Classic Cars for Sale on Car and Classic UK.


1988 Fiat X19 Bertone 1500 Targa, 25,770 £££ spent For Sale

his advert is for a Rare (solid not the usual rot box) 1987 Fiat X1/9 1500 CONVERTIBLE Sports finished in red.

We have the V5 in our name which states Manufactured 1987 and UK registered 07/09/1988, not unusual back then.

Nice colour matching gear stick cover and sports steering wheel

Showing 25,749 miles only although we cannot warrant this it all looks correct.

Recent barn find with £££ spent on her to get her back into good working order again.

1500cc engine, 5 speed gearbox, clutch, tyres, brakes, electric windows & sports exhaust in good working order.

The Fiat has been off the road since 1997 until we purchased it earlier this year, we believe the car must have been kept in a dry place as the car is amazingly rust free!

The car has been resprayed at some time in it's life in the original colour looks good.

The interior & fabric of the car is in good condition for its age however there are two small holes (smaller than a 5p coin size) on the drivers seat which can be seen in the attached photographs.

** Loads of £££ Spent ***

We carried out the following works on this vehicle:

> Fan & Cam belt
> Top end gasket kit/set
> Head resurfaced, skimmed & rebuilt
> New radiator cap
> New water pump
> New brake fluid reservoir
> Brakes bled and new fluid
> New headlights
> Replacement upgraded 4 pin headlight switch
> Special antifreeze
> New Speedometer cables
> New Coil pack
> New Spark Plugs
> New Spark plug leads
> New fuel filter
> New light diodes fitted to fix headlight up and down fault
> New indicator relay
> New driveshaft gaiter

The hard top roof of the X1/9 can be removed to make it into a convertible.

The vehicle has had the following work carried out by us, parts costs only below:
09/10/2019 Bennetts Firstline Radiator Cap -
04/09/2019 X19 Spares Fiat X1/9 Water Pump & X1/9 Thermostat -
09/09/2019 Thurston Reface of Cylinder head -
17/09/2019 Amazon New Fiat X1/9 Head Gasket & drive belt -
20/08/2019 DG Rally Fiat X1/9 Cam Belt & head gasket bolt set -
02/08/2019 X19 Spares Front Headlight Set -
02/06/2019 Amazon Paraflu Up Concentrated Antifreeze Solution -
03/06/2019 Amazon 2x Comma BF41L brake and clutch fluid -
03/06/2019 Amazon Fiat X1/9 Ignition lead set -
03/06/2019 DG Rally New Tandem chamber brake fluid reservoir pot kit -
03/06/2019 DG Rally Set of 4 spark plugs -
03/07/2019 Alt Autoparts New Speedo Cable -
27/11/2019 Bennetts Driveshaft gaiter-
29/11/2019 Vintec New M.O.T

Other bits carried out but not invoiced for: repair of headlight switch, replacement of cabling to the drivers side light, diode replacement on Passenger side front light, replacement of two electronic relays & indicator relay.

HPI check certificate present showing clear of finance, accident, mileage discrepancy etc.

Good registration number if your name's ELLIE!


1972, and the production X1/9 burst onto the scene, and for a while at least, looked like it was capable of reshaping the sports car market in its image. Distinguished by its wedgy Marcello Gandini-penned body, it was a state-of-the-art technical package.

The X1/9 was designed to use the Fiat 128's drivetrain in a radical way. Moving the power pack and suspension sub-assembly from the front of the 128 to the rear of the X1/9 resulted in a supercar-aping, mid-engined layout. It was also a devilishly clever piece of engineering, because in retaining a roll-over structure, super-stiff body, and targa-top, it was immune a blanket ban on convertibles - a very real possibility in the USA at the time.

The pop-up headlamps and a targa top may have suggested performance, but the original production version's 75hp 1,290cc alloy-headed engine was overwhelmed by the weight of the massively strong bodyshell. All too soon, the pretty X1/9 became known as a car for poseurs - those more concerned with how their car looked, not its performance. And that's a shame, because the X1/9 was (and is) a great little driver's car.

So why didn't the X1/9 change the world? Why aren't we all now driving newer versions of this lovely little car? It's a story of instant stardom, and fading glory - after a glowing launch and fast early sales, Fiat didn't invest in the X1/9, failing to develop it usefully, and not allowing it to compete with newer, more powerful cars as the years passed. There should have been a bigger 2.0-litre brother, too - the X1/20. But near launch, it was re-purposed as the Lancia Montecarlo.

