1979 Fiat X1/9 – $1950

The car’s body is a little rough but is very good for NOT having rust. The car in now air-cared and insured. The car will need some work it been stored for the last 19 years and it’s old… this car is not for everyone. but it is a great project for someone that is mechanically inclined. The car drives like a go-cart and will make you want to take the long way home. I can be reached me at (778) 223-0154. Open to offers in person only. Don’t waste our time, and thanks for looking.

The late seventies was not a good time in the motoring world. Representative of the overlap of old-world technology with new world safety, economy, and environmental thinking, the late seventies were marked by 100-horsepower big block V8s strangled by emissions plumbing, and automotive designs marred by strange new crash safety standards. But, beneath the rubber bumpers and ridiculously complex engine plumbing, there were gems… like the Fiat X1/9. A mid-engined sports car actually designed to mimic the styling of contemporary power boats, the X1/9 earned numerous accolades for its sublime handling characteristics; a product of its well-balanced layout and roughly 2,000 pound curb weight.  However, although plenty pretty in its earlier iterations (production began in ’72), the X1/9 fell victim to the same ills that befell every cool car in the late ’70s, and by 1979 found itself visually bound by ridiculous impact-absorbing bumpers and choked by charcoal canisters, air pumps, and EGR valves. That didn’t stop the carbureted 1.5 litre from producing an even 85 horsepower, which was good for a 0-60 time of just over 10 seconds and a top speed on 180 kph, making it as willing a sporty coupe as its dual trunks did a great commuter.

A car that’s always enjoyed a bit of a cult following, the X1/9 was one of the few Fiats produced specifically for inclusion in the U.S. market, meaning there are a surprising number of them still around. However, whilst its cult status ensures plenty of information sources, parts can be slightly more difficult to locate. Although many of the most commonly replaced pieces can be sourced from a few different online retailers, larger, less common parts are often available only through eBay, and one can end up waiting for the correct part to appear. Thankfully, they’re not known for being terribly temperamental, with their easily-remedied electrics being the most common complaint the running gear bears. It is a car made of 1979-era steel though, and rust is very common in the front area around the headlight motors (visible from the front trunk area), in the rear trunk area, and around the wheelarches and sills. On the plus side, it’s not a very large car, so checking for rust shouldn’t take too long, and 19 years of what appears to have been indoor storage may have saved this example from the worst of it! For under $2,000 it’s a great buy that’s sure to appreciate with time, although I don’t know if even I could be convinced to keep its paint scheme… Click on the blue text above to carry through to the advertisement, additional photos, and more contact info!

1979 Volkswagen Transporter – $3800

“Selling my 1979 Wolkswagen Transporter! Runs and sounds great! Also, its great on gas! Tis a Porche engine and is standard, shifting is incredibly easy for those just learning standard. Tis been looked at by a mechanic and is in good shape and ready for cruising! Interior consists of wood panelling, a bed, and a couch that folds up to make the bed bigger! Also, it is aircared until August of next year! And with good results! That which will be provided. This van is more for a cool hip. If interested call me at 6048667484 – asking 3800 obo. Thanks!”

Typically, when prowling Craigslist for a potential classic car for myself, I stop my search halfway through 1972… but perhaps I shouldn’t have, because this 1979 Volkswagen Transporter is one very compelling reason to delve into the mid to late 70’s. Although not a vehicle I’ve ever truly lusted after (not being a big VW fan), I can see the attraction. The last year of the Type 2 Transporter, this particular example may not be as desirable as the Type 1 (which spanned from 1950 to 1967) but the differences are almost entirely cosmetic, with the exception of the powertrain. Housing a Volkswagen Type 4 air-cooled four cylinder displacing 2.0 litres, the 1979 VW Transporter’s engine is quite an improvement over the Type 1’s wheezy mill, and even benefits from the addition of such modern luxuries as self-adjusting hydraulic lifters (!) to keep maintenance demands to at least semi-respectable standards.

But, there is one glaring problem with VW Transporter ownership: rust. Combine the ridiculously large interior cavity of a van with the dubious steel quality of a late-70’s German automobile and you get one of the most rust-prone vehicles on Earth. Due to these van’s spacious construction, there remains a lot of cavities and holes in the bodywork where dirt and moisture can lay dormant for literally decades, slowly working on the thin paint to turn the lower corners of the body into dust. But there is good news: with the exception of the rust issue, they can be pretty reliable vehicles with absolutely excellent parts support. And as far as classic car communities go, it’s hard to beat the sense of fraternity enjoyed by the Volkswagen Tribe.