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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
If you are not comfortable with franchised dealers or don't have the time to shop and compare several brands, my service is tailored for you! I help busy people buy new cars by offering expert advice and access to a network of top dealers for all brands. It's like having a friendly salesman for every brand in one person.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The cars of my youth Part II and Jennifer Lopez

Some of you will accuse me of plastering the JLo picture here again just to get your attention. Nothing could be further from the truth... Okay, there might be some truth to it, but there is a connection between Ms Lopez and the cars from my youth. The Fiat 126 you see here was the successor to the original Fiat 500 and came before the current 500, which JLo helped launch in North America. The 126 was developed around the time Ms Lopez was born (1969) and the Fiat licensed production of the Polish version - Polski Fiat 126p, started in 1973. My father bought a green example, just like the one you see in the picture here, in 1979. The price was 69,000 Polish Zloty (69 - another connection to JLo!). If you compare the average salary back then in Poland to today`s Canadian average pay, the car would cost around $50,000. Of course you couldn't just go to the dealership and buy the car (all you left-leaning socialist types, pay attention here). You had to have a coupon from the government. The coupons were distributed by the government head of the province where you lived or by the Communist Party. Financing was available the socialist way; payments were spread over a period of time BEFORE you took delivery of the car.
It was in the 126p that I really learned how to drive and got my driver`s licence. My father recognized that I was passionate about cars and let me drive it pretty much whenever I wanted. To reward his generosity I rolled over and destroyed his car at a local go-cart track after about a year. The insurance paid for the new body for the car that had a much nicer colour and I thought all was well. My dad did not agree for some reason.
The 126p was called the ``Toddler`` (Maluch), had an engine capacity of 0.6L and 23 HP. Performance was breath-taking: The car took 54 s to get to 100 km/h and had a top speed of 105 km/h. In 2000, after 27 years of production in Poland the car was discontinued. There were 3 318 674 copies built.

1 comment:

  1. I know the Polski Fiat was small, but what were you doing on a go-cart track? Probably gave new meaning to the NASCAR term "bump & run".