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Old 22-02-2007   #1
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Made me smile

Just thought I would say hello. I was in Inverness last week and saw an X1/9 driving along the road and it made me smile. Cars should do that, shouldn't they?
I remembered them from when I was a kid and haven't seen one for years. Still looks great, what are they like to drive? I daren't go near one as everytime I get behind the wheel of a car that used to grace my bedroom wall it ruins the memory. Lotus Turbo Esprit, Mini, Countach
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Old 22-02-2007   #2
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Re: Made me smile

The X1/9 is a real drivers car.

If you get a good one the handling is sublime and the engine willing (even if it does have just 85bhp at the flywheel for the 1500 version).

Driving position is stereotypically mid-engined with the pedals offset. The seats aren't as supportive as modern sports cars but still very good.

You have to remember that this is the car that started the entire small sportscar market - every MR2, MGF and Elise owes a huge credit to the X1/9. I know Lotus were heading that way already with the Eclat but it was never a big production run car. There have been so many imitators since it is hard to remember that when it arrived there was nothing like it anywhere.

The downside is that the suspension and brakes need a lot of TLC to keep them in good working order after 30 years. The engines are generally bulletproof unless the maintenance is abused.

The bodywork is the eternal 70s italian car weakpoint. Late 70s and very early 80s cars were the best - Fiat had sorted out the metal treatment and the cars were pretty good unless left to rot. When Bertone took over the rust proofing was one of the first things to get thrown out and it wasn't until the very last year of production that it was sorted again.

If you get a bad one the bodywork repair cost is likely to be three of four times the value of the car (hard to tell as the value is going up now as the numbers available drop).
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