Just as the new Fiat 500 was inspired the original Fiat 500, one of Italy’s oldest coachbuilders Carrozzeria Castagna Milano has used a version of the original Fiat 500 favoured by the rich and famous, the Fiat 500 Jolly, to produce a modern version, the Fiat 500 Ischia. Carlo Abarth worked as a teenager for Castagna.
The original Fiat 500 Jolly was produced by Ghia and sold from 1958 to 1966. It was known in Italy as La Spiaggina, the nearest English translation for which is “Beach-ette”. Its cut down, doorless sides, lowered windscreen, chromed bodywork and whicker pattern seats made it popular with owners such as Yul Brynner and Aristotle Onassis who used them as yacht tenders, golf carts and estate runabouts.
That use of the original Fiat 500 Jolly as a yacht tender, it was small enough to be lifted on and off yachts so it could be used while in port, has inspired both the name of the new car, the Fiat 500 Ischia and its style. Ischia is the most beautiful island in the bay of Napels. With the removal of the doors and side and rear windows to produce an open car, as well as wicker-patterned dark Rotan upholstery from the original car, the Ischia has two-tone Cognac Brown waterproof leather all surrounded by a mahogany border with a gloss finish. The chrome elements like the rear roll-bar and accessories such as the 'need' profile on the hood underline the 'nautical' nature of the car.
The Fiat 500 Ischia is painted in two tones of a special red (pearly coral based). A pleasant two cilinder sound is coming from the dual exhaust. The new electric front seats with integrated belts give the car a high degree of comfort for tall people. Thanks to the absence of the B-pillar, the access to the rear seats is very easy.