In fact, when the beefed-up 85hp 1.5-litre Strada engine was fitted in 1978, that effectively heralded the end of the X1/9's development. Tragic, considering that it would be around for another decade. Adding insult to injury, ugly, USA-specification safety bumpers replaced the original car's super-slim blades were fitted at the '78 facelift. The X1/9 wasn't the only car to suffer this fate, but it was probably the most adversely affected, because those chunky pieces of angle-iron scarred the once-pretty little X1/9 for the rest of its life.

But at least the X1/9 1500 went a bit quicker. The 0-60mph time dropped from 13 to 10.5 seconds, while maximum speed was now 108mph - but in the era of the Volkswagen Golf GTI, this was no longer enough to attract young buyers looking for cheap and accessable thrills. After all, you could specify your hot hatch with a sunroof if wind-in-the-hair really mattered.

Italian style pedigree never in any doubt

And inevitably, from that point on, Fiat X1/9 buyers melted away. Without sales, there was no money for improvement, and without improvement, the sales fell further. Fiat lost interest in 1982, and the car's production and marketing was overseen by Bertone, which maintained X1/9 production until 1989.

Today, the X1/9 has largely shaken off its poseur image, but the spectre of rust and flaky Italian electrics remain - long after more determined owners have made their cars reliable. A quick scan of the classified will reveal that even the best examples out there come in for less than £5,000, while if you're feeling brave, and are handy with a MiG welder, you can get a thoroughly saveable example from £500. Heck, we've even had one as a Shed Of The Week! Is it worth the effort? Absolutely. Driving one should convince you of that.

Buckle up

Tall drivers might need to look away now, though. It's low, and like a Lotus Elise, you need to be nimble to get into an X1/9 while maintaining any pretence of elegance. The driving position isn't as bad as detractors would have you believe, but there is an odd relationship between the non-adjustable wheel and the miniature pedals - you get one right, and you're compromised on the other. In the end, most will just compromise, legs bent; steering wheel, a tad too much stretch away.

But now you're in, enjoy a feeling of oneness. You're reclined and snug, grasping a fat-rimmed wheel, and fingering a strange cuboid gear knob. The instruments are weirdly calibrated, the needles sweep the wrong way, and they're housed in a dash-top pod that looks like a plastic lunchbox. But don't fret - it really does all gel together quite nicely, especially in our chocolate and caramel themed example.

Once underway, forget those pedestrian performance figures. The X1/9 tingles and buzzes beautifully. With your rear seemingly millimetres from the ground, at pretty much any speed you feel like you're skimming along like an Excocet missile. The 1,485cc engine delivers oodles of low-end torque, but short gearing means you'll end up revving it a lot as well - which is a good thing, as like pretty much all Italian engines from this era, it sounds brilliant, both meaty and smooth.

Then there's the handling. Much has been made of the X1/9's knife-edge dynamics. And there's some truth in that - in the wet, its short wheelbase, fast steering, and rearward weight bias means you do have to take care, constantly remembering the old slow-in/fast-out mantra while tip-toeing under braking. But like the old 205 GTI lift-off oversteer legend, good, modern tyres have done much to quell the X1/9's ills. In the hands of a sympathetic driver, it has surprisingly high limits.

Because you're riding on chunky 175 / 70 R13s with nice flexible sidewalls, there should be more than enough feel to warn you of an impending slide. It's not a car you can drift easily, but one that you'll take a great deal of pleasure from in rolling along at your own pace - constantly feeling your way, and remaining just a touch under its limits.

History is about to come full circle as, under Alfa Romeo, the Fiat group prepares to launch another pretty little sports car based on a similar layout of a mid-mounted powertrain adapted from a front-driven hatch. Like the X1/9, the 4C brings the exotic to a relatively mainstream price. But if you can't stretch to the £45K ticket the the X1/9 is a mid-engined Italian classic that you can pick up for the price of a modest family holiday. With a whiff of the exotic, and a frisson of danger that no other car of its type can emulate, it's a pint-sized PH hero at Shed money.

FIAT X1/9 1500

Engine: 1,498cc 4-cyl

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Power (hp): 85 6,000rpm

Torque (lb ft): 87 3,200rpm

0-60mph: 10.8 sec

Top speed: 110mph

Weight: 920kg

On sale: 1972-1989

If you have any questions please contact us.
Price £4995 Or near offer
Ad Type For Sale
Category Classic Cars
Make Fiat
Model X19
  X19 1500 Bertone Targa
Year 1988
Mileage 25,770 miles
Country UK
Region Essex
Town Brentwood
Telephone 07770 364455
Status Private
Date 14-Feb-2020
Ref C1181361
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