Fiat 500 Spiaggina '58 channels beach car heritage

The concept has spawned Fiat\'s 30th limited-edition 500.

Fiat has yet again channeled its heritage to keep the 500 fresh. The Italian firm introduced a concept car named Spiaggina '58 that draws inspiration from the 500 Jolly beach car introduced in 1958.

The concept was built with input from Garage Italia, a tuning house conveniently owned by Fiat heir Lapo Elkann. Starting with a regular-production 500C, the company chopped off the sheet metal above the belt line and added a roll hoop for safety and rigidity reasons.

The Spiaggina '58 differs from the Jolly in several key ways; times change. The original model didn't have a roll hoop and it had a full windshield, though Fiat trimmed the frame. It also had no doors and it famously came with wicker seats.

Turning the Spiaggina '58 concept into a production model would be a regulatory nightmare. Instead, Fiat will copy some of the model's key styling cues and paste them onto a limited-edition model (shown in our gallery above, after the concept). The treatment includes an edition-specific paint job, chromed mirror caps, and retro-inspired emblems. The firm plans on building 1,958 examples, though it hasn't revealed pricing information or whether it will offer the model in the United States.

Fiat points out limited-edition models are key to the 500's continued success. It has released precisely 30 special variants of the city car over its 11-year long production run. We'd bet many more are in the cards, too, because we likely won't see the next-generation model this decade.

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