Tom Hanks auctioned off his Polski Fiat 126p for a good cause. The small car is still in good condition - and a one-off.
From 1973 to 2000, Polski Fiat built the 126p, which was only 3.10 meters long and had a two-cylinder rear engine with between 23 and 26 hp. The car, also called Maluch (smaller), had mobilized the Polish population at the time - it was comparable to the VW Beetle and the Trabant. But this Polski Fiat 126 belonged to a US celebrity: actor Tom Hanks was the proud owner of the tiny car. Now he has auctioned it off for a good cause on the US auction platform Bring a Trailer.
Gift from a Polish city
The Polish city of Bielsko-Biała gave Tom Hanks the 126p. In 2016, Hanks was in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, for the filming of the film "Inferno". There he happily spotted a 126p and pretended to open its door. He posted a picture of it on Twitter. City officials discovered the photo and decided to have such a small car personalized for Hanks by the Polish refiners BB Oldtimer Garage (Bielsko-Biała) and Carlex Design (Czechowice-Dziedzice) - the actor then got his car in 2017. It has chrome bumpers, twelve-inch steel wheels, and a custom aluminum, wood, and leather interior. The center console features a plaque with a quote from Forrest Gump - the 1994 film starring Tom Hanks. In the now legendary saying, Forrest Gump quotes his mother: "My mom always said: 'Life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get.'"
White belts, nodding dachshund
To the special features include white seat belts, a custom shift knob, embroidered pockets on the backs of the front seat backs, and a custom speedometer that lacks a total mileage display—even Tom Hanks doesn't know the mileage of his 126p. A wobbly dachshund is sitting on the parcel shelf. In November 2021, Hanks had the car serviced. The work included a new battery, fresh transmission oil and an overhaul of the brakes, fuel system and axles. Also included are a pair of driving gloves and spare spark plugs. The Polski Fiat is currently in California and is regularly registered in the US state of Idaho.
23 hp and 39 Newton meters
The engine located directly above the driven axle in the rear has 23 hp and generates a maximum torque of 39 Newton meters. The driver engages the gears using a manual four-speed gearbox.
Military Families Foundation
Proceeds from the auction benefit the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, established in 2012.Elizabeth Dole is a former Republican Senator who served as US Secretary of Transportation under Ronald Reagan and later served on the US Senate Armed Services Committee for North Carolina. Above all, your foundation takes care of military supervisors. Most importantly, that means spouses, parents, family members, and friends who care for America's wounded, ill, or injured veterans.
The auction has now ended and can be described as a great success. The proceeds are 83,500 dollars, which currently corresponds to almost 76,000 euros.
Tom Hanks is a vehicle fan - he has often auctioned off cars from his collection. These include, for example, a souped-up Toyota Land Cruiser FJ 40 from 1980 or an Airstream caravan from 1993. Now he came around the corner with his Polski Fiat 126p, which is not a big surprise for those in the know - Hanks likes Eastern European small cars . It would not surprise anyone if they also had a Trabant, no matter which model – the car from the GDR is gaining popularity in the USA anyway. But the Hollywood star has now parted with his Polski Fiat 126p for a good cause.
And the Polski Fiat is definitely a useful, robust vehicle: In the 1980s, Polish parents used it to travel the average 1,700 kilometers with one or two children on a camping holiday in the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Sosopol. The luggage for a three-week holiday and one or two gas stoves for trading and bartering were artfully stowed away in and on the small car. Especially in Poland, the Polski Fiat 126p should have been a cult car for a long time.