Tom Hanks is, apparently, is a fan of a Polish creation that is well-known and loved by automobile aficionados – the famous Maluch (small Fiat) vehicle. The city of Bielsko-Biała ordered a 43-year-old Fiat 126p, to be delivered as a gift to the two-time Oscar winner, according to city spokesperson Monika Jaskólska, who was speaking to the press on Saturday. “We brought the car from Suwalki, which [will now] have an overhaul. […] There is probably not a single person in Poland that has not sat in a small Fiat. I’ve seen people come up and stroke it on the roof. This car is a piece of our history and the history of Bielsko-Biała. Therefore we decided to give the actor a unique copy.”
The initiative began when Hanks published a photo in which he opens the door of a well-worn small Fiat, and in the caption of the photo writes, “I’m so excited about my new car!” The photo bears his signature.
The Italian-designed Fiat 126p was produced in mass quantities in Poland, Italy, Austria and the former Yugoslavia. However, over 3.5 million – more than in any other country – were produced in Poland between 1973 and 2000. After production stopped in Italy and Austria in 1980, the car continued to be produced by Polski Fiat and later by Fiat Auto Polski in Bielsko-Biała.