , the color produces a striking contrast with the stainless steel brightwork and restored Robergel wheels. Original NOS Michelin "X" radial tires were located and installed in the effort to bring this Facel back to its factory new condition.
The design of the Facel continues to impress all who see this automotive gem.
No stone was left unturned when it came to the restoration of the Facel . The same attention to detail given to the body and interior was given to the chassis and drivetrain.
The braking system of the Facel consisted of components from both sides of the Atlantic. Wheel cylinders, Alfin brake drums from Europe were combined with a Kelsey Hayes brake booster and master cylinder from Chrysler . The rear differential was a Salisbury design that was shared with the Jaguar XK s of the period.
Over 350 hours of time was spent restoring the interior of the Facel to its original splendor. Connelly leather covers all surfaces with Wilton wool headliner and carpet . The faux woodgrain finish on dash was recreated by a local artist and adds the finishing touch to this elegant interior.
The Facel is power by one of the rarest early Chrysler Hemi engines. Only 68 of the 297 FV series cars were equipped with this high performance engine which was shared with the Chrysler 300 series cars of the mid 1950's. The 354 ci /355 horsepower engine is fitted with dual Carter WCFB four barrel carburetors, dual point ignition. These engines were the basis for the start of the Hemi legend.
This article appeared in the July/August 2008 Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) magazine Antique Automobile