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Fiat X1/9

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#1 OFFLINE   Fabergé Greggs

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 03:38 PM

I had a heartfelt and detailed thread about this that was lost in one the great forum outages of nineteen-oatcake. Anyway, here we go again..

I set my heart upon an X1/9 back in 2011 when I decided that a better value for money mid engined useable Italian exotic(!) did not exist..

I was in Glasgow at the time, I looked at a couple of ropey examples within Scotland that were nasty but not nasty enough to put me off. You know what it's like when you want something, you refresh carandclassic every 5 minutes hoping that the dream example turns up, when BLAM! It did!

Here's the old car and classic add and pictures:

https://www.carandcl....uk/car/C220495

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I think he had it advertised for 1500 or so, and he sounded like an entirely genuine and trustworthy character, so I booked a Glasgow- Gatwick flight 10 minutes later.

I was in my twenties at the time, and in my naivety had booked my flight for a Saturday morning. Only problem was I got hammered on Friday night and missed my flight.. A swift re-book and I was back on my way to Gatwick that afternoon.

It was indeed a bloody lovely example owned by them since it was a demonstrator. They'd in fact been over the San Bernardino pass in it for their honeymoon. Legends.



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It's rear calliper was binding a bit, so he knocked it down to 1000 and sent me on my way a happy happy man!

Only problem was that it was now too late to drive back to Glasgow, so I had to drive into central London to stay with friends. It was then that the hot running issues surfaced.. It tended to cut out and lights and not re-start until it had cooled down. Not fun in London! Anyway, here I am the next day having made it to London. Bonus Merc background chod. That house always had that tasty but scruffy merc, I used to see it regularly when I moved to London.

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Anyway, the next day I set off super early for Glasgow which it did without hitch.. He it is with my previous car, a really nice w123. Bought that for 800, sold for 1400. Fuck they've gone up!

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I solved the running issues with and electric fuel pump and carb base gaskets. I taught myself all sorts of things through doing the timing belt, replacing the clutch and brake masters etc..

Every sunny free day I would hoon like a bastard through Scotlands enviable countryside, teaching myslef how to heel-toe and various drifting techniques. For anyone who has never driven one of these, they are an incredible amount of fun. My mk1 Mx5 was thoroughly bland by comparison.

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I drove it from Glasgow to Turin for the 40th anniversary of the X1/9. Took in Elba and some of France on the way back.



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It performed admirably, though did cook it's brakes down some hefty mountain passes so I upgraded the brakes to Vented Uno Turbo, which replaces the rubbish sliding wedges with proper sliding pins.

I ragged it everywhere which it seemed to lap up. I used to regularly hill climb in it, which was amazing fun.


I converted the bumpers to the prettier 1300 style.

I MOVED TO LONDON IN IT! Here it is next to my girlfriend's spitfire. Crazy that only 2 years separated the manufacture of these cars. They look, and drove, worlds apart.

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Here's a fleet highlight from when I bought my BX, later Barret's. My old commuter, the 6v C90 nestled in there.
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I love this car. I'll never sell it. I used it as a daily for ages FFS! Anyway, after 7 happy years and 50,000 miles or so, I put it in Storage in Scotland cos I was skint. I then became even skinter and had to take it out of storage, so it's been outside for about 18 months now.
PBK has kindly let me store it in his Essex barn so that's the next step. It actually sometimes wakes me up in the middle of the night, thinking of it rusting!

It'll definitely need some welding now, which I'm tempted to get done, but frightened to even ask how much it'd cost. I'll get some fresh pics over Christmas and try and arrange some transport, so watch this space..

Here it was before last winter...

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#2 OFFLINE   SierraMikeHotel

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 03:48 PM

Just love the looks of a 70s wedge. Would love a go in one of these!

#3 OFFLINE   richardmorris

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 03:54 PM

They are great, this is mine lowering the tone of the field of dreams.

