The East European countries had their car industry and most of them were built with Western support. The Polish car-maker FSO was one of them and the Polonez model was a good example.
In Poland, the Government already had a deal with Fiat since 1932 so they went on and continued their business after WWII. In the mid-'70s, Fiat and the Polish Government worked together and made a new generation of vehicles, called the FSO Polonez. Production started in 1978.
The FSO Polonez was a fastback vehicle, which tried to feature a modern look but placed on an older drivetrain. The front featured four rounded headlights and a black grille. The combination of metal and rubber for the bumpers was a new concept and the car received that. It was clear that the FSO wants to build a modern car with the least amount of resources. The big advantage of the Polonez was that since it was a hatchback, it featured a big trunk that could have been extended by folding down the rear seat backseat.
Inside, there was a simple layout for the dashboard and a floor-mounted gear-stick. The interior space was big according to the '80s standards. The transmission tunnel took some space inside. There were no features such as power-windows, power-steering, or central locking. At least, it featured power brakes. Most of the cars were made in five-door versions, but a limited run for 300 units was made as well.
The most common engine was the 1.5-liter gasoline unit that produced 74 hp. The 1.3-liter unit was available as well, but not so much produced. A five-speed manual was the only option. The FSO Polonez was the most expensive car built by the Polish car-maker.