Totally awesome and fun!
Well, we bought it not running, even though the previous owner laid out a few problems (the fuel and water pumps were bad. Some rust around the windshield, i.e. the usual problems of X1/9's). This will be the third one I have owned, one being a 1981, another a 1987, so I was well acquainted with the problems of these cars.
To be sure, buying a not running X1/9 was probably very stupid (I warned others against this sort of thing but...) but I wanted one again, and so I drove about 300 miles and purchased this one.
It had a lot of rust around the windshield, and I have since purchased a whole new frame. The radiator bleed screw was ripped out and epoxied in place. The belts were all destroyed and the tank had massive quantities of rust in it. The injectors were clogged an the clutch master and slave cylinders in poor shape. There were more little problems, mostly due from neglect, very poor mechanics, and just plain age and sitting.
On the plus side, the body itself was virtually rust free, and the other mechanicals excellent.
I listed the bad. Luckily most of the problems were bolt on replacements and really didn't cost too much to fix as I am a mechanic by trade. Just time.
I always replace all of the hoses and belts on the cars I buy, so I did the same on this machine. Luckily the transmission is nearly perfect along with the suspension. After replacing most of the items I listed in the above section, I have been running it all over the place when I can't pry my wife out of the driver's seat. I only really get it when I need to upgrade something.
I have noticed that it seems smaller and lower than I remember (I am a lot older too), but it is still comfortable and it handles like it was on rails even without factory anti-sway bars.
My wife loves the ride and states that it is not harsh like she expected for a short wheelbase sports car. Tracks very straight and brakes well, even though the master is about to be replaced for a little sponginess.
The injectors unclogged on their own, and it is running very, very well. In fact, I don't even care about the money I have already spent or I am about to spend. This thing rocks!!! I feel like it is twenty+ years ago after I got the first one. Free revs to 7000 rpm at will. With a free flow air filter and exhaust, it is a blast to drive. The intake and exhaust notes are marvelous.
My last one got 35MPG. Don't know about this one as the gas sender is bad, and I just put in about 3 to 4 gallons of gas every time I drive about 100 miles. I smile all of the time while I am driving this thing, and virtually every time I take it out, I get massive amounts of attention and offers to buy it. Even a bad day is a good day when I'm driving this car.
I just bought an Alfa Romeo Spider so I can let my wife drive it, so I can get this one back.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th December, 2009