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> Fiat & Bertone X1/9, 1972-1989
Fiat & Bertone X1/9
How cool is the Fiat/Bertone X1/9?
Cool [ 18 ] ** [62.07%]
Neutral [ 6 ] ** [20.69%]
Uncool [ 5 ] ** [17.24%]
Total Votes: 29
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clarkma5
post May 7 2009, 06:16 PM
Post #1


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Built from 1972 to 1982 by Fiat and then until 1989 by Bertone, the X1/9 was a revolutionary little mid-engined sports car in the vein of the original Toyota MR2 (just many years beforehand). Following the lead of the Porsche 914, the Fiat X1/9 used a compact two-seat layout with a low, wide shape, a removable targa hard top, and a mid-mounted engine. Unlike the Porsche, however, the Fiat used a transverse-mounted engine, a revolutionary concept at the time that became the norm for any subsequent reasonably priced mid-engined car up to the modern day.

The car originally came with a SOHC 1.3 liter inline-4 with a 4-speed manual gearbox. The engine produced 75 HP, which was not very much for the approximately 2200 pound curb weight, but the car made up for it by having a very stiff structure that was a good base for the chassis as well as more power. US models got an 85 HP 1.5 liter motor and a 5 speed manual became available in the late '70s.

Roughly 200,000 of these cars were built over a 17 year production run.









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Phix
post May 7 2009, 07:46 PM
Post #2


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Cool to the point that this is one of my "Potential First Car" car.
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Synesthesia
post May 8 2009, 05:31 AM
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QUOTE(Phix @ May 7 2009, 11:46 PM) *
Cool to the point that this is one of my "Potential First Car" car.


Well that would be cool, but good luck finding one. I like it, but it doesn't seem very cool.
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moe
post May 8 2009, 05:38 AM
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Mid-engined, Italian...wait, affordable? Has to be cool.
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Bjorn
post May 8 2009, 07:08 AM
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One of these was parked behind a strip mall I used to drive by at least once a week with a "for sale" sign on it. I used to dream about buying it, but my dad made fun of me so badly that I abandoned the idea (he's not a fan of Fiat).

an Italian 914, cool.
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Lancer007
post May 8 2009, 06:05 PM
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QUOTE(Bjorn @ May 8 2009, 08:08 AM) *
an Italian 914, cool.
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bankE46
post May 8 2009, 06:15 PM
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QUOTE(Phix @ May 7 2009, 11:46 PM) *
Cool to the point that this is one of my "Potential First Car" car.


that seems reasonable. a rare car of which you have no technical knowledge, let alone of any car, that would be nearly impossible to find parts/service for, can barely fit two people and a suitcase, in an area of the world that sees 6 month winters.
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clarkma5
post May 8 2009, 06:44 PM
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What can we say? Phix is a genius.
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Phix
post May 8 2009, 07:05 PM
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QUOTE(BankieVR6 @ May 8 2009, 10:15 PM) *
that seems reasonable. a rare car of which you have no technical knowledge, let alone of any car, that would be nearly impossible to find parts/service for, can barely fit two people and a suitcase, in an area of the world that sees 6 month winters.

When did you become such an asshole? :/
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speedyK
post May 9 2009, 04:00 PM
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The X1/9 is a brilliant package.

First car I ever bought new.

I ran it as an only car without any difficulties.

So superior to the competition at the time – and, with its front and rear boots, it can take a lot more luggage than you'd think – and the roof panel clips in place in the front boot above the luggage space.

I wanted to get a metallic ice blue one, but no dealer could provide one – so I settled for metallic gold.


The nearest modern equivalent – with all the improvements (ABS, airbags, ESC, air con) and an even better roof system is the Smart Roadster-Coupé which I now run. But every now and then, when I see an X1/9 again, I'm tempted to get one just for nostalgia.

When I sold mine after a year in the UK and half a year (including winter) in Switzerland, it was already starting to rust at some seams – despite all the wax protection that had been applied.

Any X1/9 today needs to have been really well restored with better than new rustproofing, or ownership will not be so pleasing...

A great car for someone who doesn't need it as a daily driver - otherwise perhaps an old Golf GTI might be better...
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moe
post May 10 2009, 11:23 AM
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SpeedyK, I'm convinced you're actually God hiding out on Earth. I have never met anyone who's owned such eclectic, and tasteful cars in my life.

I mean just look at this list:
Fiat X1/9
Matra Murena
Nissan 300ZX
Lotus Exige
Peugeot 106 Rallye
Opel Speedster
Smart Roadster-Coupe Brabus
Also, if I remember correctly, there's a couple classics. I believe there was an Alfa of some sort, and a Triumph?
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duality
post May 10 2009, 11:26 AM
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someone's in love tongue.gif

he really does have/has had an amazing collection.
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speedyK
post May 10 2009, 12:37 PM
Post #13


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QUOTE(moe @ May 10 2009, 09:23 PM) *
SpeedyK, I'm convinced you're actually God hiding out on Earth. I have never met anyone who's owned such eclectic, and tasteful cars in my life.

I mean just look at this list:
Fiat X1/9
Matra Murena
Nissan 300ZX
Lotus Exige
Peugeot 106 Rallye
Opel Speedster
Smart Roadster-Coupe Brabus
Also, if I remember correctly, there's a couple classics. I believe there was an Alfa of some sort, and a Triumph?


biggrin.gif

It's a Lancia, not an Alfa. A Beta Spider – designed by Pininfarina and built by Zagato (hence the Zagato name for this model in North America). Actually, to pull this back on-topic rolleyes.gif , it's very much a big brother to an X1/9 (but with 2 usable rear seats) and has a very similar removable top and twin cam engine).



