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No Reserve Driver: 1987 Bertone X1/9

While production of the Bertone X1/9 continued on into 1989, imports of the little Italian classic into the USA ended in 1987. This particular car is from that last import year, and it appears to be in exceptional condition. It is located in Newport Beach, California, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding is currently sitting at $4,300, and it has been listed in a No Reserve auction.

The presentation of the Bertone is extremely impressive. The original factory Red paint has a nice shine to it, and the owner states that the car is clean, with absolutely no rust issues. The fantastic Speedline “phone dial” wheels have recently been polished and clear-coated and set off really nicely against the red paint. The car has been fitted with aftermarket fog lights, but the owner says that these can easily be removed if they aren’t to the new owner’s taste.

The interior of an X1/9 can be one of the fragile areas of the car, and they generally don’t age particularly well. This one is an exception, and it is in nearly flawless condition. There is an aftermarket radio/cassette player fitted to the car. While it might be period correct, it does look a bit cumbersome and out of place. I would be inclined to see if I could locate something a bit more appropriate to replace it. The glovebox also sticks, but that really does seem to be it for faults. The upholstery on the seats and doors all appears to be in first-class condition, as does the leather-bound steering wheel. You don’t get the luxury of air conditioning with this car, but you do get power windows.

When the X1/9 was originally released, the world of the mid-engined sports car was largely occupied by cars from Ferrari and Lamborghini. Fiat happened along with an affordable version and gained universal praise for the ride and handling of the car. That never changed throughout the car’s production life, and numerous mechanical upgrades still ensured the owner had an enjoyable driving experience. This X1/9 features the original fuel injected 1,498cc engine, that sends its 75hp to the rear wheels via a 5-speed manual transmission. Engine power may not sound overwhelming, but it provided sufficient power to make the 2,200lb X1/9 a fun thing to drive. This one is said to be in good mechanical health and has recently had a long list of work performed on the cooling and fuel systems, along with all new fluids, a full inspection, and new tires. The owner says that the car runs and drives really well and that the clutch and transmission are flawless.

For the person who is hunting for an affordable mid-engined classic sports car, this Bertone X1/9 looks like a really strong candidate. It is a car that has managed to avoid the ravages of rust, and it is remarkably well preserved. It is ready to drive and enjoy, and that sounds like no bad thing as the weather begins to take a turn for the better. Prices on these have remained relatively flat over the past 3-years or so. Without a crystal ball, I really can’t tell you what this one will finally sell for. What I will say is that if you could secure this particular car for under $10,000, then that would represent one pretty good buy.


  1. Nevada1/2rack Nevadahalfrack Member

    These are a very different (better) looking machine with the Euro bumpers, and with a hotter motor of some kind (no, NOT a candidate for a SBC🙄) were a blast especially in the twisties.

    Like 1
    • Steve S

      My cousin had a gold 79 x1/9 back when I was a kid up until I was in my 20s. The only thing that was wrong with the body was a dent at the rear of the car and the engine needed rebuilt but he never could get the time to rebuild the engine. Then he ended up selling the car as a rolling chassis and the engine went with the car and everything was numbers matching. I don’t know how much he sold the car for and I wish I had a picture of it to show

      Like 0
  2. Srt8

    The 1/9 must be the scale

    Like 1
  3. PairsNPaint

    Had a ’74.
    When it was real quiet in the garage you could hear it rusting. Not sure about the seller’s claim of original paint – I believe the engine cover was never offered in body color, only matte black as was the roof panel, and the rubber inserts along the body sides don’t belong there, but I could be wrong.

    Like 0
    • RITON

      This car had a respray looking at
      1) the engine compartment : overspray on a hose on the RHS.
      2) Door jambs : overspray everywhere on the weather stripping
      3) Front boot : overspray everwhere on the wipers mechanisms
      Etc…what a poor job. If everything was done thinking that way, I’d steer away.

      The seller says : “The paint is nearly flawless and is just as nice in person as in the photos.”
      Oh, well…nearly flawless…as nice in person as in the photos…

      Drove on of those (in France : EU version) 1.5L but with carb. Nice sounding engine, but overtaking was a problem even going from 5th to 4th gear. Underpowered. Some guys here in Europe put the Fiat Uno Turbo ie engine in it : then it is FAST!

      Like 0
    • t-bone Bob

      The later Bertones all had body colored engine covers. Don’t know when they made that change though. But, ’87s definitely had it

      Like 0
  4. Victor Anderson

    I’ve had/have 14 of these little suckers. They’re not very fast, however they are one of the funnest cars to drive you can get your hands on. Once you’ve had a LOT of practice and master the little mid-engine car, not much can keep up with you on the twisty roads. This particular one looks like a gem. Wish I had some money I’d pick this one up.

    Like 2
  5. U.K. Paul 🇬🇧

    Looks in great shape!

    Like 1
  6. Miguel

    I had one once. I don’t want another one.

    On a different note, being that this car is an ’87, I would like to know why it doesn’t have a third brake light. Were all Fiats exempt from that rule?

    Like 0
  7. BCWindsor

    I had an ’83 from ’84 to ’87 while in college. Same red but in those years the roof and engine cover were black. I’d say this is repainted too. That red paint faded fast in the sun. Bumpers were natural aluminum with black trims. I thought the front well had a weather strip seal all the way around the top seam but I may be misremembering. Different shifter too. I mounted amber fog lights in the same position. Auxiliary lights were popular back then. I had a lot of fun with that little car! Wish I could have kept it all these years but I traded it for a Jeep in ’87 when I moved to Buffalo NY.

    This one is a nice car! Seeing it brings back a lot of memories!! I sat in one again a few years ago. It felt like putting on comfortable old jeans and shirt after not being worn for years. Everything just fit just right! Perfectly comfortable. And “like riding a bike” I knew right where everything was even without looking.

    While this isn’t a perfect X, if it was local I’d seriously consider it.

    Like 0

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