I recall the day in 1989 when, as a young Fiat salesman, I was commanded to push the new Croma and Tipo to the corners of the showroom in order to make space for the unregistered X1/9 Gran Finale that had arrived. It was exquisite but attracted no interest and one day disappeared, no questions asked.
Today, Fiat’s two-seat, mid-engined, rear-drive sports car, on sale from 1972 to 1989, is considered a classic. It’s rare, though – rust-free ones rarer still.
But happily, you don’t have to pay fortunes to own a good one. One such as the 1989 G-reg example with 52,000 miles that we found priced at £4990. It’s a Gran Finale (in essence, an SE with a dealer-fitted rear spoiler and badge), finished in metallic red and powered by the later 1.5-litre engine introduced in 1978.
The private seller says it has a new battery, clutch, set of tyres, gear linkage, water pump and timing belt. He claims it has no rust but admits it has been welded in the past, undersealed and repainted. Encouragingly, it has a new MOT with no advisories.