Facel or Forges et Ateliers de Constructions d’Eure-et-Loir (Facel S.A. for short) traces its roots back to 1939 when it was established by parent company Bronzavia – a manufacturer of military aircraft.
The company eventually shifted from manufacturing steel components and furniture to building special edition cars for large manufacturers and finally to building their own Facel-badged luxury GT and sports cars.
Such is the variety and age range of cars that turn-up for the Goodwood Members Meeting – it can sometimes be difficult to come up with natural grouping topics in a blog post.
Participants in a particular race or demo run is the safest option as these are normally related to a former race category from a specific time period unless it’s to celebrate the career of a racing driver in which case it might span many years.
Certain cars, marques and models however merit greater focus.
I can se the headlines now – “Dyed in the wool classic Porsche man attends Ferrari exhibition!” The shame of it…………..I’ll be drummed out of the Porsche Owners Club!!!
In my defence – it was a bitterly cold and snowy day in London, I needed an automotive pick-me-up and a slippy/slidey drive in my old 911 was out of the question so a trip to the Design Museum to see the Ferrari Under the Skin exhibition was my only option m’lud!
Having hummed and hawed about whether to go to this event or not I finally conceded the night before the last day and I’m glad I did.
I thankfully selected a less busy day and could circulate freely, snapping piccies of nice motors without having to electric-cattle-prod hordes of selfie-takers out of shot.
I was also able to see motors in motion on the Grand Avenue without having to reserve a fence-side viewing place an hour in advance of the demo runs and without having to resort to rugby scrum tactics to get to the front or a ladder to witness the action.
Darwinian principles can be applied as much to automotive design and manufacturing as they have been to evolutionary biology. “Survival of the fittest” has been the recipe of enduring success for a number of car marques but it has also seen the extinction of many more.
From the very first cars – certain marques have driven down developmental cul-de-sacs whilst others have, through inspired progressive improvement, survived to the present day.
As one of the most successful surviving marques – it’s interesting to analyse some of the factors and earlier designs that assured Porsche’s initial establishment, success and ultimate longevity as a manufacturer of road and race cars.