When you think about French luxury, it brings up a name like Louis Vuitton, Hermès, or Chanel. The famous French “haute couture” fashion, leather, and perfumes, that have made France one of the leading countries for high craftsmanship. But French luxury cars? Apart from Bugatti nowadays, which, as some might argue is more German than French nowadays, it’s basically a no man’s land. Citroën in its time used to be a pioneer with a range of luxury flagship cars like the DS, or the SM with its Maserati engine. There was one other brand though that was the epitome of French car luxury, and in its time, everybody was dreaming to own one. Facel Vega’s were the car to have. Ringo Starr, Stirling Moss, Pablo Picasso, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, Ava Gardner, Francois Truffaut, the Shah of Iran and Maurice Trintignant all had one thing in common. They owned a Facel Vega. And now, it’s back, Facel Vega returns. Text: Mickael B. © Photos: Romain D., Facel Vega Paris ©

Let’s start with a little history lesson. Born under Jean Daninos impulse in 1952 to extend the operations of the metal construction site Facel, which used to provide aluminum bodyworks for Panhard, Simca and Bentley. They built some amazing luxury Grand Tourers such as the FV, Facel 2, Excellence, HK500, which had powerful 4.5 liter Chrysler De Soto Hemi engines. They were the fastest and most luxurious cars you could get in the sixties. Not only were they – very – fast in their time (we’re talking 8 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h, nothing compared to modern standards), they were as well expensive and luxurious. They were Grand Tourers with a unique French touch, ane the only one in that era, as all the great French car manufacturers such as Bugatti or Delahaye had disappeared. Another very typical thing from Facel Vega’s was the fake wood veneer panel on the inside. Although looking like real wood, it was actually hand painted panels of aluminum which looked so realistic they would fake anybody. Not many Facel Vegas have been built, with less than 3000 total production runs in its short lifespan (the company went bust in 1964), they are a rare and uncommon sight that any car enthusiast should appreciate.

Today, the owner of the Facel Vega name is the official Amicale Facel Vega, but there has been rumors since several years of a comeback from the legendary brand. On Instagram, the account Facel Vega Paris has been teasing about the new car, and even has a website (link here). The new car, supposed to be called Facel V, should have its own French 6.0 liter V8, what looks like as a full aluminum space-frame chassis, and carbon ceramic brakes. No further details are available yet, regarding transmission, power or pricing, but you can enter your email address on the website to stay connected for any updates. From a design point of view though, the new car looks absolutely stunning, and in my opinion a perfect modern reinterpretation of the old HK500 and Facel II specially.

“Reintroducing le luxe sportif” on the inside, from what has been revealed, simplicity is key to express the French luxury, specially if you look at the seats, steering wheel, sole center screen and center console. Happily, there seem to be a full wooden panel, and we strongly hope it will be hand painted as the originals. We think it’s a tremendous idea to bring back french luxury and can’t wait to discover more about this exciting project!