1972 Fiat X1/9

1300 Targa 1.3 L

Vehicle values by condition

Condition 4
#4 cars are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped.
Condition 3
#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior.
Condition 2
#2 cars could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 cars that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws.
Condition 1
#1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, unmodified, in the right colours, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours.
Insurance premium for a
1972 Fiat X1/9 1300 Targa 1290
valued at £4,700
£106.41 / year*

History of the 1972 - 1978 Fiat X1/9

1972 - 1978 Fiat X1/9
1972 - 1978 Fiat X1/9

Fiat's X1/9 was a breakthrough for inexpensive sports car enthusiasts. Its predecessor, the 850 Spider, was not much more than a chopped 850 coupe, but the all-new X1/9 was designed from the ground up. A uniquely styled, wedge-shaped two-seater with pop-up headlights, Targa top, transverse mid-engine and rear-wheel drive, the 1300cc X1/9 stuck to the road like glue.

The Fiat X1/9 had excellent manners and road handling, and a Bertone body. Compact, the car was a little cramped for tall drivers, but was an amazing success. The power train came from the front-wheel drive Fiat 128 Rally and was placed directly behind the cabin. The rigid roof panel could be stowed in the front boot or left in the garage if owners were optimistic about the weather. In addition to the front boot, there was another boot behind the engine.

Introduced at the end of 1972, it was four years before official right-hand drive versions were shown at the Earls Court London Motor Show in the autumn of 1976. However, first deliveries to the UK did not arrive until early 1977 at £2997.

With a 1290cc engine, 75bhp was developed at 6000rpm, and included a 4-speed gearbox, and all-round disc brakes. 99mph was possible, with 60mph coming up in a brisk 12.7 seconds, and 18.8 seconds taken for the standing 1/4 mile. The body shell was immensely strong and rigid with near perfect weight distribution, and the steering was quite direct, similar to the original Mini, making the little X1/9 a proper driver's car.

The updated 1500cc X1/9 was announced in 1978 for introduction in 1979 at £4575, this time with the 5-speed gearbox developed for the new Strada. 85bhp at 6000rpm was on tap from the 1489cc engine, 10bhp more than the 1300. Nearly 2 seconds was knocked off the 0-60mph time at a respectable 10.8 seconds, and a maximum of 110mph was now possible. Just under 2 seconds was also shaved from the standing 1/4 mile time to 17.0 seconds. The new, larger bumpers hurt the overall aesthetic but were necessary to comply with increasing safety requirements, especially for the US market. Thus another 5" was added to the overall length at exactly 13 feet.

From 1982 the X1/9 was simply badged as a Bertone and not a Fiat, but this did not make any impression on the buying public who continued to know the little rocket as the Fiat X1/9 1500. Sales tailed off as the market had been flooded with hot hatches since the early 1980s, and the arrival of the superior Toyota MR2 in 1985 only accelerated the fall in sales of the now elderly Fiat. With one engine change and small additions to the styling in 16 years, by 1989 at the end 180,000 Fiat X1/9s had been sold. Special trim versions were released with the 1300 Lido, Special Edition, 1500 VS and the Gran Finale.

These cars rusted badly and the advice, once you have checked for rust, is to check again for more rust in the areas you did not check the first time, since it can be everywhere you look. The electrics also suffer with faults to the wiring.

The X1/9 Owners Club for both Fiat and Bertone Enthusiasts provides a magazine with details of events, technical articles and spares for sale, together with member's experiences of the little Fiat which is so much fun to drive.

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