Tasteful Upgrades – 1984 Bertone X1/9

Every time I see one of these, I think about how much fun it would be to drive one. Owning one, maybe a bit more challenging (comments?). But I also think about how the scaffolding-style bumpers they added in 1975, and the battering-ram style ones they went to in about 1979, would be way nicer if they made like a tree. Ideally, it would have a bit more power, and be smog test exempt, while we’re dreaming. At any rate, with even a base model, you could try your hand at auto-crossing, have a blast on country roads without coming near breaking the law, and telling MR2 drivers what’s what.

Anyway, as far as our dreaming was concerned, this car hits two out of three on the wishlist. In a smart two-tone silver and grey, it’s been upgraded with the more minimalist 1974-style bumpers, and has the more powerful 1500 engine. At $3000, it’s listed in Columbia, TN (near Nashville).

1984 Bertone X1/9 right

Unfortunately, the picture quality is even lower than usual, but you can still get a feel for the quality of the car, helped by the description. The owner has done some tasteful modifications, including the aforementioned bumpers, big Hella fog lights, some cool period alloys (they look slightly different from the similar factory ones), and a sports exhaust.

1984 Bertone X1/9 dash

The dash is pretty nice, at least as much as you can see of it. The upgraded MOMO wheel and shift knob are nice touches, if maybe a tad modern for a 26 year old car. The cleaned-up later dash on the Bertone X1/9s is definitely more attractive, and might even fool passengers into thinking they’re riding in a semi-modern vehicle.

1984 Bertone X1/9 nose

The nose looks pretty clean (ha!), with the sparse bumpers and big fogs giving a bit of a rally feel. Stay away from those SUVs! It’s got a decent amount of shine, so hopefully the rest of the paint looks just as nice. The seller admits the car’s got some spots of rust, so more detail on that would be helpful in the purchase decision.

1984 Bertone X1/9 tail

The rear end’s pretty clean too (ha again!). If you were to go all the way with the ’74 conversion, that delicate chrome trim around the rear panel would spiff the look up. I have to wonder what working on a mid-engine car like this is like – is access a pain? Either way, over all this looks like a good deal on a sympathetically modified car.


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2 Responses to “Tasteful Upgrades – 1984 Bertone X1/9”

  1. Tony Says:

    This looks like the ’78 I owned for too many years. I had it repainted to the same sliver over grey, but mine had a lighter tan interior. The engine was balanced, ported and running a jetted up Weber and a short cat-free exhaust, so it was really, well… loud. and a bit faster than stock, but still not exactly fast. It was more fun than any other car I’ve ever owned, though. Cornered like a go kart as long as you didn’t get chicken and lift off the throttle.

    Access is a pain for some things — you get to the distributor by moving the passenger seat forward, removing the spare tire and unbolting an access panel. As I recall, the alternator and starter were not too bad. I could pull the transaxle in about an hour after the third or fourth time it was necessary…

  2. Tony Says:

    eh… “silver” over grey. Fat fingers!

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