1980 Fiat X1/9 Reviews

1980 Fiat X1/9 Bertone 1.5 from North America

Model year1980
Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership1995
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 1.5 Manual
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.5 / 10
Distance when acquired30000 miles
Most recent distance34000 miles
Previous carFord Mustang

Summary:

More fun than a day at 6 Flags over Texas

Faults:

Majority of the problems have been electrical in nature, poor grounding system, wire gauge to small for the load being placed on them.

Speedometer cable has twisted off due to snake like path under the dash.

General Comments:

The first time I drove this car (13 years ago), it was scheduled for the junk yard and in desperate need of repair, but it had something that had been missing for years, heart and soul.

While most X1/9's were known for rusting out, this one escaped the brown rot even though it had been out in the Texas weather for years. For this, I would like to thank the original owner for the heavy coat of rust proofing.

Although the 1.5L engine lacks the HP for neck snapping acceleration, it does not lack heart, it delivers when needed and loves cranking out the RPM in amounts that would scare most sports car owners. The down side, valve adjustments should be done every 15,000, Carb has a tendency to get too hot (even with fan on) during our hot Texas summers.

The soul of this car is in its handling, it loves a narrow country road with lots of curves. Having driven on these roads, I can't help but feel the X is one step ahead of the driver and is anticipating the next abrupt move and grabs the road.

I am sure there are those out there who think the X1/9 is a cheap hunk of junk and drive around in expensive BMW's, Ferrari's, etc. For those I have just one thing to say, I paid $150.00 for my X, spent $2000 restoring it, and have just as much fun and turn just as many heads as you do. Being 64 years old, I need all the help I can get... just kidding.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 25th April, 2008

1980 Fiat X1/9 from North America

Model year1980
Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership1980
Most recent year of ownership1984
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired4 miles
Most recent distance40000 miles
Previous carMG Buick

Summary:

Super in every way

Faults:

Radiator water overflow tank failed once.

General Comments:

The car got really happy at 70 mph and above.

The car really did run on rails. Steering was mainly required for change of direction.

I found the drivers compartment extremely comfortable.

My Boxer loved it and took a "Guard" position on the drivers seat when I exited.

It ran extremely quietly. At speed, just a reassuring hum behind me.

Terrific stability: I fell asleep at high speed in New Mexico, left the road, spun out waking up to find the car stopped.

It cornered like a bandit.

Wish I still had it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th September, 2006

1980 Fiat X1/9 1.5 from North America

Model year1980
Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.5 Manual
Distance when acquired53000 kilometres
Most recent distance61000 kilometres

Summary:

I would definitely buy another if anything happened to my current piece

Faults:

Clutch and master cylinder.

Rear brake calipers.

Valve cover gasket.

Speedometer cable.

General Comments:

I picked this car up for $3000US and I absolutely love it. It corners like a dream. I recently installed a new CD deck that features a G-force meter, and I've managed to get the cornering up to.90 g's. Pretty incredible, I'd say.

It isn't the fastest car, but the engine is very willing. It's actually quite zippy if you keep the revs above six grand.

It's been very reliable thus far. I live in Groton, Connecticut, and I've taken my Fiat on two trips to Baltimore, two to New York City, Boston, Blandford Mass., and Providence, RI many times, and it has yet to give me any major troubles.

I even managed to put it under a tractor trailer to get a picture (not while moving, of course).

My only complaint about the car is its ability to rust before my very eyes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th February, 2005

1980 Fiat X1/9 1.5 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.5 petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.8 / 10
Distance when acquired150000 kilometres
Most recent distance155000 kilometres
Previous carBMW 3 Series

Summary:

A work of Italian art

Faults:

On a fine sunny morning with the roof off, just 1 week after purchase, it started to overheat. Then water went everywhere. Making it carefully to the shop, it was discovered that 2 coolant pipes running underneath the car had corroded. Sadly the only way to remove the pipes was to cut them out of the underside of the car. NZ$800 later...

The cable that opened the engine cover snapped, but this was easily repaired through the 'rear boot'.

Throttle jams open every now and again.

Currently the clutch doesn't work, and I suspect it's the hydraulics that are playing up, rather than the clutch itself.

General Comments:

The X1/9 really impresses on a fine, warm day when you can remove the roof panel and cruise al-fresco. It stows cleverly in the front 'boot'.

But the advantage of leaving the roof on, from a handling point of view, is improved rigidity, and reduced 'scuttle shake'. Mid-engine handling is an art to master, and proves razor sharp through the turns.

The seemingly standard FIAT 1500 loves to sing, red-lining somewhere in the sky, and gathers speed quicker than you think. Yet it can be driven quietly around town as required. Count the savings as the simplicity of the engine brings pleasant bills.

However, other repairs can be very costly indeed. Some parts are difficult to find, and labour hours can run up big time.

Many X1/9's, like many other old Italian cars, suffer terrible rust. I'm fortunate to have a rust-free car.

A tragically beautiful car, styled by Marcello Gandini - a stylist at Bertone already celebrated for the Lamborghini Miura, who went on to style the Countach, Diablo, Murcielago, every Lamborghini since 1968. He also penned the Bugatti EB110, and the Citroen BX.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th September, 2002

23rd Dec 2003, 06:19

All due respect to both Bertone and Ghandini for they are both master of car design, but the Lamborghini MurciƩlago's design was done by young belgian designer Luc Donkerwolcke (from Audi Styling Center).

Maybe less exotic, but no less talented than the Italians.

10th Jan 2004, 19:06

Another comment to say, The Diablo was an American design by Chrysler in the early 80s. The Diablo came to exist after the purchase of Lamborghini through Chrysler. Best proof example is the movie The Wraith, featuring the all American design Turbo Interceptor which if you look closer resembles the Diablo today in more ways than one.

10th Feb 2005, 06:56

Actually, Ghandini did do the Diablo (as can be researched easily), though the final design was toned down and modified by the Chrysler team. The original design for the Diablo was then slightly widened to become the Cizeta Morodor V16-T.

23rd Apr 2005, 18:31

Italian auto spares in Onehunga, Auckland can source just about all parts you will ever need for your X1/9. Cheap Gearbox overhauls too, which is good cause they constantly chew up sincro's.

1980 Fiat X1/9 1.3 from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.3 Manual
Performance marks 1 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired80000 kilometres
Most recent distance130000 kilometres
Previous carHolden Torana

Summary:

Best handling car ever, otherwise average

Faults:

Would stop, particularly in rain.

Wheel bearing.

Cam belt tensioner bearing.

Battery earth strap.

Handbrake cable.

Leaking calipers and clutch slave cylinder.

Rust.

Carpet rotted.

General Comments:

Handles like a go cart. Really. You really can't believe a car can handle this well until you've driven one.

Front brakes lock in wet, particularly in emergency braking.

Car was laid up for about 8 years before I bought it, so most of the early problems were due to this. Repairs were cheap and now the car is reliable. Parts are cheap. Some repairs are really hard to do due to access etc.

Passenger space is severely restricted. Taller people would have trouble.

Luggage is surprisingly good, but awkward. Great for soft luggage, poor for lawn mowers and other awkward shapes.

Egress is difficult, especially when my back or knee are playing up.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd March, 2002

Average review marks: 5.9 / 10, based on 5 reviews