Between them, Fiat and Bertone churned out somewhere in the region of 170,000 examples between 1972 and 1989 (a fair chunk of which were UK-spec right-hook models) and yet a trawl through the online classifieds (and not just those on PH) turned up just six examples currently for sale in the UK.
By way of contrast, 115,000 Jaguar XJS coupes - a car with an equally flaky reputation - found their way out of Browns Lane between 1975 and 1996, and there are 30 of those for sale in the PistonHeads classifieds alone.
It's probably not hugely unfair, therefore, to expect any X1/9 (should you even be able to find one) to be a rusty, unreliable mess. And yet...there is a certain glamour to it, a Latin flair that all the best Italian sports cars possess. Drive me, it says, and you'll have fun. Girls will like you, even if you have a sudden urge to wear long jumpers over your shoulder, put on a pair of big shades and say 'ciao' a lot. Forget the rust and unreliability - the X1/9 is an opportunity to own a slice of what made the Lamborghini Miura or 246 Dino so cool. For pennies (well, £600).
This particular X1/9 is one of the 'Gran Finale' run-out specials, which was essentially identical to the 1988/89 'SE' model, but got a rear spoiler some Gran Finale badges. By this time, the X1/9's engine had grown from 1290cc to 1498cc and power was a heady 85bhp with torque rated at 87lb ft. It wasn't quick, but the 914kg X1/9 could at least hit 60mph in a relatively brisk 10.4sec on the way to a 112mph top speed.
So yes, it's a bit tatty, but it's got tax and ticket, was designed by the man who also drew the Lamborghini Diablo, and shares its paintwork with a rare Volvo. Oh, and the rust issue is apparently not yet out of control - what more could you want for £600?
(Thanks to SimonSaid for the paint-geek fact!)
Advert is reproduced below:
Fiat X1/9 'Gran Finale', 88,000 miles, £600
For sale my Fiat X1/9 Gran Finale. I put it up for sale last year with some interest but did not sell in the end. Genuine reason for sale, I am going to Australia for a year in 3 weeks, hence have dropped the price really low. I'll go through the good and bad points so no one contacts me only to disappointed by something.
First the Bad:
Some rusting, worst on the right rear arch, and on the top of the roll bar just below where water drips off the back of the roof. There are a few other small spots but nothing that could not be dealt with by a home mechanic.
Instrument panel lights do not work, Ok at night this could be annoying, but I've never found it too much of a problem myself.
Exhaust is rattling and may need welding.
Driver's seat has now come away at the seam, I'm considering fixing this myself however.
MOT passed in April, so obviously the car is structurally sound, and the only thing the car failed on was missing split pins on the locking plates on the brakes, which I had removed myself and forgot to put back in.
All electrics apart from the instrument panel lights in good working order, including the headlights which actually pop up and down always!
Interior aside from the drivers seat mentioned, is all tidy and clean.
Comes with spare wheel Carpets in both boots
K & N filter fitted
New calliper fitted on O/S back
If there is anything I have not covered here please feel free to email me. The car does have tax, valid until March 2010. Also the mileage is around 88,000 Cheers!