Car of the Month February 2012

Submitted by Terry Gaskin

This is my fifth X1/9! Currently I have three X1/9's one being restored, one for spares and this one for using on the road. I spotted this one last year on Classic Cars for Sale. It had been used only in the summer months and dry stored over the winter period. I didn't view it I just took a chance and bought it which is not the advisable thing to do with cars. Fortunately it was a good choice.


Apart from a little bit of rust on the rear arch it's in very good condition. It's a 1989 GF and it came with that very bright blue and yellow interior. Not my favourite interior for the X1/9. So first job was to fit a more suitable interior. I was unable to buy an interior that I liked I set about re-upholstering the door cards and back bulkhead using black vinyl and my mum (who is a retired seamstress) set about creating a new seats for me. This was the first time she had done anything like this and using the old covers as patterns she created two new seats out of black vinyl. The result is fantastic. It was also a test run for my restoration project.

The door cards were made using the old door cards as templates and using new 3mm hardboard. Professional door trim foam was used for the base and black vinyl on top. It was a long winded process and one that took my five attempts to perfect but the end result is very professional and I think as good as the factory trim. I can't wait to do the trims for my restoration car as these will be in cream faux leather.

The car is pretty standard apart from a K&N filter. The engine was professionally rebuilt 2000 miles ago (before I bought the car) and runs as sweet as a nut, I had some running problems when I first got it. Turned out there were no gaskets between the carb and manifold. A simple bit of gasket paper and it took me months to find out why it was running rough when hot. Shame on the person that rebuilt the engine!

I have also fitted a four outlet CSC exhaust. It looks awesome and sounds awesome too. Gives a bit more power as well. Tweaks coming up are to lower the car to give it that 1300 look. So I am after some lowering springs. I would also like to fit some 1300 bumpers. But the car is sort of too good to mess about with so I might leave it at just lowering the car and save the bumpers for the resto...