Monday, December 28, 2015

Bertone Targa: 1979 Fiat X1/9

The Fiat X1/9 is one of those cars that love it or hate it...wait, what am I saying?  You can't possibly hate the X1/9 -- it is such a underdog, such a classic success story, that you can't hold ill feelings towards it in the least.  Find this 1973 Fiat X1/9 here on eBay bidding for $2,200 reserve-not-met with $4,250 buy-it-now, located in Spring, TX.

The Fiat X1/9 was designed by noted Italian design house Gruppo Bertone, and manufactured by Fiat from 1972-1982, and similarly to the Fiat 124 / 2000 Spider, it was subsequently manufactured by its designer from 1982-1989.   This is one from the Fiat days, but it has only 42k miles on it, an owner who drove infrequently, or a car that spend much of its time in the shop?

The X1/9 is pushed around (albeit slowly) by a Fiat 1.5 liter inline 4 cylinder SOHC engine putting out 85 horsepower and about 87 ft-lbs of torque.  Luckly, the X1/9 is a light car - about 2000 lbs - but performance is still 'Prius like' at 0-60 in 10 seconds and top speed of 112 mph...when new.

See a better way to enjoy fun in the sun?


  1. If thine bumper offend thee, pluck it off.

    Someone, somewhere, has to have put a late model 500 Abarth's little 1.4 turbo motor in one of these.

  2. They look great with the bumpers removed. All the purity of the design comes flooding back.

    Not in the US, obviously, but in much of the rest of the world the Fiat Uno Turbo engine is the bolt in replacement. 1.3 litres, turbocharged. Only 100hp stock, but can be pushed usefully and pretty easily to 120-130hp. And of course, torque...

    The 2 litre twin-cam and transaxle from a Lancia Monto Carlo - you call it Scorpion in the US? - also fits quite nicely. A little more involved than the Uno Turbo swap, but no significant engineering challenges.

    I suspect that the late model Abarth 1.4 turbo is going to be a big(ger) engine, and not fit without some greater challenges.

    1. I'd bet the late 1.4 Multiair is physically no larger and probably lighter than what went in the X1/9 from the beginning.

  3. Nice X1/9 even though this is the worst year for them. In 1980 they got the much needed Fuel Injection update that handled the pollution control much better and the car became more efficient, powerful and reliable. If you prefer carburetors, the pre-smog small bumper 1974 is the one to have.

    1. In California you will walk over glowing stones to avoid anything later than 1975.

      1974 and earlier are free of the biennial smog-check anal probe, which involves not only a tailpipe sniff to make sure you're not polluting but a visual inspection to make sure you haven't changed anything.

      In reality, the visual inspection is there just as a bit of state harassment, to try to make sure that even those with the means to properly modify a vehicle are unable to do so without reams of paperwork.

      The goal of the state is to chase old cars into the scrapyards, and had I a couple billion to waste (after I'd wasted the other couple billion on certain political issues) I'd be buying up old cars and putting them back on the roads just to piss off the Powers That Be in this kleptocracy.

      But I don't rule the world at this point, so IMO in California a 1974 is worth twice, three times, four times what anything 1976 or later would be worth.

    2. Mrkwong, I recall around the year 2000 or so, a colleague at work had a '75 911 Carrera -- the whale tail kind that came with CIS 2.7 liter engine, US-spec. He brought it with him from Minnesota or some such faraway place and then had to deal with the 74+ being smog tested, had issues with missing thermal reactors, and getting the ignition timing correct -- and he sold it (for about $15k, which is what he paid for it a year prior...) but then the smog law changed to a rolling 30 year period for a year or so before it was forever dictated, THALL SHALL NOT DRIVE 76+ CARS IN CALI. Oh yeah, also the price for 911 Carreras went up 10X...

      To me the most impacted car values are the BMW 2002 -- checkout 75 vs 76 prices in Cali -- night and day.

      However, recently they made some changes to the smog testing that includes stopping silly rolling road tests on new OBDII equipped cars, but now 1998+ diesels need smog. However, it will be really interesting to see what happens if AB550 passes -- cars that fail smog can pay a $200 "smog fee" if repairs don't fix the issue. Seems like a fee for driving an old car, but perhaps it'll keep a few 99 Turbos on the road. Keep fighting the good fight, and sign up for SEMA Action Network alerts.

    3. Will AB550 permit you to pay your indulgence even if the car fails the visual for quote-unquote 'tampering'?

      Because for the most part in the spectrum we're talking about it's not failing on the numbers that's the problem, it's the visual inspection.

  4. No one so far seems to have noticed or mentioned the fact that this particular car has been sitting for 10 years and is not running. That makes the BIN price seem a little less of a deal. There will be more than a few things to address before this car can be considered useable again. Plus, what rust issues are not peeking through the paint yet?


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