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Adventures in Hooning an FSO Polonez

Kamil Kaluski November 6, 2014 All Things Hoon 18 Comments

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Few weeks back I was in Poland for a few days to visit family and take care of some personal stuff. One day my cousin Darek came to pick me up in his ’98 FSO Polonez Atu to take me to my uncle’s, his father’s, country home for dinner and Darek’s sister’s eighteenth birthday party. Darek, being a handy 27-year-old knows his way around cars and all things mechanical, is keeping the Polonez around not because he needs to but because he wants to – he simply likes it, but he is also dreaming of a used 135i.

Since my visit there three years ago he converted the Polonez to run on gas (LPG? I’m not sure), added fancy BBS wheels, and has been fighting off rust. In the above picture he’s not exactly posing, but rather is covering the rusted door with his body.

Anyway, he picks me up, and like any young-ish man, drives a little too fast. When we get onto one of the new, wide, freeway-like roads that are popping up around Poland these days, he really guns it!

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Now, mind you, when I said that he guns it, it’s not exactly what you’d expect. No. You see, this 1998 model was made under the supervision of Korean Deawoo. Those Deawoo idiots thought that it would be a good idea to buy out the state-owned FSO, which was making improved 1960’s Fiats, and then go ahead and improve those cars even further. Yes, they thought that the chassis of a 1962 Fiat 125 could carry that company and their core product into the next millennium. How could it not, right?

So, this Atu model has an updated updated 1.6-liter version of the Fiat’s 1.3-liter, now with fuel-injection. And it wasn’t just a single fuel-injector like on the 1987 model, this version had an injector for each cylinder! So this engine isn’t putting out a miserable 76-horsepower like its forefathers. No, this badboy has 84-horsepower which enables the beautiful Polonez to run a 0-62mph in only 14.8 seconds! Top speed is a mind-blowing 155km/h – that’s over 96mph!!!!

So there we were, flying on this wide-open road on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the access of 130km/h (80MPH), when all of a sudden the battery light went on.

And then the engine temperature gauge started climbing.

We both looked at the gauge cluster and then at each other in puzzlement and laughter.

Then we pulled off on a side of an exit ramp and popped the hood.

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We found that it was the fan belt, which also span the water pump, that was the culprit. The other belt was for the alternator and power steering. It wasn’t actually completely broken, just shredded on one side. We put it back on, started the engine, and… it broke completely.

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Of course Darek didn’t have a spare fan belt in the trunk, who does? We were a quarter way through our journey, about two miles from Darek’s city apartment. We decided to drive the Polonez off the highway and he casually parked it in some neighborhood, in between other parked cars. I guess that’s common there.

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While we were on the side of the exit ramp (there was an island on the left side of the ramp), this really cool MIL-spec Mercedes G-wagen went by, as you can see in this awesome picture. A new BMW i8 also went by but I didn’t get a pic – that was something I did not expect to see there.

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Prior to picking me up, Darek was professionally touching up the areas of the Polonez that needed touching up, such as most of it. Before we left the car in its temporary spot for the night, he decided to give part of the rear bumper one more quick coat. Such a perfectionist he is.

While we were on the side of the road I asked what were our options for getting to our destination. For many reasons no one else could really pick us up. Taxi cabs would be ridiculously expensive for a run out of the city. Then, Darek had a brilliant idea – “we’ll take my motorcycle!!!”

“No! Hell NO!!!” I responded politely.

Darek is hard-core bicyclist, he has raced road and mountain bikes and he loves everything on two wheels, and has recently purchased his first motorcycle. Our grandfather had a motorcycle, at one point I wanted a motorcycle, so I can understand him. But I sure as hell wasn’t about to ride on a back of 600cc Yamaha. No, no way in hell. No. I have two amazing kids and a cute wife back home in U.S. and I was coming back to them alive and well.

No. Fucking. Way.

I was not getting on that motorcycle.


Just no.



So the motorcycle ride was actually fun. Somewhat scary, what with lane-splitting and no safety devices other than a leather jacked and a helmet, but fun. Never before have I been that close to another man before and I intent to keep it that way. At least he was a family member, which I guess is better?


  • On today's edition of "Americanized Men Living and Nearly Dying in Poland"…

  • Juliet C.

    Who knew Kamil was so hunky looking? He reminds me of a young Val Kilmer. You know, when Val Kilmer was young and hunky.

    Wow that dates me.

    OMG, I could be Kamil's mom.

    • wunno sev
    • Howyoudoin?
      That's not me, that's my cousin Darek. I'm ten years old and twenty pounds heavier.

      • hatchtopia

        You write well for a ten year old.

        • OLDER!!! Shitfuck.

          • You use startlingly foul language for a ten-and-a-half year old.

      • Juliet C.

        Does he have a cute accent?
        Does he have a thing for older women?
        Does he want an easy path to american citizenship?

        • Well, no. His English isn't great, but he has no accent when speaking Polish.
          I don't know. From what I've seen and heard he's getting a ton of hot young ass, more that I ever I ever did at least… it helps that he's a personal trainer at rich-folk gym.
          He said that he'd love to visit but that he's happy living in Poland.

          • Synchromesh

            I've seen Polish women in person. The only way to possibly match them is to go Hollywood. So far, no other place in USA has come even close. And they're much more pleasant to deal with than their American counterparts in general. It's an Eastern European thing. So I'd say if this guy gets lots of Polish women he will be disappointed here in that regard.

  • RichardKopf

    Did the i8 have German plates? We have quite a few of them putzing around here.

    • I don't know, it went by too quickly.

      • Sjalabais

        Blitzkrieg-jokes are still not okay, right?

        • I think they're fine. Don't joke about the Russians tho.

  • craigsu

    That '98 Polonez looks remarkably like a Mark 2 Jetta.

    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/98/JettaMkII.JPG&quot; width="600">

    • Please don't insult the Polonez.

  • bcn

    cool to see a post about a Polonez, thanks for sharing.
    Also, these are not BBS wheels; BBS-style, yes, and they're actually made by OZ Wheels and were an option for Polonez since mid 1990s.

  • mseoul

    Great story. I had forgotten that Daewoo (now defunct and using only GM Korea as a name) bought FSO. Now is FSO making Hyundai/Kias?