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FSO Cars 125P (1967 - 1991)

Last updated 4 June 2013


Model Timeline

December 1965
FSO signs a licence agreement with Fiat to build new saloon

Fiat and FSO joined forces to create the Polski-Fiat 125P, a new car loosely based on the Italian company's impressive new saloon. The styling of the Polish car was similar to its Italian counterpart, but its underpinnings and power unit came from the older 1300/1500. The FSO factory was gutted to accommodate the new assembly line, and Fiat assisted with its installation and setting-up of supply deals - something it would become very experienced at thanks also to deals with VAZ (Lada) and Zastava.

November 1967
Production of the 125P begins

Polski -Fiat 125P

Development to production takes two years - good going - but the new car is seen as a bright new beginning for the Polish motor industry. Production is slow to take off, but by the beginning of 1968, it's running at capacity as demand from buyers begins to ramp up. The 125P was initially in 1300 form only. The 1295cc 60bhp engine offers adequate performance.

The most obvious visual difference between a 125 and 125P are the round headlamps used on the latter. But the grille and bumpers are also changed. The interior is also a carry over of the Fiat 1300/1500's, meaning the Poles are denied the Fiat's impressive dashboard.

January 1969
125P 1500 goes on sale

Up-gunned 125P joins the range. Now with 1481cc and 75bhp, the relatively large-bodied saloon is blessed with improved performance. Relatively speaking.

January 1972
Kombi and Pick-up versions introduced

FSO 125P Pick -up

The Polski-Fiat 125P was launched in Kombi form. This was unique to the Polish company, as the Fiat 125 Break never made it beyond design stage. The pick-up version was also introduced at the same time, increasing its appeal considerably.

January 1973
Styling tweaks applied across the range

The chrome radiator grille of the original car was replaced by a far more contemporary-looking black plastic item.

January 1975
Polski-Fiat 125P goes on sale in the UK

January 1975
Further revisions introduced

Further visual tweaks were introduced. Another new radiator grille was phased in, which was joined by revised corner lights and rear lamp clusters. It was in this form that the Polski-Fiat 125P was introduced in the UK market. The interior was freshened up at the same time, with a new dashboard, seats and steering wheel introduced.

January 1983
Polski-Fiats now known as FSOs

With the cessation of Fiat's licensing deal in 1983, all Polski-Fiats became known by their domestic name, FSO. That meant the car was now known as the FSO 1300 and 1500. No other changes were made at this time.

January 1988
1300 and 1500 receive final changes

The obstinently-unchanged car received its final 'facelift' when the Polonez's dashboard and drivetrain and fitted to the older car. It's the first time that the 125P in any of its forms loses its archaic strip speedometer.

June 1991
Production ceases

The final 125P based car rolls off the line after 1,445,689 are built.

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