Never This Nice: 1986 Bertone X1/9 – SOLD!

May 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Sports Car Saturday

June 12, 2021 Update – we confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

May 7, 2021 Update – We just came across a fresh listing for this stunning Bertone X1/9 we first featured in early April. In their latest listing, the seller dropped their asking price by one thousand dollars to land at the current $11,000.

The Fiat X1/9 may seem like an enthusiast’s dream car, featuring Bertone styling, mid-engine layout, and relatively affordable prices. But oftentimes, when they do turn up, rust and general neglect rendered it a money pit with no financial upside. But what if you bought one of the best in existence – would that be a compelling argument to put one in your garage? This 1986 model first listed in early April 2021 on Craigslist in Ft. Meyers, Florida, might be such a car, with the under 40,000 original miles and an asking price of $12,000. Comparing this price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has priced the X1/9 accurately, as a #2 “Excellent” example is valued at $13,000 while a #3 “Good” car at $6,700.

Fiat may have had a home run on its hands when it introduced its gorgeous two-seater, and for a few years, it kept the love affair going. Horsepower numbers were humble, but the X1/9’s lightweight and chuckable chassis made the most of it. Power would eventually rise to 85 horsepower, and with a lofty 8,000 RPM redline, it certainly is the case of a car that feels like it’s breaking the law even while you’re doing the speed limit. Fiat bowed out of production in the early 80s, but in an unusual twist, Bertone agreed to pick up where the manufacturer was dropping off and continued to manufacture the X1/9 through 1989. Fuel injection is a welcome advantage to the later cars, while the earlier ones benefit from prettier, slim bumpers that only serve to enhance the car’s good looks.

The seller is correct to call this one both a Bertone and a Fiat model, given who was handling production in 1986. The car in question looks to be in very good driver condition, benefitting from a respray that isn’t Concours quality but still good enough to make the Fiat stand out in photos. The seller is the third owner, and while he notes the Bertone has been stored for years in a climate-controlled setting, it should still be given a thorough going-over before any long-distance drives commence. Still, the good news is the next owner won’t be dealing with a needy fuel system as the injectors, hoses, and fuel pump have all been replaced, and the tank was dropped and cleaned. The bodywork is mostly rust-free aside from some bubbling on the windshield frame; the seller believes it is largely superficial. This X1/9 also sports the rare leather interior, which covers the seats and the door panels. If you’ve been looking for a solid X1/9 project, this one appears to be worthy of your time. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“This low-mileage gem of an X1/9 is in excellent overall condition and a true find.

I’m only parting with it because I have another that I’m modifying and can only keep one.

Fully stock and complete. Pretty astonishing to behold.

Has A/C and the very rare coveted leather seats and door panel which are in terrific condition. Dash and glove box are pristine.

Parked in a clean, climate-controlled garage for most of the last decade.

Clean car-fax, and I’m the third owner. The owner before me definitely took good care of it as well.

All new fuel system, including fuel injectors, hoses, fuel pump, and tank cleaning.

Car runs, drives, and handles beautifully. No current engine or driving issues apparent.

Has been properly maintained — tune-ups, fluids, hoses, etc.

Like any car that has been stored more than driven (for weekend joyrides), the new owner should, of course, give it a complete going over — tune-up, all new fluids, coolant hoses, thermostat, etc.

Transmission is perfect, except for a slight clunk/grind when shifting into reverse. Otherwise shifting is complete smooth. Never slips out of gear. Redline MTL used to keep it tip-top.

Brakes and struts are good, but could use a refresh in the not-too-distant future to really dial in that legendary X handling.

Paint is a high quality respray to match the original color. I would rate it as very good. Could use a proper 2-stage professional polish to pull out minor swirls and blemishes and restore the best luster.

Probably will be no need to ever repaint to fully enjoy this car’s beauty. But by the same token, I believe it’s a few minor blemish corrections and a high quality paint job away from achieving show/collector level, should one choose to go this direction. The overall excellent low-wear condition and low mileage could definitely justify it.

Blaupunkt speakers (fit to stock openings), Pioneer stereo head unit, and CB radio with antennas included.

Here’s everything I’m aware of that the car needs (mostly relatively minor issues):

– It’s ready for new tires. I was about to put on some well reviewed Vredesteins, which are great bang for buck and the exact stock size. But I decided to hold off in case the new owner prefers different tires.

– The fuel gage isn’t working. Could be the gage, the current to the gage, or the fuel sending unit. The red “near empty” light, however, does still light up when the tank is low.

– The tachometer isn’t working accurately, which is pretty common on the X.

– There’s a burnt out turn signal bulb and a burnt out door panel bulb.

*** Other than these, ALL electrics appear to be working properly ***

– There is a small paint/rust bubble at the base of the drivers’s side window (see photo). This blemish looks to be mostly surface and not structural. I believe sanding and sealing it with a quality encapsulator, and then touch up spaying should be sufficient, short of a plan to respray the entire car.

– There is a small chip in the driver’s side of the windshield (see photo), which I believe can also be filled/repaired. I do not think the windshield needs to be replaced.

– There’s a tiny pea-sized ding in the driver’s door (see photo), which is only noticeable off-angle in good light. I believe it can be pulled out relatively easily and cheaply.

– The driver’s seat has a split at one of the seams (see photo). I bought a 3M repair kit to keep it from progressing any further. The reinforcement, done properly, is effective and virtually unnoticeable.

– The A/C needs to be recharged, and possibly upgraded to a more environmentally responsible coolant.

I’m happy to discuss further details, answers questions and concerns, and make in-person appointments for viewings.

Please reply to this ad and I’ll get back ASAP.

$12,000, or best offer.

Serious inquiries only please.

Cheers. And happy X-ing.

Someone’s going to LOVE this car.

Do you have a Fiat X1/9 story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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