One of Two: 1979 Fiat X1/9 1500 – SOLD!
November 6, 2020 Update – While the red X1/9 we made the focus of this listing is now “SOLD!” It appears the 1983 Bertone X1/9 this private seller listed for sale remains available. This one may have got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330
September 26, 2020 Update – Marco, the private seller of not one, but two Fiat X1/9s, lowered his asking price for each one again by another $1,000 to $9,999 each. That change now puts the red example’s price between the Hagerty Insurance “Good” and “Fair” estimates.
September 4, 2020 Update – Ten days after first posting his two Fiat X1/9s for sale at $13,999, the private seller lowered the price of each by $3,000 to $10,999 each. That now puts the red example featured here between Hagerty’s “Excellent” and “Good” condition estimates.
We’re finding sellers continually develop creative ways to avoid spending any more money than possible on Craigslist posts. For example, seen several listings with a slightly modified title so that it can be used to sell a second car. In this case, the private seller has not one, but two of Fiat’s iconic 1970’s vintage mid-engine sports cars for sale: a white 1983 Bertone and the focus of this post, this stunning red over black example originally listed in September 2020 on Craigslist in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The private seller is now asking $9,999 for each X1/9, which is a four grand decrease from where he started. A quick scan of the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has the ’79 X1/9 featured here priced between the #1 “Concours” appraisal of $26,200 and the #2 “Excellent” estimate of $11,600.
As a competitive response to VW/Porsche’s new 914, in 1969 Fiat commissioned Bertone to create a two-seat, entry-level, mid-engine sports car capable of meeting the U.S. safety regulations of the period. Designed around the Fiat 128’s front-wheel-drive, transverse-mounted powertrain, the X1/9 relocated the transverse drive train and suspension assembly from the front of the 128 to the rear of the passenger cabin, directly in front of the rear axle, to create the mid-engine layout. Unlike most other mid-engine car designs, Bertone ingeniously located both the gas tank and spare tire between the passenger seats and the mid-engine firewall. Not only did this provide room for two, albeit small, trunks, but the result was also arguably one of the best handling Fiats ever produced.
In 1979 U.S. cars received increases in displacement to 1498 cc and five-speed transmissions, with maximum power up to VW Beetle-like 67 horsepower and retained previous emission controls. In 1979 U.S. X1/9s also received both exterior and interior revisions including integrated bumpers front and rear, as well as new front grilles and air dams. The instrument panel and dash redesign moved the heating and ventilation controls from the center console up to the main dash, relocated the radio to the center dash area, moved the fuse panel from the area above the driver’s left knee to the area above the passenger’s footwell where the glove box was and moved the glovebox to atop the dash. With less than 100 horsepower on tap throughout its production, the X1/9 is at best a momentum car.
Here’s a MotorWeek Retro Review currently posted on YouTube providing a synopsis of a 1982 model that bridges the gap between the ’79 and the ’83 examples the private seller is currently offering for sale:
X1/9s were easy prey for the rust bug here in the Northeast, so it’s a rare sight to come across an example for sale, especially an award-winning immaculately detailed one such as both cars the seller currently offers for sale. While not the fastest mid-engine car by any stretch, it’s go-kart size and handling will have you grinning from ear to ear on every twisty back road you can find. If you find out the story about why Marco is selling both cars and including the car show trophies with each, please comment below. Additionally, while these are clearly well-detailed X1/9s, we hope the seller can also provide detailed service records to support the fact these cars have been properly maintained as well. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“For sale 2 X1/9 one fiat 79 one Bertone 83 those two cars are show car they both won multiple car shows, the trophy’s come with the cars. No rust, serious inquires only, phone calls, and they can be seen by appointment.
Do you have a Fiat X1/9 story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!
These are tiny cars, an absolute blast to drive, very fragile, and horrendously susceptible to rust. Back in the early 80’s a friend of mine bought one. It was only a few years old at the time. But a few upstate New York winters had already taken their toll. While the body still looked good, the underside not so much. The first time he took the roof off and we opened both doors to get in the car, it literally folded in half and collapsed down onto the pavement. We picked it back up again by the doors, forced them closed, and quickly put the roof back on. It never came off again during his ownership – it was the only thing holding the car together.
I looked at a few of these back in the day (80’s). They truly do have that proverbial go-kart feeling to drive, because it’s not much bigger than a go-kart. They have tremendous character and personality that modern cars have long been lacking. But they are fragile. The gearbox is about the size of a 5 lb bag of sugar, and pretty much every one I’ve ever driven has had bad synchros.
By now no X1/9 would (or should) be used as a daily driver. As a garage-kept weekend fair-weather toy, its a lot of fun for not a lot of money. Just examine closely for rust.