Ringo Starr's rare Facel II up for auction
One of just 182 cars made, this fast, luxurious coupe ruled high-performance GTs in the 1960s.
The 1964 Facel Vega Facel II is one of 182 hand-built cars from one of the last great European coachbuilders to survive the second World War. Facel, which started out building bodies for military trucks and even dabbled in office furniture, began churning out rebodied Bentleys and Fords before unveiling its own car, the Vega, in 1954. The 1961 Facel II was the last of several luxurious coupes that were swathed in the finest materials and priced against Rolls-Royce and Bentley models.
Like those famous British cars, the Facel II was heavy and could seat four, but with a 6.3-liter Hemi V8 pushing 355 horsepower, it was just as fast as the four-seat Lamborghini Espada that would debut seven years later. Given France's high post-war taxes, most of Facel's cars were exported where rich car enthusiasts could appreciate them (like England and California).
Starr's 1964 model packed the larger 6.7-liter Hemi V8 that was good for 390 horsepower. With the Beatles reaching critical mass all over the world with singles including "Can't Buy Me Love" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand," the drummer was easily able to afford the roughly $16,000 asking price (today's equivalent of about $120,000). Similar to how John Lennon purchased a new Ferrari at his home, Starr plucked his Facel right off the show stand of the 1964 Earls Court Motor Show in London. Facel the company wasn't as lucky and closed down that same year. In total, the French marque built about 2,900 cars.
While collector car insurer Hagerty estimates a regular Facel II at just under $164,000, auction house Bonhams says the Ringo Starr Facel II could fetch anywhere from $482,000 to $562,000. It will cross the block at Bonhams auction house in London on Sunday, Dec. 1. In July, Lennon's 1965 Ferrari 330GT 2+2 sold in a Bonhams auction for about $578,000.
[Source: Bonhams via Los Angeles Times; HowStuffWorks]
the driver's seat shows significant wear, so the car has been driven quite a lot. it doens't cost a lot to re-leather the seats, but guess they want it as original for theauction....and ringo sat on that leather.
Very Cool CAR , But I could do a lot with that kind of Dough and the the leather seats look a little warn from the looks of the pic. Probably due to Ringo's notable band of groopies. Still a very cool car YEAAAH.
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