Conceived by Bertone and introduced in 1972, the FIAT X1/9 was the world's first really successful mass-produced mid-engined sportscar. Of unitary construction, the X1/9 boasted all-round independent suspension by McPherson struts, and four-wheel disc brakes. Mounted transversely, the 1.3-litre engine was sourced from the FIAT 128 Rally and transmitted its 75bhp via an integral four-speed gearbox. The superb chassis obviously deserved greater power, which materialised in 1978 with the 2nd Series using the Ritmo Strada's 1,498cc engine and five-speed gearbox. Now with 85bhp available, the X1/9 could top 110mph and reach 60mph in under 11 seconds.
The X1/9 on offer was acquired for this collection from a private gentleman in New York. As with other cars from this group, it was acquired for its originality and authenticity, having covered a mere 55,000 miles from new and it retained its original interior and most of the interesting detail these 'pocket rockets' were known for. One thing it didn't have was a two tone paint scheme, and having always preferred this look for these cars, the owners elected to repaint the lower half to provide the look it has today. This guise matches the interior well and heightens the angular nature of the car.
On recent inspection, the car was driven and showed itself to be extremely spritely and surprisingly fast. These Bertone built cars were only imported to the States in 1981 and 1982, making them exceedingly rare on this side of the Atlantic. In its period livery and with original jack and tools, this is a great example.