Polski Fiat 126p
manufacturer: FSM (Poland)
Fiat 126p (1973 – 2000)
Polski Fiat 126 is one of many fiat cars made in a long term Polish-Italian cooperation (well, under fiat’s licence, to be precise). The original (Italian) 126 was based on a very popular fiat 500 and just a year after its launch in Italy (1972), it started to be produced in Poland in a state owned factory “FSM”. Simultaneously, the 126s were also made in Italy and in Austria.
The car itself was tiny (as fiat 500/600), originally designed for city traffic. The problem was that, as usual, “more or less only one car is made in one socialistic country”, so many families had to use this vehicle as a family car. Despite its size and quite high price, the car became very popular in the whole socialistic block – it looked cute and sexy, both outside and inside and besides the soviet VAZ 2101 (licensed Fiat 124), it was the only “western” cars accessible there.
The car wasn’t very reliable. Imagine combination of Italian construction and Polish manufacturing in a miniaturized version. As my friend said – everything that can cause troubles, causes them… You need to have a heart to have a 126. It’s more like a fun car than a typical car for tuning or regular transportation. The car is still relatively expensive – an average car can cost $350. This car is number one tuned car in Poland.
600ccm - air cooled, 2
cylinders, rear positioned / 17 (19) kW
652ccm - air cooled, 2 cylinders, rear positioned / 18kW (since 1977)
703ccm (around 1987)
More than 3,3 mil. cars were made, one quarter of it was exported. The polish factory FSM was bought by Fiat after the end of the communism (1992) and continued production of 126 P until y. 2000.