The Great Fiat 126p Expedition Reaches Halfway Point! Who’s Repairing 80 Fiat 126ps?

09 Jul 2024

Over 80 Fiat 126ps set off on an exceptional journey from Warsaw to Monte Cassino last Friday. This crazy project has a noble goal: to help children injured in road accidents. How have the “Maluchy” (Little Ones) fared on the Poland-Slovakia-Hungary-Romania route, and who’s ensuring these vintage vehicles reach the halfway point?

Note: We remind you that the Great Fiat 126p Expedition is a charity project. The organizers aim to raise one million euros for foundations helping children affected by road accidents. This will include medical and psychological assistance for accident victims, as well as support for children who have lost loved ones in road incidents. We kindly ask for your support. You can donate by clicking this link: – simply choose any amount and send it using one of the available methods. Employees and supporters of the Q Service Castrol workshop network are encouraged to support a special fundraiser at this link:

Great Expedition – Great Service

The charity project organizers were aware that traveling in the iconic “Maluchy” wouldn’t be without technical issues. It wasn’t even surprising that right at the start, on the way to the Palace of Culture in Warsaw where the official expedition launch took place, four cars broke down. Service technicians were prepared for the challenging task and equipped with spare parts. Several service vans accompanied the Fiat 126ps, including mobile workshops from the project’s patron – the Q Service Castrol workshop network and their partner tool brand Milwaukee.

On the expedition route, tow trucks are unsurprisingly the busiest. Not all malfunctions can be fixed on the spot by the roadside. Cars are transported to the evening gathering place. While expedition participants sleep, the night shift service technicians get to work. Everything imaginable from the communist era happens here. Starter repair, clutch replacement, or head gasket change are tasks that don’t faze experienced technicians at all. For many, field repairs are nothing new, as they regularly work with motorsport teams, such as the team of one of the event’s ambassadors, Rafał Sonik.

How is the MotoFocus team faring on the expedition?

Bartek and Witold with another expedition ambassador, Janek Mela (in the center).

Two representatives from the Group are participating in the expedition – editor Witold Hańczka and company president Alfred Franke. Witold forms a team with Bartosz Ostałowski – a drift champion who this time must curb his tendency to slide sideways around corners. The gentlemen were assigned a “Maluch” equipped with a drivetrain and gearbox from a… Smart ForTwo. All this to enable Bartek, who drives using his foot, to use the vehicle.

Unfortunately, this wonderful child of FSO and Mercedes, christened “Smartluch,” is struggling with the rigors of the route. So far, the car has ended up on a tow truck twice, despite our editor’s cautious driving and Bartek’s moderately sporty approach. Unofficially, we’ve learned that the car has experienced problems with the gearbox, engine, steering gear, turbocharger, and cooling system. Although the mechanics are full of goodwill, we don’t know how the fate of our crew’s “Maluch” will unfold.

To access the engine, it’s necessary to unpack all the luggage. This has happened to us more than once…

Regardless of whether Witold completes the expedition, we still have one more player in the field. Alfred took advantage of the handicap for presidents and, along with Maciej Oleksowicz, CEO of Inter Cars SA, will begin his participation in the expedition only at its halfway point – in Romania. The team will then travel through Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia, take a ferry to Italy, and end the journey at the foot of Monte Cassino hill. This location, so significant to Polish national identity, will host the official conclusion of the expedition.


Leave a reply