Sentimental Maluch

The fate of the tiny Fiat is a perfect example of history repeating itself. In the early 1970s, the car was eagerly awaited and then almost universally desired. In the 1980s, the car became commonplace, and in the following decade, when second-hand Western cars began to appear in large numbers in Poland, it became increasingly despised. Today, half a century after its production began, the Maluch is once again an object of desire in Poland, a must-see at all vintage car gatherings, and the prices of well-preserved examples can be staggering on classified ad sites.

Photo 1.

Today, the Maluch cars are the highlight of any vintage car rally. Pictured is a beautiful car in front of ‘Remembrance and Future’ Centre , 11 November 2022.

Photo by Piotr Sroka

Photo 2.

A story in ‘Słowo Polskie’ about those who buy the last Maluch cars.

‘Słowo Polskie’ of 29 September 2000, No. 228, supplement entitled ‘Nareszcie piątek’ (collections of the Ossolineum Library / Periodicals Department)

Photo 3.

Although its successor was produced in Tychy from 1991, the Fiat 126p, officially named the Maluch by the manufacturer in 1994, remained in production almost until the end of the century. The last one rolled off the production line in Bielsko-Biała on 22 September 2000.

Photo by Ireneusz Kaźmieczak (FCA Poland Archive)

Photo 4.

‘Gazeta Wrocławska’ of 23–24 September 2000, No. 223, p. 10 (collections of the Ossolineum Library / Periodicals Department)

Photo 5.

The Maluch has already seen her biography by Przemysław Semczuk…

Photo 6.

…and a monograph by Zdzisław Podbielski, whose books and articles have inspired generations of Polish motorists.