Rob Walker's Facel Vega's speedo is deliberately slow

09th October 2018
Bob Murray

In among all the blue-with-white stripes Grand Prix and GT sports cars in the Rob Walker tribute parade at Revival is one a car that doesn’t quite fit, looking like it would be more at home on the Champs Elsyees than an F1 or Le Mans grid. It is a Facel Vega…

The connection with Rob Walker? It was his car. Rob Walker was a famous fan of the ultra-expensive and exclusive French luxury coupes, and owned this 1962 Vega II for five years. He travelled  to race circuits across Europe in it as Rob Walker Racing team went about making their motor sport history.
“It was his road  car and he loved it,” says today’s owner and the man behind its wheel for the Rob Walker tribute parade, Bob “voice of Formula 1” Constanduros. 
“This was the third of three Facels Rob owned,” says Bob. “This car was modified in various ways. For one thing, the speedo reads 10 per cent slow because he didn’t want to frighten his wife.
“The funny thing is when I saw Rob after I bought the car he never asked where I had found it, or what its condition was…all he wanted to know was how I was going to cure the awful overheating.” 
“I knew Rob Walker from F1, and he was a lovely, lovely bloke. Everyone has stories about Rob Walker. The day before he died we (F1 motorsport journalists at the time) almost missed the start of the Spanish Grand Prix because we were telling Rob stories in the Ligier motorhome…” 
Bob, F1 circuit commentator and driver interrogator-in-chief since the 1980s, says he  has loved Facel Vegas since he saw his first as a child, “outside a church in Fittleworth”. It obviously made quite an impression. 
Like Rob Walker, Bob Constanduros has three Facels. He has brought just one of them to Revival but the Goodwood car parks are hardly a Facel-free zone: “There are 29 of them over. The French Facel Vega club is in town…”
Bob says he is enjoying Revival – “every now and then you just have to sit down and have a quiet time because it is just so amazing” –  but soon he will be back on the grand prix circuit.  
“It was Monza last weekend, Singapore is next. And yes, as usual you will hear me, urging people to waste their champagne…”
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