I bought my first X1/9, Sophia, when I was fresh out of college in 1978. She was a Mediterranean blue 1976 that my dad pointed out to me after he saw it parked in someone's front yard with a “for sale” in it's window on his way to way to work. Of course I bought it straightaway! It was the first car that I owned and (trust me on this) it was worlds more fun than my parents rusty Gremlin that I had been driving... Here it is with me and my cute girlfriend Sue.
Not only did I learn the joys of driving Italian cars from my first X but also taught myself how to maintain the car and do some upgrades as well. I started with simple things like changing oil and replacing brake pads and progressed from there. Some of the things I did to the car during my twenty years of ownership include adding a Weber DMTR 34 carburetor, a Bayless free-flow air cleaner, A Supersprint exhaust, Cromodora “Iron Cross” wheels, a Auto World “shark” front spoiler, recovering the torn seats and swapping in an Alquati A-15 cam. Oh yes, as you can see I also installed a new radio!
Sue and I dated in the X and took it on our honeymoon when we married in 1980. Here are some photos from our wedding album.
By the way, that's not crepe paper decorating the X but rather toilet paper that my groomsmen got at the pharmacy where I was working and charged to my account!
Sophia and me in 1983 notice the new Cromodora CD 16 “iron cross” wheels
Sophia was my year round daily driver for many years. She was always a happy car and just loved to rev – especially after I installed the Alquati cam. As you might expect given Fiat's reputation for corrosion and Ohio's reputation for road salt, rust eventually took it's toll and by the mid 90's the car's body had rusted beyond my ability to cope. Here's a photo that was taken just before I sold the car. Yes, I know, she was still beautiful from about knee level on up but the lower door skins, the sills, and pretty much everything on the under side of the car were in pretty sad shape...
This photo was taken just shortly before I sold it in 1998. In a way part of this car is still with me as I have Sophia's OEM Fiat tool kit and and the Alquati cam that I originally bought for her in my current X1/9.