Creative hub Garage Italia has teamed up with Pininfarina to produce the "Spiaggina by Garage Italia" showcar which is built on a Fiat 500C and features unique concepts that aim to reinterpret the original “beach buggy” version of the 500, the "Jolly", which was also known as the "Spiaggina", for the modern world.
It comes in a two tone colour scheme, "Volare Blue" and "Perla White", and that visual theme is carried over to the matching interior upholstery.
The roof section as well as the door and C-pillar frames has been removed, just like the original '60s Spiaggina, and the rear passenger space has been transformed into a compartment with a built-in "shower" to take all your beach essentials with you.
This modification was possible thanks to the support of Pininfarina technicians, who assisted Garage Italia staff in the design of the structural reinforcement work, such as the new and distinctive rear roll-bar, to ensure the chassis was rigid enough for homologation.
These details make the latest creation by Lapo Elkann's creative hub one of a kind. The showcar has a low slung nautical-style windscreen and the loading platform is covered with slatted cork with a pattern recalling the design of teak floor boards on luxury yachts.
The two front seats have been replaced by a tailor-made bench to reflect the typical design of 1960s cars, embellished by the blue and white Foglizzo Leather upholstery, with waterproof treatment.
Finally, the chrome trim on door handles, door mirrors and hubcaps on the new Fiat 500 Vintage 1957 alloy wheel rims all contribute to the effect that the Spiaggina by Garage Italia seeks to create.
However it's likely to go quickly from showcar to production car. The "Spiaggina by Garage Italia" can be ordered and fitted with all the customisations featured on the one-off by Garage Italia, which offers the possibility of replacing the front windscreen as standard with a low nautical-type deflector like the one fitted on the showcar.
Customers will be able to order the car equipped with any of the engine options currently available on the Fiat 500 C range.
"Love at first sight, the kind that strikes deep into your heart and soul," said Lapo Elkann, Chairman and Creative Director of Garage Italia. "This what I feel whenever I look at or drive a 500.
"I fell in love with the car when I was a boy, and as I grew up I was determined to bring it back to life," he continues. "I am so happy about the model's relaunch and hope it will convey the dreams and the magical years of the post-war economic boom and the Italian way of enjoying life.
"Since 2007, year after year, I've always personalised 500s for myself, and the opening of Garage Italia has enabled us to design a multitude of one-off versions, all confirming the versatility and immense contemporary appeal of this vehicle, still one of the world's best-loved brands.
"11 years have now passed since the model was reborn on 4 July 2007 and today, through Garage Italia, I've decided to celebrate and renew a splendid Italian icon by working with my Design Centre to create the Spiaggina by Garage Italia, styled by my team with invaluable technical and engineering input from Pininfarina and with the support of the Fiat brand.
I'm proud of what we have achieved," Elkann adds. "And I'm proud that all this has been done in Italy, with Italian firms which promote our beloved country all around the world. I'm sure that this car will make people imagine, dream and interpret the Italian way of enjoying life that has been inspiring the world for generations."
Meanwhile, "Creativity and feasibility, technology and craftsmanship: Pininfarina's trademark characteristics at the service of a new icon of Italian design and know-how," explains Pininfarina CEO Silvio Pietro Angori. "The Spiaggina project has enabled Pininfarina to once again display its design capabilities and its natural vocation for the creation of unique, exclusive models. It was passion and attention to detail which enabled the firm's Founder Pinin Farina to build the Eden Roc for Giovanni Agnelli in the '50s.
“Today, these same qualities have guided Pininfarina in the development and building of the Spiaggina, starting from the configuration created by Garage Italia based on the Fiat 500C,” Angori adds. “The Spiaggina project has brought together companies and people which have made the car, as both aesthetic object and industrial project, their mission."
Photos: "Spiaggina by Garage Italia"
Video: Fiat 500 Spiaggina '58 & "Spiaggina by Garage Italia" media launch