Confirmed by the Registro Storico Fiat and Carrozzeria Ghia Club Italia
1969 FIAT 500 Jolly Beach Car
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Ghia
Chassis no. 2347428
Produced for 18 years, FIAT's Nuova 500 would prove to be an outstanding success for the company with some 2.9 million built. Replacement for FIAT's much-loved 500 'Topolino', the Nuova 500 debuted in 1957. A radical departure from its predecessor's essentially pre-war design, FIAT's new baby featured unitary construction, an opening fabric roof and all-independent suspension, while carrying its engine at the rear. The 479cc power unit was an air-cooled overhead-valve twin and the gearbox a four-speeder. This compact, rear-engined saloon spawned numerous variants, from sporting and competition versions by Abarth to the ahead-of-its-time Giardiniera people carrier. Alternatives to the original were offered by many of Italy's finest carrozzeria, including Bertone, Boano, SIATA, Vignale and Ghia. The best known of these is Ghia's stylish Jolly beach car, a novel concept that transformed the 500 from basic transport to conspicuous indicator of wealth. A 'beach buggy' before that genre was popularized by scores of Volkswagen-based specials, the Jolly found favor as courtesy transport for patrons of luxury hotels or for use ashore after one had docked one's yacht. Lacking doors and equipped with wickerwork seats, the Jolly was only practical as leisure transport, thus confirming its owner's status as someone who could afford a car 'just for fun'.
This Jolly is a late production European delivery model. Fully refurbished in 2005 in the place of its birth, Turin, Italy, the Fiat was mechanically sorted with a rebuilt motor and new brakes, suspension, and steering unit. Cosmetically the chrome was replated, the wheels were refurbished and fitted with new tires, the wiring was replaced, new instruments were installed inside, and the car was entirely repainted in the factory correct shade of Avorio Antico #234Fiat-speak for 'sand'.
Confirmed by the Registro Storico Fiat (Registry number 1462) as well as by the Carrozzeria Ghia Club Italia, there are no questions as to the correctness of this little land dingy. Replete with a full complement of restoration receipts, a photo album of the refurbishment, as well as the aforementioned club registration documents, this Jolly is ready to be loaded aboard your yacht. With the pier just adjacent to the auction site, this shouldn't be any trouble at all!