The story of Big Bird, my 1979 FIAT X 1/9 actually began in 1977 when I was young, single, and foolish and I bought a new, green X 1/9. A job transfer to Brazil a few years later forced me to sell the car. Over many years of raising a family and putting kids through school, the pain of anxiety separation from my original X never went away. Finally, being older, married, but still foolish, in late 2009 I bought Big Bird.
Big Bird was kind of a sad sack when I first acquired him. Neglect by previous owners resulted in considerable mechanical work to be necessary. The original silver with black trim paint was chalky and oxidized. After getting the car running well, I had it painted yellow. My wife immediately called it Big Bird. Although Tweety Pie might have been more appropriate, the Big Bird name stuck. Quite often a 4 foot long stuffed Big Bird accompanies me in the passenger seat, which gains us a lot of smiles, laughs, and requests for photos. Maybe one of these days I may have the courage to try my luck in the car pool/HOV lane. If I get stopped by the state police, I can only hope they have a sense of humor.
Today, Big Bird is running great and I’m having a lot of fun. I’ve also developed many great friendships, both online and personal. Both car and owner have been recognized by the SoCal X 1/9 Owners Group with such prestigious awards that include the Tag-A-Long, All Thumbs, Maximum Effort, First Plate, and Iron Chef (Wannabe) Culinary Division awards.
The project continues as I still have ideas for several incremental improvements and upgrades in mind. The health of Big Bird has improved tremendously and we both look forward to many years of good times together.