Junkyard Find: 1978 Fiat X1/9

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1978 fiat x1 9

We had an orange ’78 X1/9 Junkyard Find yesterday, so let’s stay in the Microsoft Windows Hot Dog Stand color range and follow up that Fiat with another ’78. This car is also a Denver find, though not at the same junkyard as the orange car.

Yes, Fiat USA advertised the X1/9 on television. Then they split the country a bit later, leaving these cars to be marketed as Bertones by Malcolm “Yugo King” Bricklin.

Can’t open the trunk? Mr. Smooth took matters into his own hands here.

This one has the look of a car that hasn’t run since Reagan was in the White House, but the engine appears unmolested.

Critters have made a comfy-looking nest inside.

I think an X1/9 would make a good first project car for a teenager these days— it’s a cool old sports car that’s fun to drive, parts are easy to find, and an Alfa 164 engine swap makes them very quick.

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4 of 44 comments
  • CAMeyer CAMeyer on Aug 03, 2013

    Before contemplating some of the modifications discussed above, please refer to this cautionary, if fictitious, incident: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JATO_Rocket_Car

  • NoGoYo NoGoYo on Aug 03, 2013

    You know what Murilee needs to find now? A Fiero. I still see a decent number NOT in junkyards, but surely there are plenty that have ended up there.

    • See 1 previous
    • NoGoYo NoGoYo on Aug 04, 2013

      @-Nate I've always liked the Fiero, I own a 1:18 scale Fiero GT, but I feel like Murilee and Crabspirits could say some amusing things about it.

  • Jeff S Some of us don't care either way we are not into this type of car. Most of these will be stored in garages waiting for their value to go up. As someone above noted this is an old body style which is retro 70s Challenger which after researching it came out in the 2008 MY which means a long run for a model that is in its 16th year. I have always liked these but if I bought one I would not spend this kind of money on one probably get the V-6 version and use it as a family car but then I am not into drag racing or muscle cars. For the type of car it is it has a decent rear seat and not too bad of a trunk. Most of us are not going to spend 100k for any vehicle at least currently so its not something most of us will buy and stick in a garage waiting for its value to increase. I am glad that these editions came out for those who can afford them and it keeps a little more color into what has become a very dull vehicle market but then with age I pick the dull appliance like reliable vehicle because that's what I need. Impressive car but not for me.
  • Jonathan The Germans. So organized they can appear disorganized. I agree with some others, classic names like Thunderbird, Imperial, Grand Prix, Ambassador etc. just have more appeal.
  • Bobbysirhan A friend had one when they first came out. He was CFO of some green California company and could charge the Volt at work. At home, the PHEV gave him an excuse to make his wife park her nicer car outdoors while the Volt get their condo's one-car garage. He liked the Volt, and he spent very little on energy during the 'first one's free!' era of EV ownership. Of course, the green company went bust soon after, and he wound up with a job that involved far more driving and ultimately the need for a more substantial car. I drove the Volt once after his wife had made a return trip to Los Angeles, depleting the battery. I don't know what a first gen Volt drives like with a charged battery, but it was really gutless with two adults, a yellow lab, and a dead battery. My other memory of it was that it had a really cramped back seat for a car that was about as large as a Civic. My friend who bought it liked it though, and that's not always been the case for GM vehicles.
  • MrIcky I think the Shakedown is more my speed of the last call editions- but this is impressive.
  • Dukeisduke I tried watching the live reveal last night, but after 15 minutes of jawing by MT+ personalities (and yes, I like Chris Jacobs and Alex Taylor), I turned it off.