Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

1954-1959 Facel Vega FV


The 1954-1959 Facel Vega FV was described as a “classy Franco-American hybrid GT.” The FV was powered by Chrysler, designed and built by Facel Metallon, and previously known as a body supplier to other manufacturers.

1957 Facel Vega FVS Hardtop Coupe, part of the 1954-1959 Facel FV Series of collectible cars.
1957 Facel Vega FVS Hardtop Coupe.  See more pictures of Vega cars.

Styling was probably influenced by the Simca Sport and other cars built by Facel in the late '40s and early '50s. Engineered in limited-production Italian style, the Facel Vega had a large-tube fabricated chassis carrying independent front suspension and a conventional live axle rear end. The separate bodyshells were built by Facel.

The FVs were considered costly, but very fast thanks to Chrysler Hemi-head V-8s, which were supplied with increased displacement in 1956 and again in '58. Top speed was at least 130 mph, more on later models with the larger engines.

It was usually recognized by a distinctive "face" with a vertical eggcrate grille flanked by oval head/parking lamp clusters, and usually rode on wire wheels. Most FVs were thin-pillar two-door coupes, but a few convertibles were also constructed.

Pluses of the 1954-1959 Facel Vega FV:

  • Individual French styling
  • Performance
  • Reliable Detroit engines
  • Low-production appeal

Minuses of the 1954-1959 Facel Vega FV:

  • Heavy and thirsty
  • Few parts available now
  • Drum brakes
  • Only modest appreciation

Production of the 1954-1959 Facel Vega FV:
352 (includes 11 convertibles)

Specifications of the 1954-1959 Facel Vega FV:
Wheelbase, inches: 103.5/104.7
Length, inches:
179.0-181.0
Weight, pounds: 3,585-4,105
Price, new: $7,000 U.S. (Vega); $7,500/$9,750 (FV)

Engines for the 1954-1959 Facel Vega FV:

TypeSize
Horsepower
Years
ohv V-84,528 cc 276 cid
170
1954-1955
ohv V-8
4,768 cc 291 cid180
1954-1955
ohv V-8
5,407 cc 330 cid250
1956-1957
ohv V-8
5,801 cc 354 cid325
1958-1959

Want more information about classic cars? See: