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1986 FIAT 126

$12,000 49688 miles
Morgantown, PA

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1986 FIAT 126

1986 Fiat 126P

Some interesting automotive treasures have come from behind the Iron Curtain. The Lada Niva SUV, for example, is so tough, it's still in production over 40 years later. And Fiat, with its history of economy cars like the original 500, similarly shaped the Eastern Bloc car landscape. There was one Fiat in particular that achieved icon status, especially in Poland: the Fiat 126p. From 1972-1980, about 1.4 million Fiat 126s were produced in Italy. But over 3.3 million were produced in Poland during its 1973-2000 production run. It was so popular there, that the Poland-specific car has its own designation: Fiat 126p. But it's also known as 'Maluch' (Polish for 'toddler' or 'little one') and 'Polski Fiat' ('Polish Fiat').

For consignment, probably the only one you'll ever see in the form of a Fiat 126P. This car was completely restored in Poland 11 years ago by a Polish Fiat dealer. It is now here in the US and gracing a small space in our vast hallowed halls. But this minuscule Fiat speaks softly but carries a big stick with its reputation.

Exterior
Its size makes it a 4 passenger with not a lot of room to spare to get around the city car. Not unlike the modern day Smart cars it's more mini than a Mini (Cooper) and interestingly, has a very European look. With a squarish front end with a bit of rounding, a single headlight on either side, turn signals and a front bumper and of course the Polski Fiat badge that is about all she wrote. No grille because this is a rear engine, rear wheel drive car so no need to vent the trunk! All steel is fairly straight, gaps are good, and all around it's adorned with black trimmings. In the rear quarters is some venting for helping cool the engine, and a lifting hatch two reveal the engine. Upfront the forward front hinged bonnet is hiding the trunk which houses the spare and washer reservoir. The back reveals the engine and another black bumper framing the bottom of the car. Careful! The engine bay handle is a bit loose it may magically disappear out of your hand...YIKES.

Interior
To quote the old Dragnet series just the facts ma'am and this is about as utilitarian as you can get without reaching Citroen 2CV status which could actually be ordered without any padding or fabric on the seats. This Fiat 126P is luxurious in comparison, with black vinyl low back buckets in front, and a small bench in back. A very simple dash is fronting the steering wheel and all controls for wipers, lights etc as well as the speedo and gauges are within a raised rectangular box. A ribbed padded tuck and roll dash top continues to the passenger side from the instrument hooded box and has an aftermarket Kenwood digital Am/FM/CD and USB ready MP3 playing stereo. She has a small open storage in front of the passenger along with one of the many speakers throughout the cabin. Doors are simple but nice presenting with black vinyl panels and yellow painted surrounds, rubber mats and short pile carpeting in gray covering the floors. Above is a near perfect white paneled padded vinyl headliner. In the center of the console a small shift lever reaches for the headliner.

Drivetrain
Our example has a 650cc 24hp gas engine under the back trunk lid and it has been fully restored. It is fed by a 1-barrel carburetor and has a 4-speed manual transmission on back. A peek at the distributor and correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this to be a 2-cylinder engine. All very clean and looking good.

Undercarriage
Underneath this mini 126P is a solid frame and undercarriage with some surface rust invidious stages of invasion seen throughout. Also, some oil blowback around the bottom end of the engine. Independent transverse leaf sprung suspension opens all 4 corners, and drum brakes are the norm for this car.

Drive-Ability
We had to curse in Russian to get this car's starter to kick in, as it was a bit wonky to say the least. It did finally give in, and the engine ran like a champ. No neck breaking acceleration, no high-speed cornering, just plain simple fun to drive on small back road fun! Our consignor states he has a new starter on order, but I'm unfamiliar with the Polish Automotive parts market so we are unsure as to exactly when it will show up!

You can be the only person in your neighborhood who has a car that comes from a country that Duda is in charge of. It goes well with Kielbasa and Golabki, and throw in a few Szarlotka, and I could make my great grandfather Stanislov Repack proud. Dobry dzien'.

Equipment

  • AM/FM RADIO
  • Bucket Seats
  • Heater/Defroster
  • Rear Window Defroster
  • Variable Speed Windshield Wipers
Show Additional Equipment
 
 
1986 FIAT 126
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