The segment of the 'beach', that is small open cars for bathing use often equipped with wicker seats, is a niche in the vast world of collectible cars that is truly particular because it was born in the early 1950s in the entourage of the Agnelli family and other VIP-goers of the most fashionable summer resorts.
Look at the photos
Look at the photos
Wicker, fun and lots of chrome to relive the 60s
After a long period of oblivion these runabouts (this is the exact term that defines their type) have strongly returned to the limelight especially in the United States with record prices at auctions and, consequently, a proliferation of modern era 'replicas'.
The one that will be auctioned in the next few hours by the specialist Mecum Auction, as part of Monterey Car Week, is one of the most noble and authentic 'beaches', also because it remained in the hands of the same owner for 22 years.
One of the peculiarities of this Fiat Jolly from 1961 Series 110077917 built in 1961 by Carrozzeria Ghia (progressive number 74) lies in the specific equipment of USA model headlights, requested by the authorities for the homologation and of macroscopically larger dimensions than the standard Fiat 500. .
These variants intended for export to the United States were produced in 1958 and 1962.
Launched in 1957 by Luigi Segre (the head of Ghia who built the first beach platform based on the Fiat 500 for a happy intuition, exhibiting it at the Turin Auto Show of that year) the Jolly in the most luxurious set-up was totally without doors. , had a cover consisting of a nautical-style awning supported by chrome tubes and included protections on the sides and windshield, as well as chrome tube bumpers in place of the sheet metal ones.
At the time of launch, Ghia proposed the colors pink (as in the example put up for auction by Mecum), white, pale yellow and sky blue.
It was only in 1965 that an 'economic' version was launched, intended essentially for hotels and rentals, which was distinguished by normal bumpers and seats, again in a tubular frame, but with a weave of plastic cord instead of wicker.
Today, experts estimate that only between 100 and 300 original Jolly Ghia survive, but with the probability that the truly certifiable ones are in the lower area of the fork.
On the other hand, there is no doubt about the 'beach' number 74 proposed by Mecum.
Entrusted to the same owner for 22 years, it is the result of a complete restoration by Custom Car Dino Arnold and is complete with wicker seats (renewed by Anderson Wicker Restoration) and equipped, like the officially imported specimens in the USA, with the characteristic headlights' Bug Eye '.
So as to justify the estimate of 85 thousand dollars.