1958 Fiat 500 Jolly by Ghia
Sold For $110,000Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
- An iconic style symbol of the 1950s
- Original U.S.-delivery example
- Comprehensively restored
16.5 bhp, 479 cc overhead-valve twin-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, front and rear A-arm suspension with coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 72.4 in.
As 1960s jet-setters partied down at sandy beaches all over the world, they were most often seen not in their Ferraris or Maseratis but behind the wheel of a Fiat Jolly. The Jolly, based upon the reliable mechanicals of the Italian “people’s car,” the 500, featured dune buggy-like bodywork by Ghia of Turin, with open sides, a simple surrey top, and wicker seats that would have looked at home at an English garden party. It was often finished in brilliant, shiny colors, making it all the better to match one’s swimsuit or yacht club burgee. Jollies were all the rage on the streets of resort towns, and if you were really a member of the jet-set, you carried one upon the deck of your yacht as a tender.
The Jolly offered here has been treated to a meticulous body-off restoration, which included stripping the body to bare metal and repairing or fabricating new body panels as necessary. A corrosion inhibitor epoxy was meticulously applied to the entire body inside and out before the final factory color of Celeste Medio paint was applied. Every single piece of chrome was either replated or replaced, all aluminum was straightened and polished, all rubber gaskets and seals were renewed, and new emblems were installed.
Other cosmetic work was just as meticulous, with seats restored by stripping, repairing, and painting, followed by a reweaving by a professional wicker weaver, who also applied his craft to the front dash bar. The top frame was rebuilt, and a new canvas top was installed.
The engine was professionally rebuilt, and it is augmented by a fully refurbished brake system and fuel system, which included an acid washing and lining of the gas tank. All ancillary engine components were replaced or rebuilt; the transmission was opened and inspected, with all fluids replaced; and a new exhaust system was installed. The clutch was rebuilt, as were the steering and suspension, which included new CV boots and an output seal, and the wheels were shod with new Pirelli tires.
In the last few years, the popularity of Jollies has gained traction, and they are now highly sought-after by collectors. Close inspection of this example will reveal to the trained eye the high level of attention to detail and craftsmanship that was employed in its refurbishment.