Special meeting in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Fiat X1/9
The striking Fiat X 1/9 Bertone celebrates its 40th anniversary. Of course the fans of Italian cars celebrate this extensively at an international meeting in Turin. The X 1/9 is built in Grugliaso from 1972 till 1989. This targa is really a special model in relation to the history of Fiat, this also explains why the car has become a true style icon. Most of the owners bought the car when it was new and always cherished it. A part of Fiat history in a remarkable car.
The link with the Lancia Stratos by Bertone has always been there. The Fiat X 1/9 was based on the futuristic ‘Runabout’ prototype, which was developed for Autobianchi in 1969.
The typical seventies design by Marcello Gandini was based on the platform of the Fiat 128. A remarkable fact is the development of the X 1/9, the car was developed as a prototype, but later the car is produced (that also explains the rather odd name). When Agnelli visited the Bertone factory (nowadays they produce Maserati’s), he saw a dust covered ‘mockup’ of the Autobianchi in a corner of the factory. Agnelli liked this relatively wild design and the rest is history. Despite of the crisis there was a lot invested in the car. The X 1/9 had after the investments not much resemblance to the front wheel drive 128, the X 1/9 had RWD and was mid-engined powered. Developing the front suspension and the internal crash components of the car was made possible by using Lancia parts (they produced the Stratos at that time). The friendly Fiat was often called ‘A poor mans Stratos’, which fitted its existence. At the end of the production a total of 170,000 cars have been produced. Placed in context the X 1/9 is the successor of the Fiat 850 Spider and the predecessor of the Barchetta.
In reality the car has a unique position at Fiat, just like the Duetto at Alfa Romeo. We only can imagine how a revival of this car under the Abart brand would generate of lot of buyers attention. In Turin this option is currently investigated. A basic starting point could be the 4C, which is currently prepared for production in cooperation between Dallara and Alfa Romeo. And now we also have the final link to the whole picture, Dallara once developed powerful cars based on the X 1/9 to compete in the FIA group 5 rally championship from 1973 till 1978.
Last month owners of the Fiat X 1/9 got together, they were invited by the Club X1/9 Italia. The drivers came out of Italy, France, Germany, Great Brittan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Hungary, Denmark, Austria, Poland and Norway. One of the highlights was the presentation of the cars on the test track of the Mirafiori factory (first photo).