The Fiat 126, the successor to the legendary Fiat 500 was a unpretentious car that lacked the sweet deadness of its predecessor. But there was nothing wrong with this 126. He had a clear mission: simple transport, for little money, for the literally and figuratively small man or woman.
The Fiat 126 made its debut in 1972
It was also tricky from Fiat to produce the model from 1973 also in the Polish licensed factory. Production in Poland was not only cheaper, the basic car itself became very popular locally in the then communist country. It was basic enough not to offend hard core communists. But it was also unmistakably 'western'. In the 80 years, the 126 was by far the most popular car in Poland. The vast majority of Fiat 126'ers therefore came from Polish production
The 126 was conceived with little budget
Technically he was still very much Fiat 500. The interior space, performance and handling were limited.
Tests from that time were - of course - positive. But a lot of diminutive words were used in it. "Seats", "steering wheel", motor ... "Mild notes were made that taller drivers were a bit close to the wheel. They had to use a shoehorn to board. And the seats did not have an adjustable backrest as standard.
In the back there was in fact no place for adults or advanced teenagers. But that is with the uninhibited gaze of the observer who no longer needs to be afraid to hurt the feelings of the importer / advertiser.
The 594 cc power source had to be done
Even with a cold block. That created a field of tension. Because a lot of tours with a cold block? That is not good for a carefree future. There was no tachometer on board, but testers reported that the two-cylinder block had just enough breath to get warmed up between the 3.000-3,500 revs. Once warm, the block was allowed to rotate more. But above the 5.000 rpm, the engine showed that people were working really hard. What a noise!
The engine powered by a single Weber 28 IMB was strong in Fiat 23 horsepower at 4800 revs. Think of normal use of a consumption of something from 1 to 14. As long as such an 126 was still fresh, he did not do well on radial tires. A Fiat 126 with some fighting hours (often due to slack on the wheelhouse) was a seeker free-range animal. 'Vers' switched the gearbox hakerig. In the process, that became pretty vague. This was mainly caused by the many 'diversions' in the operation of the tank.
In Het Oostblok the 126 remained in production until 2000 and the production stopped at 4.6 million copies. That means the 126 was in production longer than its mythical predecessor, the 500.
But in terms of appearance and reputation, it has not even been in the shadow of the 500. Fiat 126s are cute cars. With a top speed of such an 100 km / h, they are now still suitable for the urban work they were once conceived of. But for a full sized Northern European of 195 cm they are almost too challenging.