Cold Start: A Junkless Trunk

Cs Polskifiattrunk

Imagine this scene: you’ve recently made friends with a new person, and they offer to take you somewhere in their car. They pull up in a mint 1980 Polski Fiat 125p. As the Polish-built Fiat glides up, you’re already impressed. Who imports a Polski Fiat and keeps it looking so damn good? They pull up, roll down the window, and ask you to grab a red bag for them out of the trunk. They release the trunk (okay, I’m sort of skeptical this has an internal trunk release, but let’s roll with it) and you go around back, lift the lid, and are confronted with this stunning work of trunk-packing art. How do you react?

Do you allow a lone tear acknowledging the aching beauty to track silently down your cheek? Do you gasp, a deep, ragged gasp of near-erotic pleasure? Do you find a drink just so you can perform an appreciative (and directed harmlessly to the side) spit-take? Do you collapse to your knees and weep, openly and unashamedly, as you proffer yourself to this shockingly well-packed trunk?

Any of these responses is appropriate, I think.

Unrelatedly, those taillights are interesting in their simplicity; a slice of salmon upon a slice of tuna, with a little extra notch of tuna at the outer edges. The lone reverse lamp is mounted centrally below the bumper, a curious choice, but fitting for the car.

Oh, one more thing! Look down there in the lower left, where it says HIGH PURITY OF EXHAUST GASES – this has to be the strangest phrasing for bragging about low tailpipe emissions that I’ve read. “Purity” is just a weird choice of words here, because I’d think “pure” exhaust gases were, you know, all exhaust, as in unadulterated by clean air. Pure exhaust=all exhaust, right? It’s just weird.

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26 Responses

  1. “They pull up in a mint 1980 Polski Fiat 125p. As the Polish-built Fiat glides up, you’re already impressed. Who imports a Polski Fiat and keeps it looking so damn good?”

    Anybody with taste, Jason. Anybody with taste. Let’s be honest here; the Polski Fiat 125p might be lacking in the horsepower department. But damn if it doesn’t make up for it everywhere else. It’s a sedan that is proud to be a sedan. An Italian car that has had the worst parts of Italy surgically removed. A Fiat 1800 DOHC Lampredi making a very reasonable 90HP or so, a manual transmission, four lovely round headlights instead of square ones, four wheel disc brakes, keeping the bits of the suspension that work and throwing out the ostentatious, discarding the unsafe for the more robust.
    Sure, the original build quality was… well, it sure as hell wasn’t acceptable. But when you stand back 20 feet, damn if it isn’t a gorgeous design. Neither utilitarian or ashamed. A car that says “I am a sedan. Load the kids, the dog, and the luggage and let’s go somewhere.”

    1. Unfortunately the wonderful FiAt DOHC engines didn’t make it into the eastern bloc reality.
      Instead, very sad 1300cc, and later 1500cc OHV engines were put in. The Polski Fiat 125 (or more correctly, FSO 125p) was a Fiat 124 dressed in the stylish body of an italian 125, it was already pretty outdaded when introduced (rear leaf springs, anyone?).
      Still a very memorable car. Both of my grandfathers had one.

  2. My dad would be mightily impressed. We took family vacations in a variety of weird cars when I was a kid, including a Fiat 128, and he became a master of luggage Tetris, fitting everything back in just-so after each night’s hotel stay, even accounting for my mom’s previous day’s shopping. It was a sight to behold.

  3. This car actually had an internal trunk release (placed on the left side of the driver’s seat). I think there was a release in the trunk too.
    In addition to “toxity”, there are also “machanically” and “cental” present there. I think that (outside of typos) this was an attempt at translating the Polish text without having looked into brochures by other carmakers. “Purity” is a word that sounds bizarre in English; its Polish equivalent would fit good enough in this context.
    Also, I find the choice of cubic meters as a trunk capacity unit fascinating.

  4. Is that an empty space just to the left of the “red bag” and another empty spot just ahead of the brown bag on the far right?

    Slackers. I bet two bowling ball bags would fit nicely in those spots.

  5. I would complement the packing job and thank them for leaving some small spaces for my bag.

    I think the car may be crowded because there are only two bags that match, which makes me think these bags belong to several different people.

  6. I do admire the proud people of Poland for not just building the regular Fiat 124 like any other not-Italy country, but just going that little step further and choosing the 125.

    Second place, on my just thought up what-can-you-do-with-an-old-Fiat hit list, must go to Jugoslavia, for taking the 128, while secretly longing for a Simca 1100, and then buiding their own mutant between those two, in form of the Zastava 101.

    – Also look at that lovely giant FSO mud flap!

    1. That’s right, reversing and rear fog lights weren’t mandatory in europe until 1986 or 1987, and headrests until 1984 I think, so in many cars produced before and through these years they were added as an afterthought, and completely hideous.

  7. Fun fact. Ad agencies have prop departments that can make 1/3 size replicas of common objects like suitcases, golf bags, coolers, etc. These are used in photo shoots to make the vehicles look much more spacious.

    They can also make 1/2 scale legless humans for promoting third row seats.

  8. I would think they are wasting space.
    What is this amateur hour?

    Obviously the brown, square hard sided bag on the passenger side has plenty of room to be pushed forward, but then the hinge arm will probably smash it when you close the trunk.

    You need a soft sided bag under the hing arm to really maximize the available space (like they did properly on the drivers side).

    I’d be dying to swap the leather duffel bag on the drivers side with the brown, square, hard sided bag on the passenger side. Allowing me to push them both forward without compromising the hinges action, which makes space for easily two more bags.

    1. If I end up buying this purple XJ he passed on, he’s gonna be dead to me.

      And really… who the hell stops buying automatics? I don’t own strictly manuals, and certainly wouldn’t in Jeeps.

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