Alex' Fiat X1/9-Seite

My Lido

I bought this jewel in 1992, in bad shape and with front accident damage. I went for a test drive and already knew after only few meters: I had to have this car!!

It was black metallic, had strange, at that time still yellowish gray suede seats, and chrome-bumpers (the front ones damaged by the accident).

Well, what started out as grey Fiat with accident damage, turned out to be what I would have never dared to dream previously!!

I was already suspicious, because I had never seen chrome-bumpers on an X1/9. Then, the Alcantara-seats and the green tinted windows. I had not noticed the color code 813 of the black paint until then, but it was exactly this that identified my car as a real Lido!

The X1/9-specialist Karl Heinz Welter of the X1/9-Club of Germany was the first person I called. He told me which years and in what numbers the Lido was built. It was at this moment that I realized what a rare car I had bought! A sign for the "genuineness" of the special model was, that it just carried said color "813", and this code was listed on the spec plate in the front trunk and on the sticker under the rear trunk-tab.

I initially repaired the frontend damage poorly and drove the car, since the car still had 1 year until the next “TÜV” inspection. And how I drove it!  I had never thought that a car can be this much fun!! Incredible!!

Well, one day the “TÜV” inspection became due and I didn’d pass. Too much rust! But compared to other X1/9s, the problem was small.

So it happened that my jewel found a new home in the garage of my grandfather until I went at it to dismantle the car and started to weld in sheet metal over sheet metal... my God, how it looked in there when I removed the carpet and  the tar insulation!

I did my first welding attempts in the front trunk with a welder borrowed from my neighbor, who had restored a 124 Spider. Actually it worked quite well! I welded so much that over time I turned into the best welder among the apprentices at work!

Another weak-point in the terms of rust was the A-pillar on the driver side, there was a hole so large that my fist could fit through!

During further welding (for example the sills, especially the forward ends and under the air scoops), I determined that this car had been rust-proofed! A Lido-driver I have met on the www, mailed to me, that his car is also rust-proofed. Is this a coincidence, or have all "Lidos" been treated with this unique procedure by Fiat?

The right sill after the "anti-corrosion-treatment"

At the same opportunity, I also replaced the front sheet metal which had been pushed back by an accident of the pre-owner. Fortunately, the underlying sheet metal was still o.k.!

I removed the old sheet metal by drilling out the spotwelds, then welded in the new front sheet metal, primed with zinc primer, and painted it.

After an overhaul of the cylinder head because of oil-leak at the camshaft-box, work finally went towards assembling the car. I was pleased about driving this car again!

Finally finished!

Well, and because I don't want to let the car sit in the corner, I have already spent many trips and beautiful vacations with it.

I have gone on a camping trip to Italy, sleeping in a tent (carrying minimal equipment, using every little space in the car, nevertheless there were no camping chairs...), also I have already been to Monaco, (unfortunately you can hardly decipher the name of the city on the scanned picture...) and in Geneva.

(c) 2018 by Alexander Kartschall