I'm Neil and I've had my X1/9 since around 2006. It's my second car - the first one was rather short-lived. After a pint too many, I bought my first off ebay, not having seen it. The orange leather seats were irresistible! From memory, it had done over 100K miles, but claimed to have "no rust"! It was down in Diss, around 200 miles away from my home in Huddersfield. I got a lift and a train down there and the car I was due to buy was my only way home.
I handed over the cash and I set off. Well, the gearbox didn't work, the brakes didn't work but the engine was lovely and it drove beautifully as long as you didn't have to stop or change gear!
Anyway, I made it home and the next day I went down to the car for another spin. Now, the clutch wasn't working - a failed slave cylinder. I ordered a new one and tried to fit it, but I just couldn't get the old one off, so I had her towed to a garage who sorted her out. Next I wanted to sort her out properly, so I got in touch with IK Classics in Holmfirth who gave her the once over. They advised it wasn't worth doing anything with, so I stuck her back on ebay, trying to be a bit more honest in the description than the guy I had bought it off, and got rid. So, that was a net loss of around 500 quid in a week.
Still, something about the way the car drove led me to want another one, so I went hunting on ebay again. This time I was more careful, drawing up a list of criteria, and ensuring any purchases were carried out in the cold light of day. I was looking for something with few owners (the first one I bought had had 17!), with the most recent owner having had it for several years, with loads of history.
I found such a car in nearby Leeds, from a guy called Dave Kemp who was a long time club member. Dave was living down in London, so his parents (who were looking after the car) showed me round it and a deal was agreed.
I've still got the car today and love taking it out on the West Yorkshire roads and beyond (unfortunately, West Yorkshire weather means we don't get out in it as often as we would like!). IK Classics in Holmfirth have been looking after her very well since I've had her, keeping her safe and reliable. We've had a bit of welding, a recored radiator, a couple of cam belts, repaired coolant pipes but nothing too major, touch wood.