Polish car enthusiasts and fans of Tom Hanks cane together to gift an example of the country’s diminutive communist-era Fiat 126 to the American actor after he showed some interest in the vehicle through social media.
Hanks tweeted photos of himself captioned “My new car!” with several Fiat 126s while shooting a film in Budapest, Hungary late 2016. In response, Monika Jaskolska, a 42-year-old mother from Bielsko-Biala, Poland, led the charge to gift a 126 to Hanks after learning of his affection for it.
Bielsko-Biala was home to a Fiat factory that produced over three million 126s – often called “Maluchs” as a term of endearment – between 1971 to 2000, thus giving Poles a sense of pride in the car.
Jaskolska raised 2,000 euros ($2,800 CAD) via a Facebook page she set up in order to purchase a 1970 126, later explaining to AFP that she wanted to show Hanks “how fond Poles are of this car.” A local body shop and Polish airline also pitched in to detail the car and fly it to Hanks’ LA home, free of charge.