Hanks

Tiny Fiat finds home with actor Tom Hanks

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Actor Tom Hanks has a new car on the way, but not just any car – a tiny restored Fiat 126p.

After Hanks tweeted several photos of himself with different examples of the car, a Polish woman decided to cash in on his interest and hopefully raise some money for her favourite charity.

Her plan – to buy one of the 70s Fiats, restore it and hand it over to the actor.

In Poland where the car was introduced in 1972, the 126p went on to become a cultural icon where it is nicknamed Maluch – it translates as “The Little One” or “Toddler”.

”Bielsko-Biała for Tom Hanks”, is the work of Monika Jaskólska, 42, who has been a long-time fund raiser for the Bielsko-Biała Paediatric Hospital.

The project was supported by a number of individuals and companies including Rafał Sonik, who funded the car; BB Oldtimer Garage, a company that took up the challenge to restore the car; and Carlex Design, that designed and manufactured its brand new interior.

“It was a pleasure and an honour to be a part of the project for two very important reasons: the fact that it was a charity event, and that the “Maluch” has always been a symbol of our city, our country, and our youth. Each Pole has a number of great memories connected to driving a Fiat 126p,” Carlex Design owner Damian Skotnicki, said.

The car’s new interior takes its theme from the logo of the city in terms of colour and motifs.

The design goal was to maintain and emphasise the original look of the original Fiat 126p.

The seats and the bench have been upholstered with light green leather, with the characteristic stitching for this specific make applied.

One of the key stages in planning was to work out the details of the interior, which were eventually artfully mastered in the Carlex Design jewellery atelier.

The buttons and switch gear have been designed to resemble those of a typewriter, because the actor collects old typewriters.

All these elements have been plated with silver flakes.

Other elements connected to Bielsko-Biała include the laser-engraved logos on the seat covers, the coloured seams and the impressive gear knob made of resin with the symbol of the city inside.

“It took us three weeks to work out the car’s interior, including the designing stage,” Carlex Design Sales Department Manager,  Tomasz Krawczyk, said.

“The entire initiative involved eight people, including our jewellery atelier artists, who were involved in the process.

“Mastering such parts requires precision and diligence. The project was of extreme importance for all us, and we put all our energy and effort into it.”

The finished “Maluch” was unveiled to the public on July 9 at an event that attracted thousands of car enthusiasts, with all funds raised going to the Bielsko-Biała Paediatric Hospital.