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#4 OFFLINE   spike60

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 03:59 PM

I had a 1985 VS about 20 years ago, a fab leather trimmed go kart. When I bought it the the woman selling it had a 1300 which came free but I never went back for it. I'd love another, mebby this spring when the 944 goes.



#5 OFFLINE   purplebargeken

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 04:54 PM

C'mon fella, get the little Fiat down this way ASAP.


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#6 OFFLINE   Fat_Pirate

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 05:00 PM

I had a black Icsunonove about 20 years ago.  I remember it having very comfy seats and being refined with the top off, it was a good long distance car.  Gear-change was like a wooden spoon in a bucket of gravel; panic braking would immediately lock the fronts, it gave me a very rapid lesson in weight transfer.  Very characterful cars and I wouldn't mind another, but getting a replacement exhaust was difficult even then, what's the spares situation like now?


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#7 OFFLINE   richardmorris

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 06:15 PM

I had a black Icsunonove about 20 years ago.  I remember it having very comfy seats and being refined with the top off, it was a good long distance car.  Gear-change was like a wooden spoon in a bucket of gravel; panic braking would immediately lock the fronts, it gave me a very rapid lesson in weight transfer.  Very characterful cars and I wouldn't mind another, but getting a replacement exhaust was difficult even then, what's the spares situation like now?



Probably better than ever.

Eurosport stock most things for same day despatch.
http://www.eurosport-uk.net/shop/

Exhausts are £171. I actually have a hand made stainless one to go on the car at some point, bought it with the interior from a GF that they guy had turned into a hill climb car. Paid £40!
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#8 OFFLINE   Barry Cade.

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 06:22 PM

I've had 17 of the things.. Best part of 15 years of my life in, around and under them..

 

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#9 OFFLINE   Vin

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 06:45 PM

Great stuff, really like these and it looks to have been loved...the Euro pictures are great.

 

Essex (OO) number plate too, so it's trying to make it's way back...


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#10 OFFLINE   JimH

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 06:46 PM

I have a Lido in the pending file. Bought it to save it from rotting away on a driveway. It neds a lot of work but there are so few decent 1300s left it seems a shame to let it go. The problem is that to do one properly would be expensive.

One of the true greats and a fantastic bit of design. Bertone bust a gut on them and Fiat couldn't have cared less.
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#11 OFFLINE   richardmorris

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 07:38 PM

I've had 17 of the things.. Best part of 15 years of my life in, around and under them..
 
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I’m wondering what mechanical activity would be helped by standing in the engine bay?
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#12 OFFLINE   Barry Cade.

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 08:56 PM

I have a Lido in the pending file. Bought it to save it from rotting away on a driveway. It neds a lot of work but there are so few decent 1300s left it seems a shame to let it go. The problem is that to do one properly would be expensive.

One of the true greats and a fantastic bit of design. Bertone bust a gut on them and Fiat couldn't have cared less.

I did a bit of work to this one, one of the best Lido's left. IIRC restoration costs were around 20k....

 

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#13 OFFLINE   Barry Cade.

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 09:05 PM

I’m wondering what mechanical activity would be helped by standing in the engine bay?

If I remember, sorting out the spring for the engine cover...


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#14 OFFLINE   anonymous user

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 09:16 PM

Always liked them, always been too big and fat to fit in one properly

#15 OFFLINE   Gazebo

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 09:40 PM

I remember reading about these in Hot Car in the 70's and thinking they were a working mans Ferrari.

 

They still look terrific but haven't seen one on the road for many years.

 

Top work with this, and hope you can get the welding done before it dissolves in its Italian manner. 



#16 OFFLINE   richardmorris

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 09:44 PM

Always liked them, always been too big and fat to fit in one properly

My brother in law is 6”2 and fits but perhaps not comfortably. I’m 5”10 and fit well. My dad. Used to be 6ft and was ok driving it.

Anyone near me ( gu24) in the summer is welcome for a passenger trip. Or even at field of dreams meets.

