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1959 Fiat Jolly 600 news, pictures, specifications, and information

Sedan
Coachwork: Ghia
Chassis Num: 44719
 
Sold for $68,750 at 2008 RM Auctions.
The legendary coachbuilder Ghia created the iconic Jolly on a chassis supplied by Fiat. It was suitable for leisure duties such as on golf course greens, yacht decks, or at a resort. They were made famous by the 1970s television series 'Fantasy Island'. These vehicles are considered micro-cars and are powered by two-cylinder 497cc engines which give it a dangerous top speed of 55 miles per hour. Fuel economy is exceptional at 52 mpg. The inside features wicker seats and there is a surrey top.

The 600 Series is actually a 'high performance' Jolly as most were given the Fiat 500 drive-train. These had slightly larger bodies and water-cooled four-cylinder engines. Top speed was in the neighborhood of 60 mph. Other refinements included an optional working heater. All of this cost nearly double that of standard '500' and much more than the normal Jolly 500. As would be expected, production was limited and it is believed that fewer than 100 exist today.

32 Jolly cars were used as taxis on the island of Catalina off the coast of Los Angeles from 1958 - 1962.

This example is a rare original California Jolly that has been given a thorough restoration. It is refinished in blue with white accents, has new wicker seats, carpeting and surrey top. The 600cc overhead valve four-cylinder water cooled engine is capable of producing 21.5 bhp. There is a four-speed manual transmission, four-wheel drum brakes, and four-wheel leaf springs.

In 2008, this vehicle was offered for sale at the 'Sports & Classics of Monterey' presented by RM Auctions where it had an estimated value of $50,000 - $60,000. It was offered without reserve and sold for a high bid of $68,750 including buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2009
Sedan
Coachwork: Ghia
Chassis Num: 438635
 
Sold for $148,500 at 2013 Gooding & Company.
Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli was the individual responsible for the Jolly. He wished for an open motorized transport to launch from his 82-foot ketch, the Agneta, during port stops along the Mediterranean coast. The four-cylinder Fiat 600 model was chosen and Agnelli soon arranged to have a car sent to Ghia for a re-body.

Agnelli requested the doors and roof be removed, and wicker seats be installed, along with a removable awning top. The finished car was called 'Jolly de Plague,' or Joker of the Beach. A small run of 600 series Jollys were ordered, and possibly not exceeding 200 examples. These were soon complemented by a brief run of Jollys built on the smaller 500 model.

A batch of 30 examples were reputedly once delivered to Southern California's Santa Catalina Island for rental purposes.

Chassis Number 438635
Little is known of the early life of this restored Jolly. By the late 2000s the car was in the care of a Malibu, California-based enthusiast. The owner commissioned a nut-and-bolt restoration. Around $65,000 was spent to refurbish the car. The car has completed just over 52 post-restoration miles.

Power is from a 633cc overhead valve four-cylinder engine single Downdraft carburetor offering 28 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.

By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2013
Sedan
Coachwork: Ghia
Chassis Num: 100.574826
 
Sold for $99,000 at 2014 RM Auctions.
The Fiat 500 Topolino gave way to a new 600 model in 1955. The new car, just like its predecessor, was named for its nominal displacement. Power was from a 633 cubic-centimeter overhead-valve, water-cooled inline four-cylinder engine which was a useful increase in power over the two-cylinder 500. The Fiat 600 had a unibody construction for lightweight rigidity and four-wheel independent suspension riding on the same 2,000 millimeter wheelbase as the 500.

Production of the Fiat 600 lasted for 15 years with more than 2.5 million built.

Fiat's chairman Gianni Agnelli, the father of the Jolly, desired a small car to carry aboard his 82-foot ketch, the Agneta, during port stops in the Mediterranean Sea. The first Jollys were built on the two-cylinder Fiat 500 platform and modified by the Italian coachbuilder Ghia. The roof and doors were removed and wicker seats were added. A fringed surrey top was installed providing adequate cover from the elements.

A new version of the Jolly soon found its way onto the larger 600. It is estimated that about 400 examples were built, of all types, between 1958 and 1969. They were briefly sold in the United States and still remain rare in modern times.

This example has been given a no-expense-spared restoration. It spent a period of time in California; the current owner has kept the car at his second residence in Hilton Head, South Carolina where it has been properly stored in a climate-controlled garage. The odometer shows fewer than 5,000 kilometers.

By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2014
The Fiat 600 was a small and inexpensive automobile that was easy to produce. It was introduced to the public at the Geneva Motorshow in 1955. The automobile was capable of transporting up to six individuals. During its production lifespan lasting from 1955 through 1969 nearly 2.7 million examples were produced.

The introductory saloon model featured two doors and four seats. The base engine was a 633 cc water-cooled four-cylinder power-plant capable of producing nearly 22 horsepower. The engine was located behind the rear seats and drove the rear wheels. The suspension was independent and featured monocoque construction. A four-speed manual gearbox with cable operated clutch was standard. The combined dry weight of the vehicle was just over 580 kg.

The following year two more versions were introduced, the Multipla and a version with a full-length canvas roof. The Multipla had three rows of seats and could accommodate up to six people. The four back seats could be folded into the floor, exposing a large cargo area.

In 1960 the 600D was introduced and featured a 767 cc engine now rated at nearly 30 horsepower. Various aesthetic and mechanical improvements were added. In 1964 the front doors were now hinged and in 1965 the 600D received a larger fuel tank and new headlights.

The Fiat 600 helped mobilize the entire Italian country and is considered an economical phenomenon.

By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
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Arrow Right 1959 Fiat models
Fiat 500
Fiat 600
Fiat 600 Multipla
Fiat Tipo 682/RN-2 Transporter

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