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Fiat 850 Shellette Spider

This type of beach car with its open bodywork and wicker interior was very popular in and around the Rivièra during the 1960s and 1970s.

Often these cars remained at the summer homes of the Jet Set or were kept on their yachts. This is one of the two Fiat 850 ‘Shellettes’ owned by the wealthy industrialist Simon Kingston from Santa Barbara, California. During the summer months he lived on his private yacht, moored in Monte Carlo, and used the cars whenever he went ashore.
The Italian design studio Ghia started the beach-car trend in the 1950s with Fiat-based cars, which were given the model name ‘Jolly’. Car stylist Giovanni Michelotti followed with a one-off beach car based on the DAF 32, known as the DAF Kini. It was presented to the Dutch royal family who used it at their summer residence in Porto Ercole, Italy. Michelotti later based similar cars on the Fiat 850 platform. Some eighty of these ‘Shellettes’ were produced.

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