I’ve got to 60 on the drive, but had a telling off from the fuzz ( given that James, viscount Wessex drives at 30mph and he’s ten years old what are they going to do?) Told them I was testing the new brakes!

The most I’ve seen on the clock was 95. It was runninging brilliantly but getting noticeably light at the front and starting to wander a little. Wary of the Lamborghini Muira photo with the front wheels clear of the ground I backed off.

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#17 OFFLINE   anonymous user

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 10:15 PM

I will try to lose some weight by the summer. I could wedge myself into a Lotus 7 when I was younger (and thinner) but that was when I didn't have dodgy joints and was prepared to suffer (greatly) for the sake of style.

#18 OFFLINE   Barry Cade.

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 10:18 PM

They'll pull 110, and I'm 6"4...and even slept in it once or twice. Did Fife-Stanstead in 1 sitting with no pain.

Beautiful lift off oversteer, until the point of no return,then they'll spin in their own length. Rolled one at 60, roof off. Not a scratch and drove it home. Easiest car I've ever found to heel and toe as well, and prolongs syncro's which are weak- most syncro's are killed by the wrong oil though.


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#19 OFFLINE   SierraMikeHotel

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 10:25 PM



Anyone near me ( gu24) in the summer is welcome for a passenger trip.


YES.

Ahem. Play it cool.

Yes please!
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#20 OFFLINE   richardmorris

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 10:31 PM

No problem. I say summer as it’s in north wales for most of the year, as it is now.
I’m just off junction 3 of the m3.
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#21 OFFLINE   Skizzer

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 10:32 PM

Lovely story. Looking forward to hearing about its return to glory.

I’ve never been in one but they are very pretty things. Would.
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#22 OFFLINE   Zelandeth

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 11:45 PM

I always forget how damned tiny these things are when I've not seen one for a while.

 

Have never actually driven one though as far as I can recall.  Really need to correct that sometime...


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#23 OFFLINE   Amishtat

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 09:30 AM

I bought a pair of these off the brother of a workmate two years ago, he'd run out of patience and I think was getting domestic earache about them.IMAG1931.jpg IMAG1966.jpg
The one in the first picture was complete and running, the other had had the running gear removed but was a better shell. I didn't really want them until he said "just give me 100 and take 'em both"
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#24 ONLINE   egg

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 10:13 AM

Ok, another excuse to post my old one again. One of my dream cars when I was a kid (along with the TR7, strange child).

 

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#25 ONLINE   tooSavvy

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 10:52 AM

Amishtat:

I didn't really want them until he said "just give me 100 and take 'em both"

.... and how many Ebay/Classic flips have been kicked off by such 'distressed sales'.

*not implying anything to you

Wallsend?.....it's not the End of the Walled ;<)

35942490325_0815d58667.jpgSUCKS


#26 OFFLINE   Amishtat

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 03:55 PM

No, you're quite right. Those words changed things considerably.
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#27 OFFLINE   Amishtat

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 03:57 PM

Although I did quite fancy the complete one for myself for the summer, I needed some money and it had to go. The chap's pretty much rebuilt it anyway, I'll post some pictures of it up when he's finished.

#28 OFFLINE   lovejoy

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 08:27 PM

Great fun car, used to drive the GF's silver one, reg ended in 19X..... ah, ULC 19X

 

likened it to a ballet shoe, fitted perfectly and was like a go kart, just needed

 

the 2 liter twin cam engine really.   10/10

 

(anyone got a set of those three-spoke alloys WITH CENTER CAPS!!) for my 900e  ????)


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#29 OFFLINE   Barry Cade.

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 11:36 PM

My last one, which I said would be my last....unless another comes along.Just checked and it's been through 2 mot's pretty trouble free since I moved it on.

 

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#30 OFFLINE   purplebargeken

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 08:09 AM

There are two blue metallic F reg ones parked  nose to nose in the next road to me. One looks less crustier than t'other. That's all I know.


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