Fiat X1/9 1300 and 1500 (1972 – 1989) Review

Fiat X1/9 1300 and 1500 (1972 – 1989) At A Glance


+Go kart style handling, sharp-wedgy looks, a real miniature supercar for not much money at all

-Cramped for tall people, fragile interiors, crusty bodies and flakey electrics

The Fiat X1/9 has an awful lot going for it as an inexpensive wind-in-the-hair fun car. So it seems unfair that, they're still unloved in the trade. But that does mean you can pick a good one up for not much money. Although the X1/9 was launched in Europe in 1972, the UK had to wait five years before right-hand-drive examples became available.

Those early cars had 1.3-litre engines and four-speed gearboxes, and were considered somewhat underpowered compared with rivals such as the Triumph TR7. But the X1/9 had balance, poise and style that British sports car buyers could only dream about.

Everyone who drove an X1/9 1300 felt that it was crying out for more power, though. It had the looks of a 308GT4 or Urraco, with road manners to match, yet struggled to crack 100mph. The answers to many of these criticisms came in 1978, when the X1/9 received an uprated 1.5-litre engine and five-speed gearbox. Sadly, it also gained US-spec impact absorbing bumpers that took away a great deal of the original car's delicate style. 

Ask Honest John

Why is my Fiat X1/9 not tax exempt?

"I own a Fiat X19 which is SORN at the moment while I make repairs. The car was made in 1984 but I was told by the DVLA that since it was not registered in this country until 1989 ( it was used in Jersey for the 5 years previous) it will not be eligible for tax exemption until 2029, is this true and why? it is still a 40 year old car. "
The Government's website regarding tax exemption for classic vehicles states that the vehicle build date is the qualifying factor, so vehicles built before January 1st 1984 become tax exempt from 1st April 2024, so we would expect your car to be eligible for exemption in April 2025. This error may have occurred due to the information shown on the V5/C, which only shows the date of first registration rather than the date of build. We would suggest making another application to the DVLA and enclose any evidence you have for the date of manufacturer.
Answered by David Ross

How much is my 1989 Fiat X19 worth?

"I own a 1989 Fiat X19 in very good condition. Known as' limited edition'. Could you give me an idea of value?"
Obviously we can never provide a valuation for a specific car, but we can give you an idea of price. Projects in need of TLC but perhaps with an MoT are about £750, a good runner is about £2000-£3000, while an outstanding example would be on a dealer's forecourt for about £4500-£5500. The best thing to do is to have a look in the classifieds and try and find an equivalent car and price it accordingly. Alternatively, if you need a valuation for insurance purposes, the club will be able to help.
Answered by Keith Moody

Bought an unsafe classic - what should I do?

"I recently bought a Fiat X1/9 from a classic car auction. Although described as "serviced and MOT'd", I've found it to be unsafe. I went to the small claims court naming the guy on the V5, but he says he has proof that he sold the car to a guy from a garage. Neither of them informed the DVLA. The garage are distancing themselves from the buyer, saying that he doesn't work for them. Who do I take to court?"
If the auction firm will not reveal the true vendor, you get a court order made out to them to reveal the name and address of who they paid the money to because he was the vendor of the car via the auction.
Answered by Honest John

Classic car crash claim - how can I prevent a write-off?

"My neighbour has been involved in a car crash (not responsible). Someone hit the side of her Fiat X1/9 sports car. It was in excellent condition, but she now fears that they may write off her car. What are her rights in respect of getting the responsible party to repair her car to the condition it was before the accident?"
Speak to Tim Kelly at
Answered by Honest John
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