Fiat has this week trotted out another special series based on the 500, dubbed the "500 Spiaggina '58" which will be produced in a limited edition of 1,958 cars and only available on the 500 C to commemorate the debut of its first ever 500 special series: the 500 Jolly, also known as "Spiaggina", or "beach buggy".
It comes in a single colour, dubbed “Volare Blue”, with beige soft-top, white waistrail and the vintage-design 16" alloy wheels.
This exclusive colour scheme is enhanced by other detail trim features such as side mouldings with the 500 logo, chromed door mirror covers, vintage logos and a chromed "Spiaggina '58" badge, in italic script, on the rear.
The interior features some new design touches. Starting from the dashboard, in the same Volare Blue colour as the exterior, with a two-tone look for the seats, with grey striped base and ivory upper section. The interior is completed by specific mats and a steering wheel with vintage logo in the centre.
The new "Spiaggina '58" special series comes with improved levels of equipment as standard including Uconnect 7" HD LIVE touchscreen radio, Apple CarPlay ready and compatible with Android Auto, as well as navigator with Tom Tom maps and DAB digital radio.
Also as standard are the largest-in-class 7" TFT display, automatic air-conditioning, rear parking sensors, height-adjustable seats and seat-back pockets.
Finally, the 500 "Spiaggina '58" comes with a choice of the 69 hp 1.2-litre and 85 hp 0.9-litre TwinAir petrol engines, both with the latest Euro6D rating.
The new 500 Spiaggina ‘58 has been launched to commemorate the debut of its first ever 500 special series: the 500 Jolly, also known as "Spiaggina", or "beach buggy".
Built by Carrozzeria Ghia and based on the Fiat 500, and later in life also on the Giardiniera version, this novelty 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 the most influential personalities of the age, such as shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and actor Yul Brynner, who chose it as a "land tender" for their yachts or as a golf car on their country estates. A 500 Jolly can even be seen in the personal car collection of President Lyndon B. Johnson.
One of its distinctive features was the absence of doors and the chains were in fact 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 22 hp air-cooled two-cylinder engine, the 500 Jolly had a top speed of 105 km/h.
The 500 "Spiaggina '58" special series is another addition to the Fiat 500 collection, which comprises a high number of special editions, issued in succession over the last 11 years.
Other special series examples include the Diesel, Gucci and GQ editions and the recent Collezione, all of which try to connect the 500 with the world of fashion, while the Riva and Abarth Rivale aim to evoke the feeling of luxury yachts, the original Anniversario and 560 series celebrates the model's great forebear, and, finally, the new 500 Mirror series comes with enhanced connectivity features.
Luca Napolitano, Head Fiat and Abarth brands for the EMEA region, explains the project as follows: "The new "Spiaggina '58" is our birthday gift to 500 for its birthday and the 60th anniversary of the "spiaggina". It's a real "time machine" incorporating many reminders of the Dolce Vita era, such as the vintage logos and wheels, the white waistrail, the convertible format only and the two-tone interior.
“Not to mention a special colour just for this series: Volare Blue,” he continued. “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."
Fiat Spiaggina '58
Video: Fiat 500 Spiaggina on the road & close up / Fiat 500 Spiaggina '58 & "Spiaggina by Garage Italia" media launch / Luca Napolitano, Head of Fiat for EMEA explains the Fiat 500 Spiaggina '58 project