1960 Fiat 500 Mare by Holiday
Documents: Italian Libretto
- Fun-loving conversion by Carrozzeria Holiday
- Simple yet stylish; the ultimate accessory
- Ready for summer fun in the sun
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 colours, 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. Both wealthy vacationers and fashionable resorts bought them in droves.
Approximately 20 years ago, Giovanni Vernagallo’s Carrozzeria Holiday (now Vernagallo Stile) took up the tradition and began converting vintage Fiat 500s into the Mare, a beach car in the style of the Jolly, but less the wicker seats. They continue in this endeavour today, selling cars exclusively to resorts and a shortlist of VIP clients for whom there is still simply no substitute.
The 500 Mare offered here, converted from a 500 Giardiniera, was the recipient of a thorough restoration to ensure trouble-free cruising around the French Riviera. According to the consignor, it is believed that only 10 such examples were based on the Giardiniera estate wagon, giving this delightful beach car ample room for one’s towels and snorkel gear. It is in excellent condition and finished in a stunning and easy-going colour combination that will certainly get noticed around town.