Cute convertible celebrates Dolce Vita

Riley Riley
Celebrating the birth of the Fiat 500 and first special edition that joined the line up a year later comes a modern interpretation of the Spiaggina.
Produced in a limited edition of 1958 cars, marking the year it was produced, the “Spiaggina ‘58” special series features some ultra-chic design touches.
Just a year after its launch on July 4, 1957, the Fiat 500 became a real cult object with the debut of its first special series: the 500 Jolly, better known as “Spiaggina”, or “beach buggy”.
Built by Carrozzeria Ghia and based on the Fiat 500, and later also on the Giardiniera version, this exclusive car was produced from 1958 to 1965 and sold in Europe, the United States and even South Africa.

Costing twice the price of the normal version, the special seaside version found favour with influential personalities such as Aristotle Onassis and actor Yul Brynner.

A 500 Jolly can even be found in the personal collection of President Lyndon B. Johnson.
One of its distinctive features of the car was the absence of doors.
Slender chains were not introduced until around 1965, although the most innovative aspect of its design was inclusion of the chromed rails in the sides and along the top of the bodywork, supporting the sunshade-canopy.
Equipped with the 16kW air-cooled two-cylinder engine, the 500 Jolly had a top speed of 105 km/h.
Head of EMEA Fiat & Abarth brand, Luca Napolitano, said the new “Spiaggina ’58” is a gift to the 500 for its birthday and the 60th anniversary of the “Spiaggina”.
He said the limited edition is a real “time machine” that incorporates many reminders of the Dolce Vita era, such as the vintage Fiat logos and wheels, the white belt liner, the choice of convertible format only and the two-tone interior.
Not to mention a special colour just for this series: Volare Blue.
It’s a name and a colour that take us straight back to 1958, to the Sanremo Festival of that year, when a young Domenico Modugno teamed up with Johnny Dorelli to give the first public performance of “Nel blu dipinto di blu”, the famous song also known as “Volare” — the soundtrack for the Dolce Vita years.
No word whether any of the 1958 Spiagginas will be making their way down under.

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