In 1959, there was only place to go for someone in interested in owning the biggest, brashest, American-style coupe: France. Hard to believe today, but in the late fifties the most celebrated and exclusive large coupe didn’t come from Detroit, and it didn’t wear one of the big three’s names. Instead it wore the name Facel Vega HK500, combined European styling with flashes of oversized American-esque chrome, and motivated itself with a Chrysler 383ci V8. It also cost nearly $10,000 (just $2,500 shy of the average American home), jogged to 150mph without blinking and displayed more leather and varnished wood than an English men’s club. No surprise, then, that the HK500 was an immediate hit with glitterati like Sir Stirling Moss, Maurice Trintignant, Ringo Starr, Ava Gardner, Pablo Picasso and others who all owned one. What is surprising is that Facel Vega HK500s have largely fallen off the radar of many a car collector. This particular car shows us why we should remember with a fantastic blue over red color combination, wire wheels and a trunk mounted air-conditioning unit that looks like it could cool an airplane hangar. Combined with the HK500’s automatic transmission and power steering, brakes and windows, there’s no better vintage car with which to vaporize miles of interstate. If the Facel Vega were ours we’d give it a good once over, fill the included fitted luggage with a few changes of clothes, and head out for a cross-country road trip. Find the HK500 for sale here on eBay in Longmont, Colorado with the bidding starting at $45,000.
An American From Paris – 1959 Facel Vega HK500
August 2, 2012 by 1 Comment