Willing Wedge: 1974 Fiat X1/9 – Sold?

by | Jan 2024 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Sports Car Saturday

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February 24, 2024, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “ClassiFIND” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

January 28, 2024 Update – The seller lowered their asking price from $14,500 to $12,000 or best offer in their existing Craigslist ad.

Over the years, several automobile manufacturers produced affordable mid-engine two-seat cars using parts from their more mundane offerings. Pontiac’s management team famously pitched the Fiero as a two seat economy car using parts from parent company General Motors (“GM”) X- and J-Body lines. The inspiration for the Pontiac Fiero though, came from the Fiat X 1/9.  While it’s wedge-shaped Bertone-styled body screamed Ferrari, the X 1/9 relied on powertrain and suspension components from Fiat’s bread-and-butter 128 series.

The Fiat X 1/9 is a beautiful little mid engine sports car whose design has aged very well. However, the car’s smog-controlled 1.3L engine could barely muster 74 horsepower when new. While the car’s lightweight of only two thousand pounds made the low horsepower car feel sporty, it was never enough to take full advantage of the car’s superior neutral handling.

This Yellow 1974 Fiat X 1/9, last spotted for sale on Craigslist in Glendale, California in January 2024, overcomes that shortfall with a stroked 1600cc inline four block featuring a bid valve head, all topped with Dual Weber 45 DCOE 152 Carbs.  This California-based Fiat X 1/9 for sale also avoided another shortfall of these cars: rust. Based on the pictures provided, this Fiat X 1/9 appears to be a rust-free example.

Last offered for $12,000 or best offer (the original ask was $14,500 or best offer), Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask aligns with this guide’s six-month results for all Fiat X 1/9’s produced between 1972 and 1989.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for recently:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 Very Good” estimate of $10,200 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $15,200.

The 1974 Fiat X1/9 is a classic sports car that holds a special place in automotive history. Known for its distinctive design, mid-engine layout, and agile handling, the Fiat X1/9 captivated car enthusiasts during its production years from 1972 to 1989.

The Fiat X1/9 featured a monocoque chassis, a design where the body and frame are integrated into a single structure. This lightweight chassis contributed to the car’s overall agility and responsiveness. The body design, penned by Marcello Gandini at Bertone, showcased a sleek and aerodynamic profile. The distinctive wedge shape, pop-up headlights, and the absence of a traditional rear trunk lid gave the X1/9 a unique and futuristic appearance.

One of the defining characteristics of the Fiat X1/9 was its mid-engine layout. The 1.3-liter inline-four engine was mounted transversely just behind the driver and passenger seats but ahead of the rear axle. This configuration provided a near-perfect weight distribution, enhancing the car’s handling dynamics and overall stability. The mid-engine layout also allowed for a compact and efficient drivetrain design.

The 1974 Fiat X1/9 was equipped with a 1.3-liter SOHC (Single Overhead Cam) inline-four engine. This engine, derived from the Fiat 128, featured a transverse orientation and delivered power to the rear wheels. The engine produced around 75 horsepower, providing the X1/9 with a respectable level of performance for its time. The lightweight design, coupled with the mid-engine layout, allowed the car to accelerate quickly and navigate corners with precision.

A 4-speed manual transmission was standard on the 1974 Fiat X1/9, offering drivers a direct and engaging connection to the car. The suspension system included independent suspension at all four corners, with MacPherson struts in the front and a rear semi-trailing arm setup. This setup contributed to the car’s nimble handling and responsive feedback, making it a joy to drive on winding roads.

Inside, the Fiat X1/9 featured a driver-focused cockpit with a minimalist design. The center console housed the gauges and controls, and the bucket seats provided a comfortable yet sporty driving position. Despite its compact size, the X1/9’s interior was well-appointed, with attention to detail and quality materials.

Throughout its production run, the Fiat X1/9 underwent various updates and changes. In 1974, the car received a few refinements, including updates to emission controls to meet regulatory standards. Over the years, Fiat introduced different variants, each with its own set of improvements and enhancements.

The Fiat X1/9 left a lasting impact on the automotive world. Its design and engineering innovations influenced the development of future mid-engine sports cars. The car’s combination of style, performance, and affordability made it a popular choice among enthusiasts. Today, the Fiat X1/9 enjoys classic status, with a dedicated community of owners and collectors who appreciate its timeless design and driving experience.

The 1974 Fiat X1/9 is a classic sports car that represents a pinnacle of automotive design and engineering. Its mid-engine layout, distinctive styling, and engaging driving dynamics make it a standout in the history of sports cars. The Fiat X1/9 remains a cherished classic, celebrated for its contribution to the world of automotive excellence.

The National Geographic UK YouTube Channel features this brief history of the Fiat X 1/9:

This 1974 Fiat X 1/9 for sale not only features great neutral handling of the mid-engine layout, but it also features a number of engine performance upgrades that likely make this example for sale a hoot to drive with much more usuable power than what it left the Fiat factory with.

If you are serious about buying this X 1/9, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their Fiat sports car featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“For Sale 1974 Fiat X1/9 $14500 OBO

Did you have one when you were young? Have you always wanted a mid-engined Italian car? Here’s your chance to tell people at the gas station, “No, it’s not a Triumph.”

Loved by many in the car industry, this wedge body was designed at Gruppo Bertone by Marcello Gandini, known for the design of iconic cars such as the Lamborghini Countach, Lancia Stratos, and the Fiat X1/9. You too can own a piece of automotive history.

This car features many hard to find modifications and runs, drives, shifts, and stops — sometimes in that order! I drove it over the last summer as my daily. Enjoy now with the top stored in the front trunk.

1600 stroked engine
Big valve head
PBS billet cam shaft
High compression pistons
Dual Weber 45 DCOE 152 Carbs
Koni adjustable shocks
Faza front fiberglass spoiler
New all alumimun CSF radiator and heater core with cooling hoses
New Header with custom flex joint and muffler
Original size 145 R 13 tires
New seats
New clutch master and slave cylinder
New alternator
Headlight relay kit
Rebuilt front suspension and steering rack with custom brass bearing
New 1500 front hub assemblies (upgrade to large bearings)
Custom wheel centering rings/center cap mounts

Recent work includes replacing the cooling/heating system, timing belt, clutch hydraulic system, alternator, carb rebuild and tune up, distributor cap and rotor, oil and filter change. Minimal rust and no cracks in the windshield. Steel spare included with matching 145 R 13 tire. Small parts stash included with sale including extra seat, new uninstalled fuel tank (good for either carb or fuel injection), extensive DCOE jet kit, spare DCOE for parts or rebuild, and many small items. Good 20 ft. paint recently detailed (https://www.tiktok.com/@californiadetailshop/video/7321115203343600938) for sale with one dent (see picture).

Show or go: What would you do with this restored and tastefully modified 1974 Fiat X 1/9 for sale? Please comment below and let us know!


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