Saturday, September 10, 2016

Polski Sausage: 1989 Fiat 126 P

Why do I look at cars the size of a match box and with the structural rigidity of a wet cardboard? Even liking cars with the rigidity of the sardine can would be an improvement. What is it about stuffing my six foot two frame into the smallest car available that gives me a thrill? This can’t be normal and surely there is a listing for this disease in the DSM-5. Are there other afflicted out there? If this is truly a disease I don’t want to be cured, but spending time in this 1989 Fiat 126 P would help pacify me. For sale on Craigslist and located in Chantilly, Virginia this Polish version of the Fiat 126 is yours for the price of $4,500.00 

Produced in Bielsko-Biala, Poland and recently imported naturalized and now a U.S. Citizen as of May of this year and the car is ready to be registered. It has had all its vaccinations, DOT letters, U.S. Customs clearance documents, and rabies shots. The cock eyed drivers light should be checked before use as it looks like your sleepy eyed drunk uncle. Newly painted the yellow is very striking on the boxy car. Much like insects in the wild use color to warn others that they are dangerous this may be a form of protection for the driver. Please don’t run me over me Mr. SUV or at least notice me before you fail to signal and merge over on top of me.     

This Polish version of the Fiat came with the 652 cc two cylinder 24 horsepower engine but at the same time a 126 Bis variant was being produced with a water-cooled engine of indigenous Polish construction and 26 horsepower. Can you feel the burn? Could you tell the difference? Probably not but for ease of maintenance I would prefer the air cooled version. The car is capable of speeds of up to 75 MPH but I wonder if that is downhill in a hurricane?

The inside looks as neat and tidy as the outside with the yellow re-spray carrying over to all the painted parts of the interior. The seats look to be in good condition with no tears or cuts. The four speed would provide for some fun in a car that could probably park cross wise in a parking space. The gauges are basic as seen below with a speedometer and gas gauge. With no tachometer you can listen to the rear mounted engine for the signal to shift. No airbag resides in the steering wheel.

Nicknamed the maluch or small child the tiny Fiat’s affectionate Polish name is fitting. With 3,318,674 produced under license in Poland it filled a need and would be a neat little city car to have space permitting.

See a better car produced under license or a car more likely to have inspired the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe? Email us at

A refugee from the frozen north who loves running and watersports, Adam can be found looking for the next slow car to drive fast when he has access to electronics he hasn't immersed in liquids. He is an analog kid not a digital man.


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