- Chassis # ZFABS00A1C7146535
- Number 1 Of Only 300 Versione Examples Produced
- Highly Original Example With 1 Owner From New
- Showing Just Over 9000 Original Miles
- Featuring A Dealer Installed Blaupunkt Radio
- Includes Window Sticker, Factory Books, Original Purchase Documents, And A Fresh Servicing
The Fiat X1/9 was a bold move for the Fiat company in the early 70s. The Italian corporation was about to introduce a wide range of new models and wanted to make sure the world was paying attention. Who better than Marcello Gandini (the man who designed the Lamborghini Countach), to make sure the world was watching? Gandini was designing for Bertone, and this was his Autobianchi A112 Runabout concept car, brought to production. In the early 70s, the wedge shape was in vogue, and the X1/9’s speed boat inspired b-pillars, and an arrow-shaped nose set the styling apart. US safety regulations were hinting at the demise of the convertible and the X1/9s targa roof and stiff structure were engineered with that in mind.
Released in November of 1972, the little Fiat was an exotic mid-engine sports car, at an entry-level price. It had an all-aluminum overhead cam engine designed by Aurelio Lampredi (the famed Ferrari engine designer), four-wheel disc brakes, and an all-independent suspension. The 1300 motor was not powerful but loved to be revved, and the handling was stellar. It was foot-to-the-floor, no matter the road. Fiat got its wish and there were numerous publications with an X1/9 sliding through corners on the cover. Production would continue with Fiat until 1982 when it moved to Bertone until 1989.
This specific 1982 Fiat X1/9 VIN #ZFABS00A1C7146535, is number #1 of the 300 Versione Specials for 1982. These limited editions were built to celebrate production leaving Fiat and moving to its designer, Bertone. Bertone created these special editions, requesting the two-tone metallic paint, alloy wheels, red leather seats, and steering wheel. They all came with a body-color Targa roof and rear defroster. If the original X1/9 of the 70s was funk, then this X1/9 had gone disco. The colors aren’t bright like the early cars, but the two-tone paint scheme and subtle pinstripes show off every angle and the ribbed red leather seats look straight out of a Kubrick movie. Ten years in production saw many improvements, including a 5-speed gearbox, fuel-injected 1500 motor, interior updates, and a higher-quality interior. This car has all those updates as well as the special features of the Versione Special.
This example is stunning and still looks like a prototype came to life. We believe the paint to be mostly original, with the noted exception of the driver’s door which received a minor touch-up that was not accident-related. The interior is all original and the Blaupunkt stereo was dealer installed when new. This X1/9 was originally purchased for $11,496 at Suburban Auto Imports in Oak Park Illinois by an amateur basketball player in 1982 and it stayed with him until we acquired it last year. The owner was 6’6” and had to wedge himself into the cockpit. As he got older, the contorting became more and more difficult and the car was driven less and less. This explains why there is only a little over 9k on the odometer as it stayed in the garage and was cherished for the entirety of its life. The story goes that the owner saw the car on the dealership floor, and knew he had to have it, even though he didn’t fit and had to drive it home with his shoes off. Upon our acquisition of the car, it was treated to a no expense spared service at Auto Europe in Birmingham, MI. All the fluids were changed, new brakes, hoses, tires, and all systems checked. Today, it feels nimble, modern, and quick. It feels and looks like the low mileage car it is. The steering is precise, and it shifts smoothly through all the gears. The fuel-injected motor starts easily and feels more powerful than the 67 bhp it is rated at. The top speed is 106 mph and the car is comfortable and at ease on modern roads. All these years later, it still gets the world to stop and take notice. Included in the sale is the original window sticker, original purchase agreement, dealer certificate, original odometer statement, original Rusty Jones rust-proofing paperwork, Blaupunkt paperwork, as well as the original owner’s manuals and Blaupunkt stereo manual. The car also comes with the targa top bag.
