the joker of the beach

i’ve been at the beach for the past week for some much needed r & r.  while on vacation, i ran across the car you see above.  it didn’t take but one look for me to determine it was a fiat, and after some intense google searching (not really just beach + fiat) i found out that this particular car is called the fiat jolly.  the name is short for “jolly de plage” which translates to “joker of the beach.”

back in the late 1950’s, fiat chairman gianni agnelli wanted a car he could take on his boat from port to port.  it obviously had to be small and lightweight, so he sent one of his 500 models to italian car manufacturer carrozzeria ghia and instructed them to take off the doors, replace the top with a surrey top, and add wicker seats.  there’s a lot more that went into the coachwork of the car, but i won’t bore you with those details.  the result was the fiat jolly.

i can’t remember what year this particular jolly was made, but the owner has spent the last 2 years restoring the vehicle somewhere in california.  it really does look incredible.  i wish i had taken a few more photos.  i can’t imagine a more perfect ride at the beach.

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