1974 Fiat X1/9 LQQK!!

Price: - Item location: Moorpark, California, United States
  • Make: Fiat
  • Model: X1/9
  • Type: Convertible
  • Year: 1974
  • Mileage: 79,100
  • VIN: 128AS0020546
  • Color: Green
  • Engine size: 1300
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Interior color: Black
  • Drive side: Left-hand drive
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1974 Fiat X1/9

1974 Fiat X1/9. In the hierarchy of the X1/9 world, the first-year model (first in the U.S. at least) sits at the top for many enthusiasts. Color code 358 pushes it to the pinnacle. I am partial to the color, but it elicits a love it or hate it reaction – not many are in the middle. 358 was chosen by the designer, the Fiat marketing gurus, and their ad agency as the one to feature for their brochure shoot, auto show displays, and all other launch activities. Vehicle manufactures go to great lengths to find just the right combination to put their creations in the best light possible, and 358 was their choice for the X1/9. The first-year car is a little different from the rest that followed. The introduction was essentially the European version with some very subtle changes to keep the Feds happy. They are most easily identified by the dainty bumper arrangement and the unique rear lower valance. The 1975 model year has a redesigned valance with removable grille and the addition of a bumper arrangement that was far less attractive, as well as some other minor changes. Sitting both side-by-side, the difference is visually significant and clear even to the casual observer. Estimates put the ’74 U.S. sales total at around 20,000 units. Stout sales for a specialized sports car, but small in terms of number of vehicles. With a low initial number and considering the ones lost to accident, abuse, attrition, and the propensity to be eaten alive by the tin worm, survivors are understandably far and few between 44 years later.
When I first acquired this car, I was drawn to it because it was advertised as “virtually rust free”. That turned out to be the case, but virtually is not quite the same as rust free. Having had more than a few of these over the years, a quick removal of the rear trunk tray revealed what every ’74 I’ve run across has had without exception; a rotted out lower trunk floor. The original design sandwiched the upper and lower floors between a layer of what is best described as attic insulation to shield the trunk from the heat of the exhaust system mounted right below it. Thermal cycling, moisture, and the insulation acting as a sponge eventually takes its toll on many of these, but the ‘74s are particularly vulnerable. Some speculate its due to the enclosed rear valance. The lower floor is non-structural, but still not a good idea to let rot progress unchecked. The floor was removed and a new panel welded in place. It was seam sealed, shot with 2K primer, finished with the correct paint, and the floor was lined with 1700 degree aluminized catalytic converter shielding. A more modern alternative that eliminates the limitations of the insulation originally employed for the job. The repair should outlive the car. That took care of the car’s major rust issue, but is it now 100% rust free? I would have to still say that a 44-year-old Fiat falls into the category of virtually rust free. I haven’t found anything else, but I’d be hesitant to go out on that limb as there can always be something hiding somewhere on any classic car, but this one appears about as good as it gets including the dreaded battery box floor which in many of these cars have suffered the effects of acid corrosion .
Mechanically the car’s performance is remarkable, and is in turn-key condition. The engine comes to life with a twist of the key and settles into a smooth idle. There are no knocks, smoke, or other issues. The timing belt was just changed in May of this year. The 1300 engine is an interference design, so its important to make sure the belt is up to the task. The choke cable was replaced and operates correctly. The car drives perfectly from dead cold. The engine runs cool even during extended periods of idling and just the other day it had no issues when the mercury topped 105 degrees. The transmission shifts well, but it should be shifted gently until fully warmed up. The 2nd to 3rd syncros in the 4 speed are sometimes notchy, but it works fine after the fluid is warmed to operating temperature. The fluid should probably be upgraded to Redline MTL, but I’ll leave that to the new caretaker. The suspension and steering are tight and operate as they should. The brakes stop well with no unusual noise or pulsation. The current mileage shows just over 79,000 miles. I have no way to documents if that is actual, but the prior title shows a progression that makes me think there is a better than average chance it is. This invariably brings up the question; can I fly in and drive it home to New York, Texas, etc.? Sure, if you buy it you can do whatever you’d like, but I wouldn’t recommend it. If you are local and want to make a 2 to 3-hour road trip, it should be fine. It might make it without incident cross-country, but if anything fails the problem is the local Pep Boys or Auto Zone will unlikely stock whatever you might need, and you may be in for a delay, but the final decision is of course yours to make.
The paint looks nicer than your average driver. It’s not show quality, but shows very well. The interior while not perfect, looks far above average as well. The dash sports a couple of obligatory cracks, but a custom top cover conceals most of it well. The gauge cluster was fitted with a new clear acrylic cover, as almost all the early cars had their original cover “cloud” so badly you couldn’t see the gauges. The seat covers, carpeting, and door panels look to have been replaced sometime in the near past, and while to door panels have speakers present there is no radio fitted. The cooling system fan has been wired for manual operation via a hidden dash toggle switch. I don’t have much faith in the automatic sensor originally fitted, but if you would like to try your luck I am including a new radiator sensor. The tires and battery are recent, but the Cromodora -CD-91 wheels are obviously from a later model and not original to the car.

The occasional '74 project car does come up for sale - not often, but it does happen. The ones I've seen recently are garage/barn finds that have sat for the past 20-30 years. They usually don't run and need everything. Additionally, the asking prices have been significant. These are great if you want to build a car exactly how you want it, but the X1/9 does not have removable front sheet metal, and has a lot of hidden compartments (headlight access, spar tire, etc.) that make them very difficult to paint. It's nothing that can't be done but it is expensive. Interior bits can also be found, but again they are very costly. When you add-up the actual costs for cosmetics, mechanicals, and the cost of acquiring the car, the end result will far exceed the value that you can reasonably expect to recover. This car is something that can be driven and enjoyed now. While it may not have everything a buyer would do if they built a project from the ground up, you won't be dreaming of driving it for an untold number of years while a proper restoration is carried out.
I’m sure I haven’t covered everything, so please ask any and all questions by hitting the contact seller link. As with all the older classics, they are rarely ever perfect, and something always pops-up that needs attention, but this example is well sorted, and just an honest example that has been priced accordingly. I wouldn’t classify this one as a full restoration, but I think some areas like the paint and interior has been refreshed, while the suspension, steering, etc. has been cared for with whatever replacement parts were required. Please remember, this car is 44 YEARS OLD - this example is very nice, but it is NOT a brand new car.

Study the pictures carefully and ASK ALL YOUR QUESTIONS prior to bidding. This comes with a CLEAN / CLEAR CALIFORNIA TITLE IN MY NAME, and the title matches the VIN plate in the door jamb, the windshield, and is stamped on the inside of the front trunk sheet metal, and as California buyers know, IT IS SMOG EXEMPT.
All transportation arrangements whether by carrier or any other means are the responsibility of the buyer. I will do everything on my end to assist your carrier in meeting their scheduling issues. For any overseas buyers, the car is approximately an hour from the Port of Los Angeles and should not present any problem for your broker to arrange easy transport and shipping to your location.
A $500.00 deposit is required via Paypal immediately. Failure to post the deposit as indicated will lead to sale cancellation. The balance is payable in cash, or wire transfer within 3 days of auction close. Vehicle needs to be picked upwithin 2 weeksof auction close. All funds must clear my bank before the vehicle leaves without exception. Should go without saying but….the vehicle is sold AS IS, WHERE IS, and is WITHOUT WARRANTY of ANY kind. Only you can determine if it is suited for your intended use, and there are no returns or refunds under any circumstances. You buy it, you own it.
Thanks for taking a look!