Reader Submissions: This Fiat X1/9 Brings Sunshine To Antwerp

This Fiat X1/9 Brings Sunshine To Antwerp

By Petrolicious Productions
January 2, 2014

Owner: Marc Van Linden

Age: 51

Location: Antwerp, Belgium

Year, Make, and Model: 1974 Fiat X1/9

Photographer: Marc Van Linden

Marc purchased this 1974 Fiat X1/9 almost twenty-two years ago from its first owner, a proverbial little old lady. It had only run about 30,000km in its first eighteen years and he bought it to replace another X1/9 that had rusted through. Yeah, Marc loves these little Fiats.

You see, even before he could drive, before Marc learned that it had been penned by none other than Bertone head of design Marcello Gandini (who also designed the Lamborghini Miura, Countach and Lancia Stratos among others) he fell in love with the X1/9’s shape and mid-engine layout.

In his free time when not shooting photographs, Marc is also a fan of track days and enjoys hitting the tarmac with his local club (Scuderia Antverpia) as he lives about ninety minutes from one of the greatest circuits in the world– Spa Francorchamps. And when he’s not racing or touring in his Fiat he’s also got three Lotuses to choose from: an Elise, an Exige and a 340R!

But X1/9s are his first love. In addition to the aforementioned X1/9 that was consumed by rust, he also built a Dallara X1/9 replica racecar but eventually sold it as he doesn’t spend as much time at the track as he would like. Regardless of how often he can hit the track, having this sunny Fiat in his garage makes him smile.

Want to see your vintage car on Petrolicious? Click here for more information.

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Mike Welker
Mike Welker(@fb_10207844580939494)
6 years ago

As an owner and admirer I can say, there’s nothing like an Exxy! I’m on my fifth one and for a 30 year old car, she’s still a lot of fun.

Marc Van Linden
Marc Van Linden(@mvl)
7 years ago

Here’s the website i made about the X1/9, hope you like it, enjoy ! 😉

John Montgomery
John Montgomery
3 years ago

Fantastic Marc!! Thank you for your enthusiasm!! Here is my 1986 Bertone X 1/9 with 60K miles from here in South Carolina, USA.

Bart Mulder
Bart Mulder(@streetscreamer)
7 years ago

Unless my legs would be broken on two places, I even would not get behind the steering wheel of this wonderful Italian gem without the targa roof taken off… pity pity.. such a nice car!

Dion Borg
Dion Borg(@jkborg)
8 years ago

..and it races with success too..

Dion Borg
Dion Borg(@jkborg)
8 years ago

mine brings sunshine to Malta…

Dion Borg
Dion Borg(@jkborg)
8 years ago

mine brings sunshine to Malta…

Ray Beltran
Ray Beltran(@raybee27)
8 years ago

I got to drive a used one, yellow, don’t remember the model year, hoping to purchase it as my first car. I wanted it SO MUCH, but just couldn’t swing it and the insurance and my first apartment. I was was left to drool over Abarth and Forza Faza catlogs.

I couple of observations on driving the X1/9 I recall from the car mags that I poured over back in the day: R&T or C&D wrote that you felt like Jackie Stewart when you drove it, revving the engine to redline, cornering on rails, the sound of the engine just behind your head – and no one was the wiser, particularly the police. You were MAYBE doing 30mph. Felt great.

AutoCar reported that Colin Chapman’s daughter survived a huge wreck in her X1/9, the car “collapsing around her like a house of cards.” Chapman inspected the totaled Fiat and was suitably impressed. Consider the crush zones front and rear, the large air pockets providing cushion during the impact and the integrated roll bar.

Still want one.

By the way, what’s the big deal with 50/50 weight distribution being so desirable? Give me a car like the X1/9 with it’s low polar moment of inertia any day!

Anthony Brucia
Anthony Brucia(@milanoverde)
8 years ago
Reply to  Ray Beltran

Like Bradley, my first new car was a ’74, bright red. Loved it. Lousy reliability and it started to rust before I paid it off but I loved it and STIL dream of getting another before I kick the bucket!

Tony Brucia

Bradley Fry
Bradley Fry(@bradf)
8 years ago

Nice cars! First new car I ever purchased was a ’74 X, been in love with them ever since…

Christian Pineda
Christian Pineda(@fb_1714910200)
8 years ago

The Fiat X1/9 is one of the once in a lifetime cars. My very first car was a silver 1984. Even my father has one, his is from 1982 and blue. The X1/9 is something special and it runs in my family. Overall I have so many great tales to tell I don’t regret getting the car. My only problem with Fiat is that they haven’t made a modern version of the car.

Dustin Rittle
Dustin Rittle(@mosler)
8 years ago

Some great pictures here!. I have always been a fan of this Italian wedge and yes i know it wasnt the most reliable car in the world but when has that stop anyone from buying a car they really liked. the car had a stiff but lightweight monocoque design and was mid-engine as well with rear wheel drive to go along with it. From the stories i have heard the handling was quite good on this car and was very nimble too. i guess you could say it was go kart for the road, not that it is a bad thing:D

Per Kringberg
Per Kringberg(@raserperra)
8 years ago

Sharp lines and class for people with average wages.

Sorry for you, BiTurbo228!

8 years ago

Now that’s just mean. This happened to mine on Christmas Eve 🙁

I’m hoping I can sell enough bits to buy another one.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange(@365daytonafan)
8 years ago
Reply to  BiTurbo228

Sorry to see that 🙁

Johnny Breinholt
Johnny Breinholt(@officina590gt)
8 years ago

Classy car, right color and some very nice pictures! Thank you Marc for sharing it with us.