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I'll fly, oh, oh ... The 'dolce vita' car turns 60

The mythical Fiat 500 Jolly Spiaggina comes back to life to celebrate

We return to the 'dolce vita'! © Fiat

Let's move for a moment to the Swinging Sixties, that prodigious decade full of vibrant sounds and bright colors. His Italian translation was the famous dolce vita, which had its cinematic reflection in the film of the same title directed by Federico Fellini in 1960.

As well, one of the emblems of that era of despendolada and hedonist in Italy was the Fiat 500 Jolly Spiaggina '58, a convertible that invited to go to the beach and that was the first special edition of the mythical cinquino.

This year 60 years of that iconic vehicle which was in manufacturing between 1958 and 1965 and, to celebrate it, the Italian company has released a special and limited edition of 1,958 units for sale that recreates all the characteristics of that one, but with the technological innovations of our time.

In the vintage look of the Fiat 500 Jolly Spiaggina a lot has to do with the Volare Blue color of its body. © Fiat

The original Jolly was equipped with a two-cylinder, 22-horsepower air-cooled engine and reached a maximum speed of 102 kilometers. One of its most striking features was the absence of doors, although its most innovative aspect in terms of design was the incorporation of chrome bars on the sides and on the upper part of the body.

THE HISTORY

If the Fiat 500 already represents the Italian quintessence as far as automotive is concerned, the Jolly Spiaggina was the paradigm of the dolce vita made vehicle. It was the first special edition of the cinquino, with a price that was twice the normal version.

Built by Carrozzeria Ghia on the basis of the Fiat 500 and later also manufactured in the Giardiniera version, it was sold in Europe, the United States and even South Africa.

His nickname of Spiaginna ('playita', in Italian) suits him because It was conceived by the brand as a 'beach buggy' and since its launch it was superbly welcomed by the most influential personalities of the time, including the shipping mogul Aristotle Onassis or the actor Yul Brynner, who used several copies as vehicles with which to move to their yachts or as a golf car in their mansions. Even US President Lyndon B. Johnson had a 500 Jolly in his collection of personal cars.

Aristotle Onassis and actor Yul Brynner used the 500 Jolly to reach their yachts or as a golf car in their mansions. © Fiat

Now the Spiaggina returns to remember his glory times with the mirror clearly focused on the magical years of the dolce vita. Who could resist the temptation to emulate Marcello Mastroianni or Anita Ekberg traveling kilometers along the Italian coast? A matter of nostalgia and imagination.

IN & OUT

For its new reincarnation of 2018, which in Spain will go on sale this September, the 500 Jolly has a 1.2-hp 1.2 petrol engine, with the latest Euro6D rating.

As for exterior design, it sports a dazzling body in an exclusive color called Volare Blue (named after the unforgettable song that Domenico Modugno performed at the San Remo Festival in 1958) and white waist line, a decidedly appearance vintage which is augmented by 16-inch alloy wheels.

That seductive and nostalgic exterior look is topped by the beige hood, complemented by other details such as a side molding with the 500 logo, chrome rearview mirrors, retro logos and the name Spiaggina '58 marked in polished metal.

The interior also distills that clear nostalgic vocation, for example, on the dashboard, also with the aforementioned Volare Blue color of the exterior, which extends to the seats, in two tones, with a gray striped base and an ivory-colored upper section, as well as behind the wheel, With sixties logo.

New special limited edition of the Fiat 500 Jolly Spiaggina, the funniest convertible. © Fiat

TECHNOLOGY

The only thing that does not look to the past this special edition of the 500 Jolly is in terms of technological equipment, since it comes standard with the Uconnect HD LIVE connectivity system with touch screen, Apple CarPlay integrated and compatible with Android AutoTMT.

It also has a browser with Tom Tom maps and DAB digital radio, in addition to seven-inch TFT display in the dashboard, the largest in its class, automatic climate control, rear parking sensors and height adjustable seats.

ANOTHER MORE CREATIVE VERSION

The tributes to this sexagenario of gold do not remain in this special edition launched by Fiat. Also the creative center that directs the heir of Giovanni Agnelli, Lapo Elkann, known as Garage Italia, together with the design firm Pininfarina, have wanted to do his own recreation of the Spiaggina starting from the base of the 500C.

For this they have removed the roof, as in the original of the 60s and they have modified the rear seats to convert that space into a compartment with a built-in shower, thus accentuating its beach character.

The special edition of the 500 Jolly has a seven-inch TFT screen in the dashboard. © Fiat

This showcar custom has a small nautical windshield and the loading platform is covered by cork boards with a design reminiscent of the teak planks design of luxury yachts.

And to curl the sailor curl, the pilot and co-pilot seats have been replaced by a bank custom made in memory of the typical design of the cars of the 60s', covered by a blue and white leather upholstery, with waterproof treatment.

For its part, Garage Italia and Pininfarina have recreated the Spiaggina without a roof, with a bench in the front seats and a shower in the rear. © Fiat

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