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In a recent thread about weight - personal and car, Modern Wedgie and I got a tangent going about the Fiat X-1/9. So we are looking for X-1/9 owners to discuss their Elise v.s. their X-1/9.

My first car was an 85 Bertone X-1/9 and I felt right at home in the Elise/Exige from the first second I sat in the Lotus.

Here is a photo of my X - in progress. http://picasaweb.google.com/dpphotoalbum/X19
 

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I never had a Fiat, but my first car was a 1984 Pontiac Fiero, so to me the Elise is very similar in feel but all around better.

The Elise seems quite a bit like the Fiero to me. Same layout, similar body construction, very similar layout of body panels, etc, very different though in terms of weight. Either way getting in an driving an Elise felt quite familiar.
 

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Mine was a red/orange 86 Fiat. It was my college car. Loved the thing. My second one was a 1991 I think. That was then a Bertone, in red, black leather, electric windows, A/C, it ran perfect, not a lot of power out of an old designed 1.5 L. Sold it to a dude that had five of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
To me the Lotus Elise seems like a properly powered X on steroids with better brakes and no rust issues.

My Bertone is an 85 -- it never broke down and I drove it hard. I got it in 87 with 5K miles. I put about 25K miles on it in 6 years of ownership. I kept it very clean running well on a college budget. Drove my wife away from our wedding in it! I stupidly sold it when I needed a sedan for my growing family. I sold it to a high school friend who drove it hard too, but got a little slack on caring for it as it aged. My mechanics were fantastic. Robert and Cindy have always taken great care me and my X-1/9. http://www.shadetreeenginetrics.com/

My high school friend actually gave the car back to me after putting another 80K miles on it. I was thrilled to have it back. It still runs great, just needs TLC to deal with deferred maintenance. It has been back in my hands for 3 years now and I am still working on it. Now that it is less than perfect I am adding lightness by tossing the heavy useless bits - A/C, bumpers, original wheels, deleted the trunk, lost the muffler, carpet, rear window glass, etc.

The Lotus Elise/Exige are much more expensive cars and are not dropping like rocks like the Fiat/Bertone. The drop made a newish Fiat a great value, It does give me hope that my kids will be able to have as much fun in their Elises (dad fantasy) as I did driving a road going go-kart street-racer when they get their licenses. Thankfully, I have a few years to prepare (and indoctrinate) for that milestone. Obviously, Ancient Wedgie has done a good job!

The X-1/9 is a keeper -- I won't be stupid enough to sell it twice.

P.S. I used to drive under the toll arms at the airport remote parking in my X more for fun than avoiding the fees, but the savings were an incentive. Haven't tried it in the Lotus yet.
 

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I use to have a 73' Opel GT, green, kinda like Lambo's Ithaca Verde back during the college days. The hood has wheel bumps on each side like the Elise. Even has round rear lights. Body was immaculate but finding parts was a nightmare. Finally sold it to a guy who ended up crashing it. I regretted selling it and I wish I have a picture of it to show you guys :sad:.
 

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I think the same thing, the Elise/Exige is a modern X-19, Scorpion/Montecarlo/Type 037.

The difference is that it is reliable, something the older italian cars (and modern ones) can only dream of. Everytime I see one of the old Italian cars I want to buy one but only to look at. If I want to go for a drive I'm taking the Lotus.

ken
 

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I used to have a red 1980 X1/9. It was my 1st car. I used to drive it back and forth between MN and college in CA. She was very reliable until my junior year. I ended up trading her in on a very soulless Audi 5000s:(

I still miss her.
 

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If you have never done it yet, i can cut you a replacement "o" for the one that got lost to the stripe so you don't have to drive a L tus.
 

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P.S. I used to drive under the toll arms at the airport remote parking in my X more for fun than avoiding the fees, but the savings were an incentive. Haven't tried it in the Lotus yet.
The Elise will clear. I haven't actually done it, but I did give it a try when the lady at the window bet me it wouldn't make it.
 

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X 1/9 nice car, but not any thing like an Elise...
Same with a Porsche 914, nice, but no Elise...
 

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I think it's like a modern X 1/9 in spirit, but it's much closer to a modern Dino in implimentation.

xtn
 

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When I was 15, I was totally infatuated with the X1/9. One of the prettiest designs ever penned for an accessible sports car IMHO.

I remember some auto show on PBS had a Camaro vs. an X1/9. Of course you know who won on the straightaways, but when it came to the twisties, the little Fiat dusted GM. (I've tried to find the show on the web but can't so far.)

My dad wanted me to talk to a local mechanic to get his opinion on X1/9s. The mech said:
"There are basically two kinds of Fiat X1/9's: Those that have caught fire... and those that will."
:crazyeyes rotfl

His opinion had something to do with the way the fuel hoses were routed in the engine bay.

Still I was undeterred by such criticism and when I got closer to 16, begged my dad to try to find one for a test drive. Dad caved in (probably just to shut me up) and dropped me off at the local Fiat dealer. We picked a used X1/9 off the lot and went off for the test drive... of course, the salesperson has to drive it off the lot.

When it came time to switch drivers, he turned off the engine. It wouldn't start again. :confused: Fortunately it was a dead battery and we were able to push start it back to life.

I had a checklist of items that I was to explore on the car. I only got through about 1/4 cause so many things were broken on that particular example. :(

I finally respected Dad's advice and drove a Datsun and VW for a couple of years before finally saving up enough coin to buy a CRX-Si as my college car. But I still have a soft spot for the old X1/9's. :bow:

Anecdote from Wikipedia.... Fiat and Lancia models of the 1970s were particularly infamous for rapidly succumbing to severe structural rust. This is commonly attributed to a well-documented deal made by FIAT with the Russian government for a supply of surplus Russian steel. The Russian government supplied FIAT with large quantities of steel in exchange for the rights and tooling necessary to manufacture a clone of the recently discontinued FIAT 124 (sold under the Lada and Zhiguli names). Though superficially a good deal for FIAT, who off-loaded their old design and tooling at a hefty profit, the steel they received was of an extremely poor quality. There is also anecdotal evidence that poor planning frequently left early X1/9 body-shells un-painted outside the Bertone factory before transportation to FIAT where the rusting body-shells were simply painted over.
 

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My Elise reminds me a lot of my Fiat 850 Spyder, except it's better in every way possible. Well, excluding the comfort of the seats. :D
 

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I never had a Fiat, but my first car was a 1984 Pontiac Fiero, so to me the Elise is very similar in feel but all around better.

The Elise seems quite a bit like the Fiero to me. Same layout, similar body construction, very similar layout of body panels, etc, very different though in terms of weight. Either way getting in an driving an Elise felt quite familiar.
BLASPHEMY :thwack:
 

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I had one of the later Bertone x1/9's, too. No power but great handling, similar in some ways to the Elise's handling due to the weight distribution.

The thing that was great about it compared to the Lotus was the utility of the thing, very well laid out. You could fit a set of golf clubs in the rear trunk. The front trunk was very cleverly designed so you could take the hardtop off, slide it into the top of the hood, and still have a pretty deep well underneath for groceries, etc, that you could get to even with the top stowed. Spare tire was stowed vertically in a well behind the passenger's seat, also very well done.

A well laid out car that never gave me a lick of trouble. But certainly not a Lotus from a performance point of view.
 

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MR2
 

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What a load of old rubbish some people do write. The Elise is a Lotus - if it's a modern anything is might be a Europa, but a bloody Fiat? Get away with you!
 
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