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All Boat, No Float: The 1957 Fiat Eden Roc

Once in a while, we come across a transportation cross-over.  We’ve delved into a boat styled after a car (the Lone Star) and we’ve also taken a peek at the Amphicar, the car that can also perform as a boat.  However, this is the first time we’ve seen a car built to resemble a boat.  That’s a new one for us.  Readers, meet the adorable 1957 Fiat Eden Roc…


One look and you can’t help but want to get in.  This little boat-styled car is just so inviting; a ride in it almost guarantees that fun will commence!  This rare and quirky automotive marvel is not seaworthy, she’s a self-admitted landlubber for certain.  But we don’t care – we’re dying to go for a ride, and to anywhere it is willing to take us!


So many details on this marine-inspired vehicle remind us of a vessel bound for the water, from the Chris Craft-like woodwork, to the ocean blue interior, to the boat-styled seating.  Our fascination with this unusual wonder was amplified by the history provided on the vehicle from the researchers at the Petersen, where it is currently on display:


“Designed and built by the celebrated coachbuilder Pinin Farina, the diminutive Eden Roc debuted at the 1956 Paris Motor show as the Marina.  Its name was later changed to Eden Roc at the behest of Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli, the car’s original owner.


The Eden Roc was based on the Fiat 600 Multipla platform and served as local transportation for Agnelli and his privileged guests.


This Eden Roc, the second of only two ever built, was ordered new by William ‘Bill’ Doheny and was used at his family’s Lake Arrowhead estate.


Recognizing the importance of the car as a historical artifact, Bill Cord (grandson of E.L. Cord of the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg empire) meticulously restored it to its current concours-winning condition after discovering it in a family garage where it had been stored for several decades.”


Can you imagine opening the family garage and finding this gem?  No wonder the restoration of this sensational Pinin Farina-built car became a priority!  This charming Fiat has become one of our new favorite automotive rarities.  If you’re in L.A., be sure to stop by the Petersen to see this bewitching beauty in person!


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