Gianni Agnelli. A man that truly had it all. The impeccable style, Italian charm and charisma for days, and enough influence in his homeland that just about anything he laid his deep brown eyes onto turned to gold. As well as being Fiat’s boss during its glory days, Agnelli dabbled in football, owning Juventus F.C., as well as guiding various fashion houses to enhance their men’s clothing to another level. The question that immediately sprung to our minds when chatting about this icon’s glowing career was what would such a man drive?
Of course, we’re not talking his daily driver here, (although in some sand-drenched dream we’d like to imagine a world where everyone dailied one of these), but this plucky Fiat 500 Spiaggina Boano was Agnelli’s own set of wheels for a period of time, and boy was it a cool one.
Its journey began in 1958, when Agnelli ordered two cars from Carrozzeria Ghia’s famed Mario Boano. Using the chassis and mechanical components of the unassuming Fiat Nuovo 500, it’s fair to say the motoring world wasn’t ready for what Boano created. These hand-built masterpieces boasted gorgeous coachwork, a forrest-load of wooden trim, hand-woven front seats, and not to mention an oh-so-comfy rear bench for passengers. Who needs seatbelts when you’re slumped into a velvet sofa, right?
While one was presented to the then world’s wealthiest gent, Aristotle Onassis, this example was registered in Agnelli’s name in June of 1958, after which it resided in the spectacular Villa Leopolda in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France. The car would become as iconic for its effortless style and charm as Mr Agnelli himself, being featured in Vogue multiple times, and sparking a new wave of beach-themed cars that spanned for decades. This example remains in its perfectly unrestored state, bursting with character and heritage. Last exhibited to the world at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este back in 2018, it would undoubtedly be welcomed into almost any concours event worldwide.
Above all, this Fiat 500 Spiaggina Boano is a car that bring joy to every single person who lays eyes on it. It’s a true piece of rolling art, designed and hand-crafted by some of the world’s very best, simply because they could. No guidelines, no boundaries, no legislation, just playful car design at its finest. That, combined with the car’s incredible history, makes this quirky cruiser an absolute must for any keen collector!
Watch as it heads to RM Sotheby’s upcoming sale in Paris on January 31st, where it is expected to reach an estimate of between 270,000 to 290,000 euros.