Car of the Month May 2009

  Submitted by Tom Lennon



This 1500 VS is my first X1/9. I've just turned 20 and have had my eye on X1/9s ever since I passed my driving test! I randomly stumbled across this one in a dealership in the Wirral, near Chester, when browsing on ebay. I live in Liverpool so popped over to take a look. I managed to get £450 off the advertised price due to the car having some gearbox issues and other minor foibles, and for my guarantee that I'd take it off their hands there and then, as they'd had the car sat lonely in the back of their showroom for almost 6 months.


I bought the car last December and had the gearbox sorted (worn 3rd and 5th synchros), it sadly being ready the day I ventured south for easter term at university! I was gutted not to have had a proper drive in her and spent all of January and February longing to return home. Finally I got back mid-march and, with all my friends and girlfriend still at uni, spent a leisurely few hours on my birthday cleaning, hoovering and polishing etc. I was pretty pleased with the finish! The interior is a very nice red and black combo, with black leather seats and door cards, and red carpets. It has a red and black bertone badged steering wheel too.

The bodywork is in generally excellent condition for its age, 1986, making it three years older than me! There's some minor rust bubbling along the passenger side door and very minor on the driver's, but it's confined to the base and the guy I store it with near Liverpool airport who specialises in restoring cars has said he'll gladly sort it should it get any worse. Another X1/9 co-incidentally was stored there too a couple of days after mine...does it belong to anyone here?

The car has a comprehensive service and MOT history showing, amongst other things, engine and gearbox rebuilds, K+N filter added, Abarth exhaust added, full strip down and respray, a nice and quirky (at least I think so!) set of red Revolution wheels and so on.

The amount of looks the car gets when driving around is phenomenal. Even in my quiet street at home I've had builders, neighbours, school kids, just about everyone coming over to chat about it, some having never seen one and others made up to have spotted an X1/9 after many years! She's a joy to drive with the roof off when (or if!) the weather's nice.