Italian Cars Living and Dying in Poland

italian cars poland
Let’s start of with some sad news: Zlomnik.pl, the Polish website that I have come to love, the website that I blatantly stole all these pictures from over the years, is no more. I talked to the man behind the site, the only Polish auto journalist I know, and he basically said that he was done with the site, that he has written everything he wanted to write on it. I certainly understand him, and I also understand that it probably took him a significant amount of time to run and maintain the site, along with some FB pages. He has decided to run a different site, one that deals strictly with obscure and/or interesting cars. Personally, I see where he is coming from.
But there is good news! In my years reading that website I managed to steal enough pictures from it for a few more “Living and Dying in Poland” articles that at least a dozen of you love so much. Today we once again check out the Italian cars that are living and dying there. Funny thing about Italian cars, while they were made under license in Poland, very few were actually sold there, so a vast majority of the cars seen here was likely privately imported. Grab a beverage and enjoy!

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You’d think that with car this small he or she would be able to park in the middle of the spot.
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Dead. It was dying when it left the factory.
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131 Mirafiori. One of my favorite Fiats. Supposedly this with a 2-liter engine was a complete hoot.
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Uno, dos, tres, you’re out!
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The world needs more panel wagons . Did you know that the Panda had a live rear axle?
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Saancia.
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Deancia.
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So vanning was a world-wide phenomenon?
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The world needs more car-base recreational vehicles. That thing looks very roomy and I’m confident that the sides slide out for even more space.
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Note to self: drive a vehicle with forward controls.
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They say that this a national treasure in Italy. I’m sure that whoever owns these plans on restoring them and selling for a huge profit. And I’m sure that he or she will do exactly that and totally not let them rut for years.
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Beautiful. See an great commercial for this car right here.
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He’s not James May, he’s James May’s Polish cousin.
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Fiat Abarth 131 was a successful rally car, driven by Walter Röhrl, who in 1980 won the drivers’ World Rally Championship in it.
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Like the Mini and the MINI, the thinking here was “let’s not make a bigger car, let’s make the small car bigger”
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There should be more cars with headlight wipers.
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Before Fiats got ugly.
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Fiat 130 Coupe. What a handsome coupe, might be Fiat’s biggest vehicle. Had a V6 engine. Less than 5000 made.
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Lets take a quick break and remember the other posts in this series:

American cars living and dying in Poland

American Cars Living and Dying in Poland (part 2)

American Cars Living and Dying in Poland (Part 3)

West German cars living and dying in Poland

West German cars living and dying in Poland – Part 2

East German cars Living and Dying in Poland

Japanese cars living and dying in Poland

Japanese Cars Living and Dying in Poland – Part 2

Italian cars living and dying in Poland

French Cars Living and Dying in Poland

French Cars Living and Dying in Poland – Part 2

French Cars Living and Dying in Poland – Part 3

Soviet Cars Living and Dying in Poland

Czechoslovakian Cars Living and Dying in Poland

Swedish Cars Living and Dying in Poland

Polish Cars Living and Dying in Poland

Obscure, weird, and random cars living and dying in Poland

The Museum of Communist Polish Cars in Krakow

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These look the same all over the world.
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Geek.
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Doubtful, but are the rear and side doors the same? Nice condition.
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Another one…
 
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The owner will restore any day now.
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I’ve seen a lot of these vehicles for handicapped people when I was a kid.
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Apparently you can buy these new in the United States.
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I forgot what this is called… anyone?
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Some Fiat – anyone?
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Anyone?
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Is this a camera vehicle?
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Ritmo! It will be restored, of course.
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Ritmo again! This vehicle had a lot of interesting styling features – round door handles (good Encyclopedia Hoonatica topic!), taillights in bumper, and headlights surrounded by the hood and the bumper.
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131 Beauty!
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Ritmo and its taillights.
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The world needs more handsome hatchbacks.
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This one seems to be more alive.
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The world needs more cars that look like hatchbacks but aren’t.
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That Ford is a decent looking car, will age well.
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Alfa Romeo Alfasud. I had an exactly the same 1:43 scaled car when I was a kid. Hmm, perhaps my three year old son needs to start a collection of 1:43 cars? In addition to Matchboxes and Bruders. My wife will love that idea.
Fiat 238
10/10, would drive around Amalfi Coast.
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Fiat 126 had the same taillights. And probably many other parts.
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Fiat Regata, a replacement for the 131. When I was a kid our neighbor got one of those with a diesel, of course. On really cold winter nights, when it was like -20C, they would idle the engine most of the night because they knew it sure as hell wouldn’t start in the morning otherwise.
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What’s that?
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Love those wheels.
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Remove hatch, add barn doors, get Panda Van. Apparently this is a van and not a bus.
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Not so special anymore.
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Burn it.
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I love simple designs that are beautiful.
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They call them ‘bus” in Poland, not van. And they call a bus, an autobus.
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Park that in front your repair shop. Potential customers will know that if you can work on that, you can fix anything.
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Sweet, just needs TLC. Owner probably got a Civic and just ditched it.
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It’s rather ugly without the Integrale treatment.
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The ugly days of Fiat.
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The handsome days of Fiat.
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127, another Fiat where the hood surrounds the headlights. I like it.
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Probably more higher load capacity than the Raptor.
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What is this again?
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Bella…
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Yes…
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Square and handsome. It’s all about proportions.
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Top Gear did it so it must work, right?
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Polish redneck.
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Like old BMWs, the grill is tilted forward in an almost anti-aerodynamic way. The world needs more anti-aerodynamic cars.
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10/10, would attempt to drive it from Italy to Greece.
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Ugh… No.
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Two for the price of one.
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132, the large Fiat sedan.
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Love those door handles.
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Ugh. No.
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Ritmo and its headlights.
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Can’t find the right part? Improvise.
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Panda Van, meet Panda Pickup.
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Updated Ritmo. Uglier Ritmo. They took all the good parts off it!
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???
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Updated 127. Uglier 127. They took all the good parts off it!
Piaggio Porter
Piaggio Porter, alse seen a few pictures above. Looks kind of Japanese.
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Must be a test mule.
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It’s a pretty car.
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Beat to shit and street parked. I don’t even…
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Fiat 132, early years.
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I had one in Gran Turismo!
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A wagon and a pickup!
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All these cannot die soon enough…
 

