four coach-built fiat beach cars park up at design miami basel 2019

four coach-built fiat beach cars park up at design miami basel 2019

sadly the era of sculptured coachwork cars is long gone and, sometimes, the only spots to see them are at vintage shows such as lake como’s concorso d’eleganza and pebble beach’s concours d’elegance. at design miami basel 2019, though, stuart parr collection brings a wave of nostalgia and joy in its continued study of la dolce vita. titled ‘riviera rendezvous’, the assembly unites custom-built fiats – including the famed jolly beach car – that were specifically designed for leisure and enjoyment. below, we highlight these one-off specials.




year: 1958

coachwork: ghia

mileage: 6,400 km

image © designboom



as the most famed beach car of them all, stuart parr collection’s fiat 500 jolly by coach-builder ghia epitomized the 1960s beach lifestyle. the designer transformed the ‘people’s car’ of italy into a dune-buggy like vehicle that looked as stylish on the beach as it did roadside by the marina. its natural rattan interior and surrey top canvas made it suitable for sandy and wet conditions whilst the exterior was always coated in a vibrant color. bathed in a coral red, this 1958 model includes mechanical upgrades like new brakes, 650 cc sport engine and clutch assembly.

image © designboom


image © designboom




year: 1962

coachwork: fissore

mileage: 80,994 km

image © designboom



no car is influenced by beach life more than this 1962 fiat 600 multipla marinella and its two-tone white and pale blue bodywork. fully restored in 2014, the car’s fissore coachwork is distinct with its bow shaped now, recessed headlights, mahogany trim, and tapering C-pillars – all of which are tributes to 1950s yacht design. the full rattan interior features bench seating in the rear, where, also at the back, a decking includes a picnic basket. the car is still equipped with a 4-cylinder 650 cc engine and a 4-speed manual gearbox.

image © designboom


image © designboom




year: 1968

coachwork: michelotti

image © designboom



once more inspired by boating, the 1968 fiat shellette 850 special was created by giovanni michelotti and yacht designer phillip schell. the model was based upon an 850 specification, giving the custom-build a more modern form than other beach cars. inside its green exterior and below its army camouflage surrey top, passengers are greeted with wood trimmings where the doors would be, a rattan weaved dashboard and upholstered seat coverings.

image © designboom


image © designboom




year: 1981

coachwork: stuart parr design

mileage: 27,731 km

image © designboom



the fiat 900T small van was produced between 1976 and 1985 yet, as the italian brand never offered a pickup version, coach-builders at that time, including zagato and ghia, went about making their own. this was often by cutting away the rear body and adding panels to help complete the conversion. in the style of spiaggina, which means ‘beach-ette’, stuart parr design created their own customization with typical nautical features. bathed in navy blue, the exterior details white and chrome trims as well as a white removable canvas top. inside, individual and bench seating are upholstered in white and light blue leather.

image © designboom


image © designboom



project info:


title: riviera rendezvous

brand: stuart parr collection

event: design miami / basel 2019

  • Did you see the info centre in these cars? Of course you can’t because you have to talk to people – how refreshing. I love these pipsqueak cars and the novelty of simplicity. Can we go back in time now please.

    andy says:
  • Someone needs to make electric versions of these cool designs pronto 🙂

    andy says:
  • Other than wicker seats and dingleberries, I never understood the attraction. Cute is pretty much common where small is concerned. This looks like something for the guy with too tight pants to park in front of a cafe. I have a Meyers Manx. That is more representative of a ‘small variant with a purpose’.

    Stuart Parr simply threw in the towel. Compared to Fissori his effort looks as if was done over a weekend.


    Jimmy Xi says:

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