And Lapo will build you one too, if you ask nicely.
Fiat today is celebrating the 60th anniversary of one of its most whimsical creations: the 500 Jolly. So it's rolling out a special edition of the current Cinquecento to mark the occasion. But that model has yet to be confirmed for the United States, so our focus is on the one-off show car it's revealed alongside it. Crafted by Pininfarina and Fiat heir Lapo Elkann's Garage Italia Customs, the Spiaggina show car does away with the roof altogether – and not just with a folding fabric panel like the 500C.
It's been transformed into a veritable beach car, with a chopped-down windscreen, roll bar, and slated cork wood deck. Pininfarina carried out the structural enhancements, but the styling is all Garage Italia. The interior is done up to match the bodywork in two-tone white and sky blue, with waterproofed leather and more chrome than a motorcycle rally. It even has a shower built in to the back to wash off after a day spent in the sand, surf, and sun. It's an even more complete transformation than any Garage Italia has undertaken to date, and it's done a lot of 'em – to say nothing of the Diesel and Gucci editions that the rakish Lapo (brother of chairman John Elkann) helped bring to market.
While the vehicle you see here is billed as a show car, Garage Italia will build one for you just like it. But we're afraid to ask how much it would charge. The original Spiaggina was a beach car created by Carrozzeria Ghia (long before it was bought by Ford) that cost twice as much as a standard Cinquecento but was half as versatile. It had a stationary fabric awning for a roof, whicker seats, no doors, and a penchant for La Dolce Vita that was unsurpassed by anything else on the road or beach. It was favored by titans of industry like Elkann's grandfather Gianni Agnelli, Hollywood celebrities like Yul Brynner (Pharaoh Ramses in the "Ten Commandments"), and heads of state like President Lyndon Johnson.
A veritable icon of its time, a later 600-based example the Jolly more recently featured alongside Jerry Seinfeld and Louis C.K. in the third season of "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee." Oh, and that "standard" special edition announced in Europe, in case you were wondering, is called the Fiat 500 Spiaggina '58. It's based on the 500C and wears Volare Blue paint, a beige soft-top, white waistrail, vintage-style wheels, and special badges inside and out. Fiat will only make 1,958 examples in reference to the original's birth year that it celebrates.