|Rust and restoration, rust
and retribution - my tale of FIAT X1/9 ownership
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I used the car for about 5 years but the rate these things deteriorate is quite alarming. It eventually ended up parked in my yard looking rather sorry for itself. I did advertise it for sale and a guy came to look at it. I knew he wouldn't be able to do anything with it as he had long hair. I don't have anything against men with long hair per se but lets face it if he was good enough at welding to own an X1/9 his hair would have been burned off years ago!
Being parked in the yard exposed to the Cornish weather was the end for the car. The fuse box filled up with water and when you started the engine it wouldn't turn off. The headlights also started doing this sinister winking thing. The car became possessed by Italian electrical demons and I decided it had to be punished for defying my valiant attempt to preserve it. So in 2001, I cut it up - retribution for all those hours of welding and burnt elbows. My one time pride and joy consigned to history along with other relics of the 1980's such as mullet hairstyles, ZX Spectrums and Dire Straits cassettes!
I sold the engine and gearbox and various other bits to a guy from Saltash who was restoring an X1/9. After a while I gave him all the other spares I had left. Just so happened he works at the local car auctions and returned the favour by pointing me in the direction of a good buy a few months later. These chaps get to drive the cars to the auctions from the dealers which is a lot better than just seeing them start and drive through the ring.
The alloy wheels and solid alloy bumpers were weighed in for scrap and the tyres (which were good) I gave to a mate who used them to get a car through the MoT.
I am totally cured of car restoration now. Plant is much more fun and actually lasts for a while once you've repaired it.