There’s just the tiniest vestigial aero screen left to remind us that the 500 does originally come with a roof structure, and the triangles of the cut-down A-pillars are just tall enough to house small speakers, above the now blue-white dashboard. For structural rigidity’s sake, and to protect the occupants in a rollover situation, there’s a white hoop towering above the seatbacks, but mostly it just makes the car look more like a plastic coolbox.
And very cool it is, as it looks like the perfect thing for driving to a Mediterranean beach — it even comes complete with a shower so one can get rid of excess sand. And of course it’s a manual: The dashboard-mounted gearshift leaves room for the full-width bench seat that has taken the place of regular buckets. The rear seats are no more, as the rear end of the car has been dedicated for storage, complete with a fold-down tailgate. The whitewall tires exaggerate the wheels to a great effect, as the retro wheels now look like there’s just the slightest rubber band around them.
The Spiaggina concept has been created by Garage Italia, which is run by Fiat heir Lapo Elkann. Pininfarina has also been involved with the concept, even if the original wicker-work Jolly was built by Carrozzeria Ghia instead. While the completely open Spiaggina will remain a flight of fancy and a one-off, it will actually spawn a production version, albeit a tamer one. There will be a matching “Volare Blue” convertible production version called the Spiaggina ’58, which will retain the roof structure and the folding roof of the stock convertible. It’s good, but it’s not cut-down, cork-floored concept good; 1,958 cars will be made.