18 January 2013


Lot 184

1958 Fiat 500 Jolly by Carrozzeria Ghia

  • Serial no. 068998
  • Engine no. 084471

Sold for $74,250

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.

• Iconic beach car of 1960s high society

• Well-restored low-mileage example

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. Based upon the reliable mechanicals of the Italian “people’s car,” the 500 Jolly 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 bright, shiny colors, all the better to match with one’s swimsuit or yacht club burgee. Jollies were all the rage on the streets of resort towns, and true members of the aristocracy carried one upon the deck of the yacht as a tender.

The Tennessee doctor who purchased this Jolly from the Fiat dealer in Memphis had other ideas: he used it as a golf cart. With about four times the power of an actual golf cart, it must have been quite a picture tearing across the green. The Jolly was later acquired by its second owner, a professional restorer of microcars from whose personal collection it is offered here today. He restored every nut and bolt of the car to authentic original condition, earning the Palmetto Award at the Hilton Head Concours d’Elegance in 2008. This sprightly little Fiat continues to be the ideal vehicle for one’s beach house or boat, or just for zipping around town on sunny days in a—dare we say it—jolly fashion, and it is arguably the cutest automobile money can buy.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 9... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. He is a life-long automobile enthusiast and ... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

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California, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Jonathan Sierakowski

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Ontario, Canada

Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a Connecticut restoration shop as a teenager. He graduated with a... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. He att... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more