Sandra and Roy Smith – Bertone X1/9

Bertone front

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make:                Bertone                       Model:               X19

 

CC:                    1498                            Engine :             Fiat SOHC

 

Built:                  Late 1989                   Transmission : 5 Speed manual

 

Colour:               Blu Micalizzato

 

The Fiat-Bertone X1/9 was designed at Bertone, one of Italy’s finest design houses, the birthplace of such cars as the Lamborghini Countach, Miura and the Lancia Stratos.

First launched in Italy in 1972 as the FIAT X19, it was not until 1977 that the right hand drive version arrived in the UK. The X1/9’s mid-engined design was influenced by racing cars of the day, and it soon became the biggest selling mid-engined production car, which ultimately reached some 170,000 world wide.

X1/9’s attracted the attention of the motoring press and were frequently described as a “baby Ferrari”.

The only major change in the X1/9’s seventeen year production history, was in 1978 when Fiat introduced the 1498cc engine and five speed gearbox from the Strada / Ritmo. This replaced the existing 1290cc / four speed mechanics that had been used exclusively up until this time.

 

In 1982 production was carried out by Bertone and the car was badged as such although it continued to be sold through the FIAT Dealer network.

The X1/9 was available in various special trim versions during its production run, which included the 1300 Lido, the 1500 VS and the Gran Finale.

This car was first registered 28th Feb 1989 in Northern Ireland and has been extremely well rust proofed. The cars were very prone to rust and there are about 250 examples left in UK.

 

We travelled to Northern Ireland after having spotted the car for sale on the internet in November 2014. It proved “as advertised” and we bought the car and drove it back through Southern Ireland (Eire), across to France by ferry to Cherbourg, through France and finally Spain to Los Barrios.  The car has had considerable work carried out to bring it back to “0” miles. All water-pipes have been changed, and now runs on waterless coolant, twin cooling fans, brake pads changed and new interior to name but a few improvements to the car.

 The car has now been imported into Spain as a historic vehicle.

Bertone

 

Click here to read the account of buying the car and bringing it to Spain