Lot Number
182
language

1959 Fiat 600 Jolly by Ghia

Sold For $99,000

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - AMELIA ISLAND 8 MARCH 2014


Chassis No.
100.574826
  • Fiat’s adorable beach car, finished in desirable Coral
  • A top-quality restoration

21 bhp, 633 cc inline OHV four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox, coil-spring independent front suspension, trailing arm coil-spring rear suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 78.7 in.

Fiat’s long-running 500 Topolino gave way to a new 600 model in 1955. The new car, named for its nominal displacement, had a 633-cubic centimeter overhead-valve, water-cooled inline four, which provided a useful increase in power over the two-cylinder 500. It featured unibody construction for lightweight rigidity and had four-wheel independent suspension, on the same 2,000-millimeter wheelbase as the 500. Due to its “just right” size and performance, the 600 was immediately popular and remained in production for 15 years, with more than 2.5 million built. During that time, there were several variants, with the most charismatic undoubtedly being the 600 Jolly.

The father of the Jolly was Fiat’s chairman Gianni Agnelli, who wanted a small car to carry aboard his 82-foot ketch, the Agneta, during port stops in the Mediterranean Sea. As it was small and light, it could easily be lowered over the side for local transportation. The first Jollys, which were intended for the resort trade, were built on the two-cylinder Fiat 500 platform and then modified by the Italian coachbuilder Ghia. This involved removing the roof and doors and adding wicker seats and a fringed surrey top. A version based on the larger 600 soon followed. Production estimates vary, but probably no more than 400 were built, of all types, between 1958 and 1969. They were briefly sold in the United States and remain rare here.

This Fiat 600 Jolly has received a no-expense-spared restoration at the hands of an acknowledged Jolly expert. Following a period in California, its current owner kept it at his second residence in Hilton Head, South Carolina, where it was properly stored in a climate-controlled garage. The odometer shows fewer than 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles), and it is so certified on the current SC title. Most recently, it has been the beneficiary of a recent mechanical servicing and freshening. It is one of perhaps 100 survivors, and it is particularly attractive with its popular coral finish and contrasting white surrey top, which are complemented by wide whitewall tires. This car, which is trim and shipshape from top to toe, is among the best-quality Jollys in existence, and it remains a joy to admire and a pleasure to drive.

Providing plenty of thrills to go with its frills, this car elicits ear to ear smiles from all who drive it and see it driven. Without a doubt, this Jolly is perfect for your beach house, mountain retreat, or a sunny golf community.



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