Vintage R&T Review: 1974 Fiat X1/9 – “A Pleasant Surprise”

(first posted 3/1/2018)      “Pleasant” is a bit mild of a word when I think of the X1/9. But then my exposure to it was not exactly with a run-of-the-mill X1/9. In a storage lot behind the little TV station in West LA where I worked between 1977 and 1985, in the latter years it became an open-air work/storage space for a number of eclectic and project cars the guys bought and worked on. There were my 404s, a pristine DS23, a moldering Aston Martin DB2 (bought for peanuts), an MGB-GT, a Datsun 510, a hot-rod Karmann-Ghia, and others. But perhaps the wildest project was an X1/9 that was being turned into a race car. It never got there properly, but that didn’t keep us from taking it out at night or up to nearby Mulholland Drive on a slow afternoon. Wild and crazy, yes, but not exactly pleasant, although we did experience a few surprises.

Here’s  Road and Track’s “pleasant surprise” experience with it.