A vehicle referred to in Italian as „spiaggina“ or „spiaggia“ is an automobile that has been rebuilt mainly for summer recreational activities. The name „spiaggina“ refers mainly to the folding chairs in the Italian baths and was used by the press for the converted fun mobiles. Because a striking feature of these „Spiaggia“ vehicles are the missing roof and the open entrances instead of the doors. The interior is completely waterproof.
The first vehicle of this type was the Fiat 500 conversion shown here, which was build in 1958 at the coachwork company Boano. Mario Felice Buano had originally worked at Stabilina Farina in Turin. In 1930 he moved to Pininfarina. In 1954, Mario Felice Buano founded together with his son Gian Paolo Buano, who had previously worked at Ghia, the company Carozzeria Boano. Important bodies were created in the coachwork company in Turin, such as the shapely Ferrari 250GT Buano. In 1957, Mario Buano moved to Fiat and became head of Fiat Cento Stile.
During this time in 1958, the two Fiat 500 Spiaggia with Buano body were build, which caused a sensation by their first owners in the press. For the two beach vehicles belonged to Aristotle Onassis and the shown, still completely original preserved vehicle, to Gianni Agnelli, who drove the vehicle until 1973. Photos of the owners with their vehicles went all around the world.
The base of the Siaggia models is the chassis of the Fiat 500. The flat maritime-looking body is build of aluminum and disguised with wood trim. Rattan seats in the interior serve for weather resistance.