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This is one of my all-time favorites. Not intended ever to be for sale.

1959 Facel-Vega Facellia. I have a habit of picking up cars that were responsible for the company going under. The Facellia is the pinnacle of that. Jean Daninos had created a very successful business selling relatively small cars with extremely high horsepower engines (nearly 10 years before Pontiac would do essentially the same thing stuffing a big block motor into a mid-sized car and starting the muscle car craze), but dreamed of building an all-French sports car. The Facellia was that, but was plagued with horribly designed engines. The replacement of these engines put the company under. You can read more here and here.

As with most Facellias, this one had been the recipient of an intended engine swap. Somewhere in the past, someone had tried to stuff a small block chevy into it, and been unable to complete the task. The previous owner to me thought a Datsun 2.8L Z motor would be just the right thing. Unfortunately, the rear carburetor would have hit the passenger compartment and I decided the poor car had gone through enough cutting.

Originally, I thought that since the big Facel-Vegas had come with big block Mopars, that a small block Mopar might be in keeping with the theme. It helped that I happened to have an original 1966 4bbl 273 on hand. Unfortunately, while the engine would clear the steering by around 1/2 inch, the transmission didn't clear at all. No Mopar transmission that I could find would fit the tunnel.

So, I had the idea that since Facel-Vega had used Volvo engine as a replacement for the defunct Pont-a-Mousson engines, that I'd see if my newly acquired volvo B21 "Red Block" engine would fit. Lo and behold, it did. The problem is that a 1976 B21 engine only makes 75 HP. Rather disappointing in comparison to the 115 HP engine that originally came with the car. But considerably better than the 0 HP that said original engine makes after the pistons get holes in them. Nonetheless, all "Red Block" engines are basically the same size and same block, and a bit of research revealed that the B234FT engine was readily available in the 740 turbo series Volvos, and it made a far more fun 164 HP. A bit of searching later and I wound up with a 740 turbo parts wagon that had been in a wreck for only $300.

The engine fits beautifully. Transmission too. Now I only have to get the computer wired. Replace the distributor cap that I broke in test fitting. figure out what I'm going to do for exhaust. Come up with a radiator that fits and will cool the engine. Come up with an intercooler that will fit and cool the turbo. Get the gauges fixed and working. Come up with a driveshaft that will fit. Come up with tail lights. Get a top made. Reupholster the seats that some previous owner WELDED in. Among other things.

But it's on a back burner right now. Too many other projects. Have to decide whether to do it next or do the Packard next.