Although the big V8 engined Facels had proved very successful, company founder Jean Daninos still had a longing to build an all French spots car pitched at a lower price. It was a vision that, given Daninos’ track record of turning his ideas into reality, should have worked. However, the results of his hopes for a lower priced French spots car was the Facellia of 1960, a pretty two seater, its lines designed to reflect those of the larger models on which the company pinned its hopes for the future. Sadly the Facellia was to prove to be the car which led to the undoing of Facel Vega. The lay with the car’s bespoke twin-cam engine, which tended to burn holes in its pistons and suffered nastily from prodigious oil leaks. Even an improved F2S version could not rescue the car’s reputation in time, and warranty costs soon buried the company. It was a shame, because the Facellia was otherwise a very pleasant little car with a lot of offer. It could boast truly handsome lines, very swish appointments and interior, and some good handling.
There was a couple of last ditch attempts to save the model by using a different engine, the Facel III used a Volvo 1800 unit, and the Facel Six a sleeved down Austin Healey straight six. Neither of these did much for the cars handling but they did offer reliability. Another reason to remember Facellia, and a more pleasant one, is that it was also the only Facel ever offered as a convertible.