Fiat 500 Jolly Spiaggina e-Icon
Price £285 per day, hertz.com/selezioneitalia
The tiny Fiat 500 celebrated a big birthday last summer. The little car has now been adding a large helping of four-wheeled jollity to journeys and holidays for more than 60 years. Travel to any Italian city and you’ll still see the bug-eyed cuties trundling down cobbled streets, looking like extras from a Fellini movie. The original roofed versions spawned dozens of quirky variations over the years, but one in particular became a bit of a touchstone: the 1962 ‘Jolly’ Spiaggina. It was a doorless beach buggy conversion with a fringed fabric roof that looked like it was made from an old deckchair. The word La Spiaggina is tricky to translate, but means something like ‘beach-ette’. Early models were relatively pricey and were bought by the rich and famous (Aristotle Onassis, Yul Brynner) as yacht tenders, golf carts and runabouts.
Now you too can sample la dolce vita. Some of the dinky 500s have been fitted with an electric engine and can be hired from Hertz Italy as part of its Selezione Italia collection. The range comprises Italian car classics to suit every whim, from Alfa Romeos to Maseratis. One detail that will catch your eye is that the 500’s auto shifter has just two settings: ‘tortoise’ and ‘hare’.
It certainly beats hiring the usual VW Polo…
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010