A young sailor I knew in Panama had half of this. He needed it all so he had something to drive while it was in the shop. The toyota takeoff on this seemed a lot better.
This is pretty much how you’d expect to see any old X1/9, isn’t it?
Fiats get a bad rap. In the six years that I had my 128 it was at the
Fiat dealer only twice for routine maintenance. I came close to buying an X1-9 and test drove them a number of times. What a great car! One thing that Toyota never learned to supply the MR2 with was driver satisfaction. The Italians know how to do that better than anyone else. Fiats are easy to work on but I would imagine that parts can be hard to find these days.
Yup. Driver Satisfaction. Even a silly FIAT 1100 has the sound and vibration that will transport you into a 60s Italian sports car. This fact is used commonly by motorcycle manufacturers, but sadly ignored for cars. It isn’t just necessary to go* fast, it must *feel* good too!
You beat me to it Kevin – thank you!
You tend to find the people still trotting out the “FIATs are unreliable and rust in seconds” cliche are the same people who’ve never driven, let alone owned one.
That said, perhaps – like me – cfclark looked at this photo and saw a project car (probably on right and its parts-donor on the left) in the process of being lovingly restored? In which case, yes – unless it was being enjoyed out on the road that’s where I’d expect to see an X1/9.
Cracking little cars. I hope one of this pair gets back on its feet soon.
I agree. Its difficult being objective about cars, and Fiats were hardly perfect, but the (negative) emotions do tend to run high about Fiats in this country.
Like other European brands that suffer from this problem, the lack of quality dealer support, as well as broader-based familiarity and practical knowledge really tends to have hurt them beyond what they might otherwise deserve.
Or is it XX 11/99? Either way, it seems like an algebra problem that needs solving.
Maybe huddling together like this is the way to defend against the rust monster. Around here, the monster picked these off one by one in the 70s.
“Old Fiats spend half the time in the shop. But Tony drives his Fiat every day, day in and day out. I wonder how he does it.”
So what I am seeing is casters underneath the rear axles, with a wood-framed border and stop blocks for the front tires to keep the cars from rolling backwards too far down the sloping driveway.
Is all of this so that the owner can put up Christmas lights?
I would receive a nastygram from the city within a week if this was my driveway!
Really? The city can make rules on what’s in your driveway? That sux. Man, it’s good to be in New Zealand!
Behind a little minimall near me, someone is keeping two Subaru SVXs in similar condition to these. SSVVXX? SVXx2?
While stationed in Naples in the Navy I used to buy the Italian auto mags which were full of elaborately drawn cutaways showing the inner structure of everything. Exquisitely talented Italian draftsmen must have worked for 25 lire per hour (when 625 lire equaled a dollar) in order to make the economics work.
Later, I owned two of these X 1/9s, not at the same time, and only for resale.
They were packaging marvels, shoe-horning the driver, the spare tire, the engine, the cooling system and everything else all precisely positioned with only millimeters to spare inside those svelte good looks.
In my mind, while on the road, I wasn’t so much driving the car as occupying a preordained space inside an engineer’s drawing.
Playing Top Trumps with my big brother when I was small he would invariably win because I refused to accept that the card with the little red X 1/9 wasn’t a good one – it could beat some things, but I tended to pit it against super-exotics (which of course wildly outmatched it) because it *looked* like it should win.
There’s a crazy little part of me that’s always wanted to buy either a mint 1500, or (more tempting) find a run down 1300 and do the Uno Turbo engine transplant I read about years ago (of course these days finding a donor Uno Turbo might be tricky as they’re practically classics in their own right…)
The 70s style driver protection (i.e. nearly none) is probably the main disincentive for me, but given the resources I’d still be tempted…
A 1500! Once every few years, the Fiat 1500 is mentioned somewhere in the English regions of the net, and my ears perk up. That was the very first car I bought, as a junior in high school, and drove for a year or two. It was my very own Italian Cabriolet, for well under one grand. Makes me happy just to picture it in my mind.
I was meaning the 1500 variant of the X 1/9 – did you mean the predecessor to the 124?
Yes, the earlier cabriolet, splatty. There’s a previous CC article on the Fiat 1500 in the archives. They’re rarer than rare, since most are just scattered particles of iron oxide now. But it had style and grace, if not real sports-car performance.
Drive an X1/9?, no! You wear them!
Had an X 1/9 in the late 70’s/early 80’s. One of the best handling cars I’ve ever driven. Had it about 3 1/2 years and the only problem was the springs that mounted the muffler kept popping loose. Had to check’em every time I put gas in it.
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