1958 Facel Vega FV4 Typhoon
Established in 1939 as a subsidiary of French military aircraft manufacturer Bronzavia, FACEL
(Forges et Ateliers de Constructions d’Eure-et-Loir) survived wartime and entered a new and
dynamic postwar era under the guidance of Jean Daninos. Appointed head of FACEL in 1945
and possessing considerable automotive and aviation experience, Daninos aggressively moved
the company into automobile-body manufacturing for Ford, Panhard, Simca, and even Bentley.
Well-positioned for Europe’s postwar economic recovery, FACEL’s operations were also
prudently diversified among vehicle types, producing body parts for Delahaye, Vespa, Piaggio
and Motobecane, as well as components for several tractor manufacturers. By 1954, Daninos
spearheaded the company’s move into the ultra-luxury, Grand Touring market with the
establishment of the Facel Vega marque. Renowned from inception with outstanding build
quality, incredible luxury, and limited-production exclusivity, Facel Vega minimized
development time and engineering costs while maximizing performance with powerful V-8
engines, robust transmissions and proven chassis components sourced from Chrysler’s DeSoto
To many collectors and enthusiasts, the FV4 Typhoon remains the signature product of Facel
Vega. Introduced in 1958 and powered by the 354ci/355hp Chrysler “Hemi” V-8 engine used to
great effect by the 1956 Chrysler 300B, the striking FV4 Typhoon thundered from 0-60 MPH in
about 9 seconds and topped out around 130 MPH – ideal for the discerning owner/driver.
Bodywork featured numerous modernistic design cues for the era, including stacked headlamps,
a bold, wide grille, wraparound windshield, and smooth bodysides terminating in blade-type rear.
Interiors were spacious, handsomely trimmed in leather upholstery and equipped with
comfortable bucket-type front seats, a floor console, and comprehensive instrumentation. Priced
from about $12,000 new, representing the cost of a contemporary high-end Rolls-Royce,
Continental Mark II, or rare coachbuilt Ferrari, the FV4 Typhoon saw extremely limited
production with just 36 built in all.
This “1 of 36” 1958 Facel Vega FV4 Typhoon was delivered new to the United States via famed
European-car importer Charles Hornburg in Los Angeles, California. Retaining the original
354ci Chrysler “Hemi” V-8 engine sporting dual carburetors and correct twin-element Facel
Vega air cleaner, this Typhoon benefits handsomely from a cosmetic restoration and sports a
striking White paint finish, nicely contrasted by Black full leather upholstery, and complemented
by the original bumpers and trim. The Black leather interior is a study in classic European Grand
Touring elegance and function with thickly padded front bucket seats, a center console complete
with electrical switchgear, a stunning burled wood dash, comprehensive instruments with
chrome bezels, pushbutton radio, and of course, pushbutton dash controls for the Chrysler
Torqueflite automatic transmission.
Retaining its sophisticated original looks, this FV4 Typhoon is thoughtfully and subtly updated
for modern driving enjoyment. Year-round comfort is assured with the addition of a custom
designed and engineered air conditioning system by Vintage Air, installed under none other than
that company’s owner, who previously owned this vehicle. Proper supporting features include a
modern A/C compressor and 12-volt electrical system and alternator. Braking is enhanced with
retrofitted 4-wheel disc brakes with a dual-circuit master cylinder and electronic power booster.
Modern power window mechanisms are another desirable, yet discreet update, appropriate for
this extremely rare and luxurious FV4 Typhoon. Safety is also enhanced with a set of shoulder
belts integrated with the lap belts. The trunk is very well finished, complete with a proper ribbed
rubber mat and correct Hardura-wrapped fuel tank, complete with the original-specification alloy
tank cap. Borrani “knock-off” wire wheels and 15-inch blackwall radial tires provide the
Every bit the equal of any coachbuilt Rolls-Royce or limited-production Ferrari model of the era,
this 1958 Facel Vega FV4 Typhoon exemplifies the late-1950s “Golden Age” of glamorous
Grand Touring automobiles from Europe. Select tasteful and highly desirable updates further
elevate the experience of this exceedingly rare FV4 Typhoon. One of just 36 produced, it
handsomely exemplifies the French coachbuilder’s artistry with legendary American V-8 power.