Sharp Lines, Sharp Cornering. Project X1/9 sounds as spectacular as the razor sharp design Bertone whipped up for Fiats new sports car to be introduced early 1972. An innovative concept with futuristic design coming from the Autobianchi Runabout concept car delivering a very special little Fiat sports car with an enormous ‘fun factor’. We don’t see them on the road all that much these days, which is a pity, since the design is still very refreshing and a ‘tad’ different than most of the other cars.
Dick is a genuine Fiat fanatic. He transferred the virus to his son Martijn as well. No football, instead they shared ‘shed time’ tinkering on Fiat’s. Thats how things were back in the days in their home town Dongen. Not that all that much has changed since then, except these days Martijn sometimes tutors his dad. A communal passion for a specific make, together smitten by the eccentric and characteristic Fiat X1/9, sharing the fun of driving Bertone’s razor sharp lined little sports car. A beautiful father son relationship with the Fiat being the connecting element.
Although a lot of time, care and attention went into the introduction of the Fiat X1/9, they didn’t put in the effort to come up with another name for the new model. As such it became the car where the projects codename was to be on the cover of the sales leaflet. Looks great if you ask me, but it’s not very clear for those who aren’t initiated in the history of the model and might have some questions about the uncharacteristic model name. Nobody really knows how to pronounce it. I think it fits the character of the car. Either people love it, or they hate it. Character with a capital C.
How a ‘non original’ car became very original is something Martijn can tell you everything about. His white X1/9 is a beautiful creation of all the strong points from the available versions of Fiat’s little sports car. Made at his measure and wishes. Optical and technically highly tuned. Father Dick thought him all the fine tricks of tinkering, restoring and modifying.
By now progress has brought them to the point where the father learns from the son. Dick’s black X1/9 was supposed to stay in factory spec. The results of the modifications to Martijns car however were so impressive that even Dick succumbed. Today his Fiat has become a bit faster and sportier to keep up with his son during their little trips.
The car was produced form 1972 up until 1989. In 1982 the Fiat label was replaced by a Bertone one. The long production stretch proves how futuristic the late sixties design actually was. A production span of almost twenty years with a final run sold as ‘Gran Finales’ is quite the achievement. Dick and Martijn are true adepts of the model and that shows. Enjoy the story of this characteristic little car and the way father and son share their knowledge on the subject!