Lot Number
39
1959 Fiat 500 Jolly


Offered Without Reserve

ESTIMATE: $60,000 - $80,000
CHASSIS NO: 076880
• Finished in lovely and appropriate Sky Blue
• Excellent restoration with strong mechanicals
• Fun in the sun and great for the lake, beach or shopping trip

479 cc rear-mounted, air-cooled OHV two-cylinder engine rated at 16.5 HP, three-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with transverse leaf spring, independent rear suspension with single wishbones and coil springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 72.4”


There’s nothing better than a vacation to an enchanted island where palm trees, sand, and brilliant sunshine await. Along with the vision of an island paradise is the special car that carries tourists from place to place. Several car companies have filled this market niche with open air cars that feature a surrey top that made perfect for island transport. Several CJ series Jeeps comes to mind and Volkswagen also built an “Acapulco” version of their famous Thing. The impetus for this charming little taxi was the Fiat Jolly. Starting with a common and versatile Fiat 500 and little help from Ghia, the 500 was cut, chopped, reworked, and reborn as Fiat Jolly, a car that had character and panache right from the very start. Many Jollys were used on island resorts and beaches all around the world. With its charming persona, the Jolly quickly became a regular sight around the Mediterranean resorts. They were even used as taxis on the island of Catalina off the coast of Los Angeles. Indeed, the unique charm and attractive design of the Jolly made it an icon for island life, a fact still evident today with the collectability and desirability of this delightful little car.

The 1959 Jolly offered here is finished in a lovely Sky Blue, a color that makes it clearly evident the Jolly ranks as one of the cutest cars ever built. All the wonderful attributes that are unique to the Jolly shine bright on this example including the small, but elegant bumpers and chrome ringed headlights. Small in size, but big in charisma, this Jolly always gathers a crowd wherever it goes. This Jolly was the subject of a restoration and has now been returned to excellent condition both inside and out. The paint carries an excellent shine and the quality of its restoration is clearly evident in its overall appearance. Just a few chrome trim pieces lend a simplistic charm and the Fiat crest is proudly mounted up front. Most impressive is the delicately fringed surrey top that gives it the island flair for which the Jolly was known. This little Jolly wears a set of wide whitewall tires with cute little hubcaps and color-keyed rims. If it looks simple from the outside, the interior literally defines the word modest. Sporting room for four passengers, a simple set of wicker seats is all that is needed for driving about the island and a simple two-spoke steering wheel with a single gauge pod on the dash sums up the extent of the Jolly’s comfort level. Cleary the Fiat 500 was not built for extended touring but, for downtown shopping or a ride to the beach, there is no other car that can match its charismatic look. Power for the Jolly comes from the tried and proven rear-mounted Fiat 500 with 16.5 horsepower twin cylinder engine. This overhead valve engine is able to move the 1,050 pound Jolly with ease and it can reach 56 miles per hour, all while providing over 50 miles per gallon. The Jolly was priced at almost double the standard Fiat 500, making it a toy for the most affluent of high society.

The little Jolly is a car that made a big impact at a time when life was simple. In the present day, an island transporter might be a bus or a minivan, but the Jolly takes us back to a time when a leather interior and air-conditioning were unheard of in an island car. A simple bamboo interior and a surrey top with a little fringe added in was all that was needed, and desired, to get around from place to place. This Jolly makes the perfect club or estate car, and is fully capable of use on public roads. It is a truly unique vehicle, full of flare Italian panache that simply has no equal amongst its peers.

1959 Fiat 500 Jolly
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