A RARE 1958 Facel Vega Excellence supplied new to the legendary Hollywood actress Ava Gardner recently went under the hammer (for the second time in two years) at COYS Interclassics Maastricht Auction in the Netherlands, with a top estimate near $300k.

The Gardner Facel Vega Excellence was the last of the ten Series 1 versions built, with Chysler’s highperformance 6.4-litre V8 Hemi engine and was delivered directly from the factory in September 1958.

It was at this time that Gardner flew to Melbourne to start work on the movie, On the Beach, co-starring with Gregory Peck.

In the late fifties and early sixties the Facel Vega became the default choice for wellheeled buyers. In addition to Gardner, who owned three, others to slip behind the wheel included Tony Curtis, Pablo Picasso, Christian Dior, Frank Sinatra and Ringo Starr.

In its relatively short life Facel Véga produced approximately 2900 cars.

Another car going under the COYS hammer that has had a star studded owner is the diminutive Austin A35 once owned by rock star and Genesis frontman Phil Collins from his early music days, at a top estimate of $20k.

After schlepping around the UK in the A35, Collins went on to own a string of luxury cars as his fortunes rose over the years.