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Polish town that once made tiny Fiats offers Tom Hanks one

Associated Press logo Associated Press 1/24/2017

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Tom Hanks fan in southern Poland says her town that once produced small Fiat cars is offering one to the actor.

Monika Jaskolska of Bielsko-Biala said Tuesday she was inspired last fall by photos Hanks posted of himself jokingly posing by Fiat 126p cars parked in Budapest, Hungary. The economy cars were made in Bielsko-Biala from 1973-2000 and the Poles still have warm feelings for them.

Jaskolska organized a public collection for a Fiat 126p for Hanks and received a huge response. A pre-1975 turquoise car has been bought and is undergoing a thorough overhaul at a private garage, at no charge. After a paint job, it is to be flown to Los Angeles.

In this photo taken Jan. 21, 2017 in Suwalki, Poland a Fiat 126p that fans have bought for actor Tom Hanks as a souvenir, sits on a trailer. Fans bought the car after they saw photos he posted of himself jokingly posing with such tiny cars parked in the streets of Budapest, Hungary. The cars were made in Bielsko-Biala, Poland from 1973-2000. A fan in Bielsko-Biala, Monika Jaskolska, organized a public collection for the car which, after an overhaul and a paint job is to be flown to Los Angeles. (AP Photo/ Michal Kosc) © The Associated Press In this photo taken Jan. 21, 2017 in Suwalki, Poland a Fiat 126p that fans have bought for actor Tom Hanks as a souvenir, sits on a trailer. Fans bought the car after they saw photos he posted of himself jokingly posing with such tiny cars parked in the streets of Budapest, Hungary. The cars were made in Bielsko-Biala, Poland from 1973-2000. A fan in Bielsko-Biala, Monika Jaskolska, organized a public collection for the car which, after an overhaul and a paint job is to be flown to Los Angeles. (AP Photo/ Michal Kosc)

"I hope he will love the car as much as I do," Jaskolska told The Associated Press.

She still needs to contact his agents to make the arrangements. Jaskolska said Hanks is a great actor and a "very nice person, who helps others and deserves a present himself."

Polish ATV rider Rafal Sonik, winner of the 2015 Dakar Rally winner on quad, made a large donation to the collection, allowing much of the funds to go to a local children's hospital.

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This story has been corrected to show the southern Polish town is spelled Bielsko-Biala, not Bielko-Biala

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