Paying tribute to the 500 Jolly Spiaggina, darling of the Italian Riviera.
Fiat has taken the wraps off a special-edition 500, designed to commemorate six decades since the canvas-topped 500 Jolly 'Spiaggina' was launched in Italy.
Back in the late 1950s, the Spiaggina (or 'beach car') was a part of the scenery on the Italian Riviera, ferrying well-heeled tourists around stunning beachside resorts. With a stable economy came money to spend, and the cutesy little Fiat variant became a glamorous car that, while not strictly necessary, made people feel good.
The modern 500 Spiaggina '58 is a bit more, well, modern. Just 1958 will be built, based on a regular 500C. The interior is finished in a throwback two-tone trim, while the exterior is finished in a suitably '50s shade of Volare Blue with a contrasting ivory soft top.
Apparently, the paint finish is named after the song 'Volare' by Domenico Modugno and Johnny Dorelli, described by Fiat as "the soundtrack for the Dolce Vita years".
Coupled with a set of retro, polished wheels and chrome highlights, it's about as retro as you could expect a modern car in classic clothes to look. Power will come from a choice of 1.2- or 0.9-litre TwinAir petrol engines, producing 51kW and 63kW respectively.
Along with the Fiat-factory creation, the team at Garage Italia – best known for its recent work on the BMW i8 – has created its own take on the classic beachside 500.
It's a more thorough conversion than the Fiat job, with a wooden fold-down rear section and rollover bar, along with a two-tone blue-and-white exterior, pale blue (waterproofed leather) interior and retro wheels. It also has a lower windscreen than standard, designed to evoke a more nautical feeling.
Although the car pictured above is just a concept, Garage Italia will actually sell you some of the add-ons, like the nautical-styled windshield and rollover bar, if you're into the whole beachside-chic vibe.
We've contacted Fiat to see if the Spiaggina will be coming Down Under. Stay tuned.