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Tiny Polish Classic: 1987 Polski Fiat 126P

The original Mini was on sale between 1959 and 2000, and in that period 5.4 million cars rolled off the production line. It has become a motoring icon that is instantly recognizable worldwide. The Fiat 126, the vast majority of which were built in Poland as the Polski Fiat 126P, commenced production in 1972. Production finally ended in 2000, which was, coincidentally, the same year as the Mini. Even though the production run of the Polski Fiat was some 14-years less than the Mini, the 126P still managed to sell 4.7 million cars. And yet, it is nowhere near as well known as its British contemporary. Barn Finder Roger spotted this little 126P for us, so thank you for that Roger. It is located in Hialeah, Florida, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist. If you would like to own this little classic, you only need to be willing to hand over $6,150.

The owner says that the little 126P looks like a new car, and I can’t help but agree with him on this. The panels and paint look about as good as you are likely to find on any example, which gives the impression that the car has been the recipient of careful ownership throughout its life. These do have the tendency to look tired very quickly if they aren’t well maintained and garaged, and there is no sign of those issues with this car. The only thing that I can really fault is the fact that some of the external black plastic trim has started to develop a bit of a “matte” appearance, but this might be able to be rectified with the use of a good-quality plastic polish.

If you are expecting life in the lap of luxury in a 126P, you are going to be sorely disappointed, because creature comforts are few and far between. The chunky little steering wheel looks good, and the upholstery on the seats, while colorful, is not original. Leaving aside the lack of luxury items (no radio) the interior trim looks like it is in good condition. The owner says that the car will seat four adults, but does add that this is if you can squeeze them in. I love a seller with a sense of humor.

With a 652cc two-cylinder engine churning out 23hp, a 126P tends to produce more noise than grunt. However, for the cut and thrust of city driving, they really aren’t a bad little car. However, with a claimed top speed of 65mph, it’s probably best to steer clear of the freeway. The owner says that the car has been fully serviced and that it runs and drives like new. He is incredibly enthusiastic and does encourage potential buyers to go and take a test drive.

When it comes to classic cars, they come in all shapes and sizes. The Polski Fiat 126P definitely comes in on the small size, and could almost fit into the glove compartment of some of the larger classics that we see here at Barn Finds. This was a car that was built in significant numbers, but then, so was the original Mini. That didn’t stop the Mini from becoming a classic, and it shouldn’t stop this car either. What the 126P has in its favor is that while it was built and sold in huge quantities in its home country, the mortality rate of these was very high, mainly due to harsh environmental conditions and poor maintenance. That has seen numbers diminish at a great rate. It might not rate as a true classic now, but that could change in the future.


  1. HoA Howard A Member

    Oh boy, a Polish Fiat, wonder where this is going to go, comment wise. Wide open, folks. Looks like a neat little car,,for the golf course, maybe. Some of the 4×4’s out here would roll right over this, and never touch the axle housings.

    Like 3
    • CapNemo

      A Fiatski! :)

      Like 6
      • Marco

        This is 650 engine
        The original was 600 air cooled.
        Fuel economy around 55-65 mpg
        Max speed 70 mph

        Like 1
  2. Coventrycat

    Lot of money for people to think you’re driving a Yugo. And just as ugly.

    Like 3
  3. sir mike

    If a Yugo had a child….cute though

    Like 3
    • Mountainwoodie

      Yugo’s brother from another Eastern European father…….

      Like 2
  4. donek

    Fascinating little cars. Early on there was a Steyr-Puch version with the boxer twin. Unfortunately Fiat decided not to put the Giardinetta / Giardiniera prototype into production. The last Fiat-built series was the 126 Bis with a hatchback. The inline twin was even used in the early Panda 30.

    Like 0
  5. dweezilaz

    Saaaafety concern trolls posting in 3, 2, 1…….

    Like 3
  6. t-bone Bob

    These are actually very nice little cars. Much better than the 500 they replaced

    Like 0
  7. Bigblocksrock396

    “Will seat 4 adults” or 15 clowns.

    Like 3
    • Al

      And just maybe a deck of cards too !

      Like 3
  8. TJohnson

    How do you say, ” Fix it again Tony,” in polish?

    Like 2
    • Al

      Napraw to jeszcze raz Tony,

      Like 5
  9. Kevin Harper

    Fun little city cars actually. There are still a lot of them in Italy, and the Abarth versions are pretty neat. They are built for B-roads and suck on the interstate.

    Like 1
  10. Kevin Harper

    Also I am amazed what the Italian do with these little twins and how much of a following they have. This one pushed out 90 hp, or more than triple what it started with.

    Like 3
  11. Mark

    Original fiat 126 only 24/28 hp
    Fiat 850 – Seat – 4 cyl – 65 hp
    Also fiat used by Zastava 750 – 4 cyl
    Yugo was Fiat 127 4 cyl 990 cc

    Like 0
  12. RITON

    So you will polish a Polish plastic with plastic polish then?

    Like 1
    • Mark

      For information:
      Not to much plastic most metal.
      You can talk with Polish people but don’t try to polish
      Big mistake

      Like 1

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