And yes, there was a Triumph TR4A IRS – the first car that I owned and actually drove legally*. It was the world's first production car with a "targa" roof (on the similarly -bodied TR4 live axle model from 1961 – years before Porsche). Trouble on the Triumph was that you couldn't store the removed bolt-on hardpanel section in the car – but it had a softtop section to use if necessary. Got me hooked on targas like the X1/9! This one is identical to the one I owned (Signal Red and wire wheels):


I pretty much wrecked it travelling to and from uni and replaced it with the MGC that I still have (no good pics to hand – this is from its restoration):

And here's a recent pic (on the left next to the Lancia, both under covers) rolleyes.gif note to self: must get some decent pics of it


My Pug 106 is actually a GTI – same engine as the Rallye, but with more creature comforts (air con, leather/alcantra, etc.)



but it has Rallye steel wheels in winter



*My very first car was a humble Mini – but I couldn't afford the insurance even on that at 17, so sold it (for 3x what I paid after spending all summer doing it up):


My complete ownership list is not that long. In chronological order of purchase (** means I've still got it):

Mini
Triumph TR4A IRS
MG MGC Roadster**
Fiat X1/9 5-Speed
Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2
RangeRover 2-door Deluxe manual
RangeRover 4-door manual
Lancia Beta Spider 2000**
RangeRover 3.9 manual
RangeRover 4.6 HSE (auto only)
Peugeot 106GTI**
Nissan 300ZX TwinTurbo 2+2**
Opel Speedster 2.2
Dodge Durango 4.7 SLT**
Lotus Exige Cup Bemani**
Smart Brabus Xclusive Roadster-Coupé**

Of my current cars, if I could keep only one to use and drive, it would have to be – for reasons of practicality – the Durango! eek.gif The others all have their charms though – each being special in some way. The fact that 4 out of 7 (5 if I really wanted to remove the Exige's hardtop) are open-topped, shows that I like the fresh air experience. And the fact that more than half of the 16 cars I've owned were either open-topped or mid-engined, or both shows that, given a choice, I really do like impractical stuff biggrin.gif

And to once more get back OT... the X1/9 was perhaps the best driver's car available for the money when new (and I don't mean straightline fastest, I mean rewarding to drive). It certainly wiped the floor with the other contender at that price, the TR7 convertible. When you consider that the X1/9 was designed at the start of the seventies, it is a fantastic car for the time in so many ways thumbs_up.gif
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moe
post May 12 2009, 02:34 AM
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That Lancia is absolutely gorgeous Speedy.
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Benny
post May 12 2009, 11:48 AM
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speedy k please adopt me
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speedyK
post May 12 2009, 01:27 PM
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biggrin.gif Off-topic!

Ponder on this:

Collected my 16 year old daughter's 16 year old boyfriend from school in the Smart Roadster-Coupé the other day (lovely weather) and we had a high speed open-topped blast. He was impressed. When we arrived home, I parked it in the garage next to the Exige and asked if he wanted to go for a quick run in that. He said he'd love to, but had to do his maths homework woot.gif (And, no, it wasn't that I had in any way frightened him with my driving – in case you were wondering!)



When I was a school kid and my neighbour's twenty-odd year old son offered me a ride in his Lotus Elan S4, wild horses couldn't have kept me from accepting the offer.


And it introduced me to a whole new dimension. My dad didn't really didn't hang around when driving our family saloons – he took real pleasure in pushing our cars hard. But, in that Lotus, we went round bends that I was familar with at speeds I wouldn't have ever believed possible based on my previous observations.

And, to once more desperately pull this back on-topic cool.gif that Elan was not a good first car for anyone. On more than one occasion I saw my neighbour in full evening dress, looking very much the eligible bachelor, get into the Elan only to clamber out and start rolling his sleeves up because the timing had slipped and he was going nowhere in a hurry!

X1/9s are a little less temperamental than 60's Lotus thumbs_up.gif
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4wheelfreak
post May 12 2009, 08:04 PM
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^ Math homework? Sounds to me like your daughter is more interesting than a Lotus. LOL
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speedyK
post May 13 2009, 02:52 AM
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Ah – but she was still at school rehearsing for a play!
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shandyman5
post May 18 2009, 01:01 PM
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LSX LOL
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QUOTE(speedyK @ May 13 2009, 06:52 AM) *
Ah – but she was still at school rehearsing for a play!

Well played Speedy wink.gif
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speedyK
post May 19 2009, 11:51 AM
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Let my other daughter, who is about to take her driving test (practical part, she's passed the theory exam – you can only start learning here in Switzerland at 18) take out the Smart roadster with the top off.

She loved it. She was impressed with its performance and the way you feel the weight of the car at the rear when you power out of junctions and turn onto the main road. Quite unlike the fwd diesel SEAT of her driving instructor and she was surprised when I told her that our Peugeot 106GTI that she also drives has more power – thing is that the smart's turbo gives a fair shove quite low down, whereas to get the Pug moving, you need to feed it revs – which she isn't doing... yet! biggrin.gif

The Smart roadster is a modern equivalent of the X1/9 thumbs_up.gif But you can't get them in North America... your nearest bet is the MR2 (first series).
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