This unrestored 1979 Fiat X1/9 is a flashy time capsule
Ah, the classic Italian exotic car formula. There are many parts, including a sonorous mid-mounted engine, timeless body shaped by a singular designer’s vision, balanced handling, possibly even a removable top for sunny days.
Of course, a large part of the exotic car formula includes mind-bending acceleration and a brand name that guarantees front-line parking privileges at the event of your choice. It’s those last two that the Fiat X1/9 failed to deliver, but the Bertone-bodied mid-engine sports car was always known for a high fun-quotient. Its less-than-80 horsepower wasn’t much, but compared to anything on offer today, the car’s sub-2000 pound curb weight feels astoundingly svelte.
The X1/9 was first offered in 1974 and continued to be sold (in rebadged Bertone form after Fiat left the U.S. market in ’82) through 1989. though never a high-volume seller, the X1/9 was common enough that those who came of age in the 1980s recall seeing them zipping around quite often.
Like many inexpensive sports cars from that era, neglect and iron oxide have reduced the remaining stock and made great examples scarce.
Today’s eBay find is purported to have fewer than 19,000 original miles and to be in unrestored original condition. The seller claims that even the tires are original and suggests that the next owner replace them if he or she wishes to drive the car. Good call. The seller also says that a lot of basic maintenance/reconditioning was recently performed to make the car road worthy, including timing belt, carburetor, brakes, and catalytic converter.
The car certainly looks very original and the period gold metallic paint looks good in photos and really accentuates that wedge shape. The car’s Buy-It-Now price is $13,250 (or best offer), which falls between the Hagerty Valuation Tools value for X1/9 models in #1 (Concours) and #2 (Excellent) condition, so it certainly isn’t out of line for a time capsule with a few needs. Show this one as is or spend a little on tires and enjoy a true Italian mid-engine time capsule. X1/9s are a lot rarer and exotic today than they were back in the day. It may be enough of a curiosity piece to garner that VIP parking spot, and the fun is guaranteed.