The King Of Car Tattoos: A Two-Cylinder Fiat Built In Poland

This is not your average car tattoo.

Some people out there tattoo Nicholas Cage's cheesy Shelby GT500 on themselves without ever seeing one in person. But I get that.

Others reward a beater's loyalty by using a needle and some red ink. Joe deserves a beer, no question.

One car you wouldn't expect under anyone's skin is a Fiat 126p. It really is the Milhouse van Houten tattoo of the automotive world. Everything's coming up Milhouse.

The Fiat 126 was introduced in 1972 as the replacement of the Fiat 500, first with a 600, then with a 650 cc two-cylinder engine. 23 horsepower, no space for your feet and a tendency to overheat. The 126 was almost as uncomfortable as the 500 without the cuteness to make you forget about it.

The Italians gave up on it by 1980. But not the Polish!

The King Of Car Tattoos: A Two-Cylinder Fiat Built In Poland

This Fiat 126p had a higher ground clearance, a modified grille on the back and orange blinkers up front, and they kept building them until 2000 with certain modifications. That's right, the Fiat 126 made it into the 21st century!

Róbert's car is an earlier one and it used to be mustard yellow. Today, it looks like this after countless hours of tuning, customization and a drive all the way up to the Polish coast of the Baltic Sea.

The King Of Car Tattoos: A Two-Cylinder Fiat Built In Poland

This takes effort. The 126 wasn't a good car in the first place and it's hard to improve something with such massive engineering flaws. However, it was one of the cars that got sold here in vast numbers during the communist era, which means there's a certain nostalgia around it while parts are cheap and ready to install in any barn.

There's a big 126p community and this blue car has seen more classic car events than the gallons of fuel it needed to get there and back.

With everybody downsizing and Fiat having a two-cylinder in its lineup once again, I guess the circle is complete.

The King Of Car Tattoos: A Two-Cylinder Fiat Built In Poland

Photo credit: Máté Petrány/Jalopnik and Wikimedia Commons.