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Fiat X1/9 1300 and 1500 (1972 - 1989)

Last updated 20 March 2013

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
were produced
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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. 

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