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Fiat 500  ‘Spiaggina’ (because life is a beach)

Fiat 500 ‘Spiaggina’ (because life is a beach)


The birth of the Spiaggina-type beach car actually dates back to the immediate post-war period. Italian coachbuilders were sometimes commissioned to transform mass-produced cars for wealthy customers, who used them as seaside resort toys. The Fiat 500 was crying out for this treatment, and so the most stylish designers jumped on it. The modifications included the removal of the roof, with a ribbed cotton awning to replace it. Canvas or wicker seats and the removal of the side glass also gave it a real summery feel. That’s how the Fiat 500 became the world’s most elegant beach buggy, which is now hugely desirable.



At the end of the 1950s, a pair of bespoke 500Ls became famous in magazines all over the world, due mostly to their celebrity owners. Gianni Agnelli and Aristotle Onassis each owned what the press would soon nickname the “spiaggina” (deckchair) car.

Various Spiaggina models were built in small quantities by the main Italian coachbuilders, and this continued right up until the early 1990s, before interest petered out. However, Real Italian Cars recently re-launched the very first Spiaggina re-designed to original specification. You too can now live the Dolce Vita.



Number and type of cylinders: two cylinder vertical in-line (rear mounted)

Bore and stroke: 67.4mm × 70mm

Total displacement: 499.5cm3

Power and RPM: 18hp at 4600rpm

Compression ratio: 7.1:1

Distribution: overhead valves, chain driven side camshaft

Ignition: battery and distributor

Electrical system: 12 volts with 32Ah battery

Fuel supply: inverted Weber 26 IMB 10 carburettor

Lubrication: pressure with gear pump, centrifugal oil filter

Cooling: forced circulation air


Transmission and brakes

Clutch: single dry disc

Gearbox: four-speed with reverse

Bevel gear ratio: 8/41

Transmission: rear-driven wheels

Rear axle: with independent wheels

Wheels: disc without slots

Tyres: 125R12

Shock absorbers: front and rear telescopic

Suspensions: front, deformable wishbones, transversal leaf spring lower arms; rear, oblique triangulated wishbones, coil springs

Brakes: hydraulic drum on four wheels



Chassis type: ‘Spiaggina’ modified body

Fully loaded weight: 650kg

Wheelbase: 1840mm

Tracks: front, 1121mm; rear, 1135mm

Length: 2970mm

Width: 1320mm

Steering: screw and sector



Maximum speed: 105kph (65mph)

Fuel consumption: 5.0l/100km

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