Car of the Month January 2012

Submitted by Neil Yardley

I thought it was about time I submitted a car to the club site - I've owned X1/9's on and off for the last 25 years - 9 in total although I've owned this one twice! A '78 X1/9 1300 Serie Speciale (not registered until '79).

I first joined the OC in the early days - I think Icsunonove number 8 was my first issue! The heady days when Chris Shearman was the West Mids RO. Since then some of the best/most enjoyable days driving have been in X1/9's. Those include going on the original '94 factory trip with Ewen Brown and Marc Weaver where we actually met Nuccio Bertone himself and when we did the Stelvio Pass before Top Gear had ever heard of it!

I originally bought this one in the 90's and completed its restoration back to near factory spec. It was originally bought as a spares car but turned out to be better than the car it was going to be broken for. I sourced the fitted luggage by tracing the original owner who still had them in her loft! The car was resprayed a slighter darker shade of green than the original but still very 70's.

Performance wise is totally standard except a Janspeed exhaust - still debating on lowered springs........

I eventually sold the car as basically it was so darn nice I did not want to use it which was ridiculous. The car went up to Scotland where it was used as it should but cared for nonetheless.

Many years later I was in touch with the owner and a mutual agreement of 'first dibs' back if the opportunity ever arose was met and she returned to me a couple of years ago and is in my 'stable' along with my Lotus Turbo Esprit and a Fiat Coupe 20VT LE. There are a few areas of tin-worm that have resurfaced but its stored away for winter and 2012 will see attention together with more decent undersealing and a cambelt.

Hope to see all at events next year............

Regards, Neil (now back as West Mids RO! as was way back when)