16-17 January 2014

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Lot 46

1958 Facel Vega FVS Series 4 Sport Coupe

  • Chassis no. FVSNY253
  • Body no. FVSNY258

Sold for $200,750

340 hp, 354 cu. in. Chrysler Hemi V-8, dual four-barrel carburetors, two-speed Powerflite automatic transmission, independent front suspension, live axle rear suspension with trailing lower radius arms, coil springs, and anti-roll bar, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 105 in.

  • Original U.S. specification; matching-numbers drivetrain
  • Awarded Best in Class at the 2013 Palos Verdes Concours d'Elegance
  • Rare example of a Franco-American style icon

While still retaining its world-famous flair, post-World War II France’s high-end automotive market was dealt a crippling blow after a hefty new tax was levied on cars with motors displacing more than 2.9 liters. Automakers closed their doors en masse, leaving only mainstream brands to compete for high-volume buyers and a handful of small workshops dedicated to preserving the elegance once so commonly found in France.

Chief among those was Facel, a small and fiercely independent outfit that was started by Jean Daninos. It sourced big, high tech V-8 engines from Chrysler in Detroit to slot into coachbuilt grand touring coupes that rode on Lance Macklin-designed frames. Not only were Facel’s engines sourced from America, the cars’ flamboyant yet still distinctively French designs were designed to appeal to tastes on this side of the Atlantic.

Over a decade, Facel created 10 different short series of models with increasingly powerful Chrysler-sourced eight-cylinder engines. Despite the Vegas’ heft—they were, after all, luxury grand touring cars —they were remarkably quick vehicles that made the most of their underhood power. Opulence not seen in French cars since before the dawn of World War II dominated the showy Vega, which quickly became popular with a jet-setting crowd on both sides of the Atlantic.

This Series 4 Sport Coupe, which is finished in correct radiant silver metallic paint over red leather, was one of seven ordered by noted New York-based importer Max Hoffman in late 1957. It was assembled in October of that year, according to the curator of the Facel Vega register in Holland, and was delivered new, in 1958, with chrome wire wheels that had knock-off spinner caps and tinted glass. This highly original FVS Series 4 Sport Coupe is finished in its correct silver color, and it retains its original, matching-numbers powertrain.

This Series 4 has been kept in outstanding condition, and its remarkable preservation won it Best in Class at the 2013 Palos Verdes Concours d'Elegance. As that award indicates, it is in show-ready condition, with its silver paint contrasting gently with its abundant polished stainless trim. Inside, the red leather and wood trim remain excellently preserved, while a mechanical refurbishment, which included rebuilding the carburetors and generator, has left it ready to be enjoyed. Its next owner will also receive a correct tool kit, jack and spare tire.

This later Facel Vega is resplendent in unusual silver, and it represents a glimpse into a brief but memorable period of post-war French luxury car design.


Please note, contrary to the printed catalogue, this car is finished in its original silver color, though the paint is not original. Secondly, its trim is polished stainless, not chrome.

The title for this vehicle is in transit.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more