Note: Another contribution by my pal, Tony LaHood! Now this is a superior machine… -TK
In the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that I am a Francophile. Set a baguette, Brie and Ch. Carbonnieux in front of me and I can die a happy man. Visions of Cote d’Azur or a cafe on Champs-Élysées can bring peace to my tormented mind. And while I acknowledge and regret the national (actually mostly Parisian) reputation for arrogance and condescension, I defend neither it, nor their inexplicable fondness for the comedy of Jerry Lewis. With this in mind, I feel it my obligation to share with you the story of the Facel Vega Excellence, a singular automobile at once quintessentially American and undeniably Gallic.
While Facel Vega—which aside from half its name has no connection to that other Vega, s’il vous plait—had produced automobiles since 1955, the company itself dates back two decades, when M. Jean Daninos, late of Citroën and the military aircraft concern Bronzavia, founded Métallon, a fabricator of kitchen cabinets and sinks and, in 1939, established Forges et Atéliers de Construction d’Eure-et-Loire, (FACEL). The two firms combined and made aircraft engine components during World War II.