0 Comments

  1. The grey-metalic SUV with the forgotten name is a Rayton-Fissore Magnum. Probably one of the best-looking SUV’s ever.
    Under the pretty red-metalic Lancia Beta Coupė is a pretty red sportscar shown: a Sima Matra Bagheera which was concieved and produced in France. No reason however for not showing it.
    The FIAT 131 is a sleeping giant! The pictures suggest it was populair in Poland. Somehow, I found it hard to believe that Polish enthousiast ran out after the fall of the Mauer in 1989 to collect them all over Europe. Partly because by then, most of them must have rusted away allready. Partly because I believe they were after Benzes and BMW’s. Were they ever produced locally, like a Polski-Fiat 131?

    1. They assembled some 131s in FSO (SKD), but not a huge amount. FSO had to pay for the parts/kits in foreign currency (polish zloty was worthless), so 131 was a rich man’s car. They also assembled a few 127’s, 128’s and 132’s.
      The 3-wheeler for handicapped is a Simson Duo form East Germany.

      1. Yes, you had to know the right people to get a 131 in Poland.
        Please keep in mind that what’s shown here is what Polish car guys see and is not representative of actual sale proportions. In other posts we had numerous Lexus SC’s and Ford Probes, but they’re super rare there.

  2. The 131 may have been a hoot to drive but it was the only car my old man kept less than a year. Even less reliable than the four year old 911S he replaced it with.

  3. Cute little red machine on flatbed would be a Fiat Topolino, or something damn close to it.
    Also, surely a Fiat Panda can only have a live rear axle if somebody has carried out a rear-drive conversion on it? Damn good idea if you ask me…

    1. The original Pandas were leaf-sprung at the rear – though the only ones that came close to qualifying for rear-drive from the factory were the 4x4s. Had one (an ’87 Sisley in blue, IIRC) and it was a fantastic little vehicle.
      That said, I did always want to pick up a Panda for the sole purpose of sticking something in the range of a 1300cc unit up front… Which would compensate for the weight of the V8 where the rear seats had previously been, as well as the transaxle going to the rear wheels to handle the other motor’s output.

    2. The other similar looking one in green is a Topolino as well. In Poland it was called FIAT 500 kombi, maybe estate or wagon in US. It has the later front. Neat aside, FIAT 508 was actually first mass produced car in Poland where it was called Polski FIAT. Thousands were made, not too many remain.

  4. I love these posts. A few comments :
    -“The world needs more panel wagons . Did you know that the Panda had a live rear axle?”
    AFAIK, Pandas were never available in that bodystyle, which means that the “box” likely came from something like a first-gen Fiat Fiorino. Not sure why you would do that…
    -“Piaggio Porter, alse seen a few pictures above. Looks kind of Japanese.”
    that’s because it’s a license-built Daihatsu Hijet
    -“Fiat 130 Coupe. What a handsome coupe, might be Fiat’s biggest vehicle.”
    Considering that Fiat made also trucks, buses and airplanes, no. And even if you said “might be Fiat’s biggest car”, well, the Mefistofele would like to have a word with you…
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/28/1923_Fiat_Mefistofele_-_Flickr_-_edvvc_cropped.jpg/1280px-1923_Fiat_Mefistofele_-_Flickr_-_edvvc_cropped.jpg
    -the car on the trailer, below the orange 128 coupe, is a Fiat Topolino Belvedere
    -“What’s that?”
    an earlier Topolino
    -the first A112 has italian plates… vacation ? visiting friends/relatives ? or IDM style, yo ?

  5. I don’t know anything about Alfasuds but from what I’ve read the one in that photo may have left the factory with only slightly less rust than it now has.
    I’ve enjoyed this series, thanks.

  6. I think the “Panda Pickup” looks more like a Uno pickup
    And I really hope that the dark Delta is not a real Integrale

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