Congratulations! Announcing the most popular Mint listing of 2013
As we approach Mint2Me’s first anniversary, we took a look at some statistics provided by our website host, WordPress. We had some surprising news. Out of the 1,165 cars we featured during our first year (actually 11 months), the Fiat X1/9 was our most popular featured car (by page views). The Fiat was submitted to us from David Scheinberg, the original owner and careful caretaker of this little Italian jewel. The Fiat sold within days although the transaction took a little longer to complete as most long distance transactions do. But everyone is happy and if I remember correctly, the seller flew in to Michigan flew in and drove it home to California.
When launched in 1972, the Fiat X1/9 was the first affordable mid-engine sports car, and was immediately dubbed the “Baby Ferrari”. Those early cars were powered by a 1.3-liter SOHC four putting out about 63 hp in U.S. trim, running through a 4-speed gearbox. This particular example is at the other end of the X1/9’s historical arc – 1987 was the final model-year during which X1/9s (badged “Bertone” from 1982 through the end of the run) were imported to the U.S.
Compared with the early models, the ’87 is more powerful (displacement up to 1.5-liters, and output to 75 hp), more relaxed and fuel efficient on the highway (5-speed gearbox; 32+ mpg on regular fuel), more modern and reliable (Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection; well-sorted electrical system), and more durable (improved corrosion resistance). Finished in Azure Blue metallic (or, more correctly, Azzuro metallico) with gray/black cloth upholstery, this car is one of the last new X1/9s retailed when its only owner collected it from the Ramsey (NJ) Auto Group in the spring of 1989. The owner specified a non-A/C car, since the A/C was a port-installed kit that he wanted nothing to do with – for both power-conservation and engine-bay-simplicity reasons. The car has power windows, and a period-correct AM/FM radio in the I/P’s single-DIN receptacle. From the beginning, this X1/9 was – and is – a summer-day-only driver. In the near quarter-century, the car has traveled fewer than 24,000 miles – most all of them on Adirondacks back roads (or on the highways between Michigan and northern New York), and logged during the months of June – September. The car has always been garaged, and stored indoors and under a breathable cover during winters. For the past decade, its winter home has been the heated showroom of Overseas Motors, the former Midwest States distributor for Bertone, in Livonia, Michigan. Overseas Motors’ principal has also performed, personally, all the maintenance service on the car since 1993 – i.e., when the owner relocated from New York to the greater Detroit area. This includes a major servicing at approx. 12,000 miles, which included replacement of chassis bushings, timing belt, shock absorbers, brake pads, master cylinder, all fluids, fuel filter, air filter, ignition wires, etc. The car was re-shod with a set of stock-size Toyo tires approximately 2,000 miles ago. Oil/filter changes have been performed every 1,500 miles or so – or at least once per year. Weather stripping, interior and exterior trim pieces have been Armorall’d – and the painted surfaces Zymol’d – on an annual basis. All this TLC notwithstanding, the car is not without imperfections. A small ding on the hood is the result of something falling on it during a mid-‘90s winter storage. A similar rear-quarter ding is another hibernation-related blemish. The alloy wheels exhibit some minor age-related surface pitting. To be clear, the car has never been in an accident, and never required body work of any kind.
To say that the owner offers this car for sale with a heavy heart is an understatement. But the realities of his life have meant that the car gets exercised far less than he would like, and it pains him not to be able to find the time to get it out and use it. He has always driven the machine in a simpatico manner. No dump-the-clutch starts; no extended high-rpm runs; fanatical avoidance of potholes and rough roads. It’s not so much that this car is clean – it’s more that it has never been dirty. If there is a more loved X1/9 in existence, we’d like to see it. Please Note: This Bertone will be placed on eBay however, the auction can be ended early should we find a buyer from this Preferred offer. And since there is an ongoing auction, we can not provide a price on this listing. Please Email Michael@mint2me.com and I will provide a phone number so we may discuss what the seller will consider to end the auction early.
The second picture down shows a seam that has very light, surface rust. It has been treated with WD40 on occasion and hasn’t progressed. The tires aren’t Toyos as originally stated. They are Sumitomos