The Truth About Cars » Bertone X1/9 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 26 Sep 2014 14:00:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Bertone X1/9 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1986 Bertone X1/9 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/junkyard-find-1986-bertone-x19/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/junkyard-find-1986-bertone-x19/#comments Fri, 21 Jun 2013 13:00:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=492834 Now here’s a car that represents a weird little corner of automotive history— one of Malcolm Bricklin’s many moneymaking schemes. A few years before Bricklin started importing Yugos, but after he started importing Subaru 360s, he took a shot at bringing Fiats into the United States after Fiat fled the market in 1982. So, for […]

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15 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNow here’s a car that represents a weird little corner of automotive history— one of Malcolm Bricklin’s many moneymaking schemes. A few years before Bricklin started importing Yugos, but after he started importing Subaru 360s, he took a shot at bringing Fiats into the United States after Fiat fled the market in 1982.
05 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSo, for the 1983 through 1987 model years, you could buy X1/9s with Bertone badging (Bertone, after all, designed the X1/9 for Fiat in the first place). At the same time, 124 Sport Spiders were sold in the United States as Pininfarinas.
10 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinFew bought these things, of course, Fiat having established a vivid reputation for unreliability in the minds of American car buyers by that point. But look— this one racked up as many miles as most Hondas and Toyotas of the era!
12 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car is pretty well used up, though the interior isn’t too bad.
18 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI found this car in California, where this sort of body rust indicates that the car spent time parking within a couple of blocks of the ocean.
09 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinLook, it’s Luccio Bertone’s signature on the dash!
07 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinPower windows on an X1/9. No comment.
02 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIn spite of being miserably underpowered, the X1/9 was actually a lot of fun to drive. Even though it was hard-pressed to beat an Iron Duke-powered Chevy Citation in a drag race, the X1/9 felt quick.

02 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1986 Bertone X1_9 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Fiat X1/9 + Alfa Romeo 164 + Plywood = Launcha Splatos http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/fiat-x19-alfa-romeo-164-plywood-launcha-splatos/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/04/fiat-x19-alfa-romeo-164-plywood-launcha-splatos/#comments Wed, 27 Apr 2011 20:23:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=393069 We’ve seen a fair number of outstanding engine swaps in 24 Hours of LeMons racing— the Saab B Turbo-powered 300ZX comes to mind— but most such projects tend to have reliability and/or performance issues in the car-slaughtering arena that is LeMons. At the frozen Campaign To Prevent Gingervitis race a couple weeks back, the much-anticipated […]

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We’ve seen a fair number of outstanding engine swaps in 24 Hours of LeMons racing— the Saab B Turbo-powered 300ZX comes to mind— but most such projects tend to have reliability and/or performance issues in the car-slaughtering arena that is LeMons. At the frozen Campaign To Prevent Gingervitis race a couple weeks back, the much-anticipated radial-engined MR2 ate its drivetrain after a single lap, but there was one outlandishly butchered machine that actually contended for the overall win: the Alfa Romeo quad-cam V6-powered Bertone X1/9 of Team Launcha Splatos.

The team is packed with a bunch of well-known pro Alfa builders and top wheelmen, so the LeMons Supreme Court sweats them mercilessly when they bring their suspiciously quick ’69 Berlina and race-winning GTV6 to a race. “What can we build that will make you happy?” they asked after last fall’s Chicago race. “A replica of a Group B Lancia Stratos, complete with ridiculous engine swap and Alitalia graphics!” we responded. And damn if they didn’t go ahead and do just that, finding an Alfa Romeo 164 as an engine/transmission/front-subframe donor and a Bertone X1/9 for the rest. You see, there’s nothing wrong with an X1/9 that upgrading the horsepower from 75 to 190 can’t fix.

There’s a fairly complete description of the build at Kilometer Magazine, which makes it clear that the Launcha Splatos guys know how to do some serious metal cut-n-pasting. A big gallery of build photos may be found here.

The “headlights” are actually coffee cans with photos of headlight faces glued on the fronts.

The louvers are plywood, and the paint job is all Krylon rattle-can.

Prior to the Splatos, the only cars to have been this heavily modified and still spend a respectable amount of time in the top ten at a LeMons race have been the Honda CBR1000-powered Geo Metro Gnome and the more-or-less-scratchbuilt Model T GT. How good did the Splatos look on the track?

Let’s watch a nail-bitingly close duel between the Rod Blagojevich 500-winning Skid Marks Neon and the Splatos at Gingerman Raceway, from the perspective of the Neon. The Splatos still needs some bugs worked out of the suspension, but it has great power out of the turns. The Neon corners better. Each car has a top-notch driver at the wheel. Nothing passes these two cars during their battle.

Unfortunately, the Splatos still needed some suspension refinement, which meant that it spun out and/or left the track with depressing regularity. After all that time in the Penalty Box, the Launcha finished the race in 29th place, after spending much of the first day’s session in the top three (the Skid Marks Neon, with zero black flags, came in second overall). Next race, we expect to see the Splatos behave itself… and contend all weekend.

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