body and paint
The factory original two-tone paint retains an excellent shine, appropriate for a car with low mileage and having spent most of its life in a garage. We did have a small section of the driver’s door repainted. This was to correct some issues with the paint, there was no bodywork needed. The rest of the paint is believed to be original. The metallic finish is good overall, though the silver paint has aged differently throughout the car. It is only apparent if you look closely, and this is often to be found on older silver metallic paint jobs. The body is straight and the panel fitment is consistent.
glass and trim
The glass throughout the car is original and in excellent shape with no hazing or signs of aging. All the windows have their appropriate factory markings, as well as original stickers. Rubber trim and seals throughout the exterior appear in excellent shape considering their age. The black plastic trim retains its color with minimal fading. The front spoiler does not look like it has ever suffered an impact. There are some minor scuffs on the bumpers. The hand-applied pinstripes do look like they were applied by hand on close examination. The lights and lenses are free of cracks or imperfections, are factory original, with the proper stainless-steel screws.
The 13x5 factory Cromodora wheels show nicely. The only area of note is the driver’s side rear wheel’s edge has a small scrape or blemish. The rest of the wheels are in excellent condition with no obvious flaws.
The car is original and was used on occasion, so there are some minor imperfections. The only ones of note are a few dents in the Targa roof and some discoloration, though this is only visible at an angle with proper lighting. Also, there are some very small black marks in the clear coat on the driver’s side lower door panel, where the car is dark silver. Again, this is only noticeable at the proper angle with correct lighting. The detailed photos of the car show all the small marks and imperfections, and please take your time looking through them.
seats and surfaces
The overall condition of the interior is exemplary of the car’s low mileage and indoor storage. The red leather seats are in excellent condition and still retain their brilliant color, are smooth and supple, with minimal creasing. The side bolsters and lower cushion on the driver’s seat has some slight wear. The dash and center console are crack-free with no obvious defects. The driver’s side armrest has a small crack. The carpets are clean and tight, with minimal wear. All the buttons, stalks, and switches are in good condition. The red leather steering wheel has some very small imperfections and the survivors are slightly flaccid.
functionality and accessories
The windows go up and down smoothly, and the doors and handles all function well. Inside all the buttons, knobs stalks and switches work properly. The lights pop up, the wipers work, radio and etc. I was unable to verify if the tape deck works or if the rear defroster element heats up.
engine bay and trunk
The condition of the mid-engine bay matches the condition of the rest of the vehicle and is clean and well sorted. The often-missing air duct for the alternator is still intact and all the proper stickers and factory warnings are present.
The front and rear trunk areas are very clean and look like they did when they left the factory. The rear trunk carpeting and lower padding are secure and tidy. The front trunk area is also clean with all the factory hardware, and the proper rubber holders for the Targa top. The corners and crevices of the trunks are yellow because of the dealer “Rusty Jones” treatment. The gooey substance was sprayed everywhere to keep moisture and rust away. The factory jack and spare are present.
The underside of the car shows well. The underside was cleaned and detailed. The belly pan and rockers are all factory original. The front and rear suspension arms were cleaned of any surface rust while all the rotors and calipers were replaced. There is some surface rust on some hardware but overall the underside is in conjunction with the low mileage well-kept condition of the car.
The Bosch fuel-injected motor starts easily, has a steady idle, and runs smoothly. It revs quickly and functions properly.
The transmission shifts well into all the gears. And feels like the low mileage unit it is. The clutch catches smoothly and works with no issues.
brakes and suspension
The brakes function well, with a hard pedal. The car stops quickly and straight. The suspension feels tight and compliant, with no rattles or odd noises.
The car has brand new Vredestein tires in the correct factory size.
The Fiat drives very well and is the closest one will get to a new Fiat X1/9. The red interior is delightful to sit in and makes any passenger or driver smile upon entrance. Once fastened into the funky cockpit everything is laid out well and easy to use. The unassisted steering is communicative and delightful. The car is very low, and you can feel right away that it will rotate easily, but not in an unattended and frightening way. It is small and nimble and encourages spirited driving. Even though it has modest horsepower, the lightweight and excellent chassis dynamics make for a rewarding experience. The car feels modern but is still very analog. The Fiat X1/9 is a show car come to life and is brilliant to behold or drive.