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Fiat X19 vs Ferrari 308

Discussion in '308/328' started by miketuason, May 11, 2009.

  1. miketuason

    miketuason F1 World Champ
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    #1 miketuason, May 11, 2009
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  3. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ

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    That's like comparing a Geo Metro and a Camaro
     
  4. ZiFF

    ZiFF Formula Junior

    Mar 30, 2009
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    LOL. I've had both of them. Never seen the article, but I'm assuming it's a bit tongue in cheek, although their subheading "Share a Common Flavor" is true. (I believe the also may share some parts!).

    My X19 was one of the last ones sold in the US, an '85, so it was actually badged as a Bertone rather than a Fiat.

    It was a lot of fun. It was tiny, and pretty darn slow, but still fun. A US 2V 308 is also fun, but pretty darn slow, so maybe the comparison isn't too outrageous.
     
  5. TheMayor

    TheMayor Eight Time F1 World Champ
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    I've owned both (actually, in those exact same colors) and there is NO comparison. The little fiat has so little power you use the gas pedal like an On/off switch. The interior is a pretty awful combination of ABS plastic and vinyl plastic. The roof leaks and whistles with wind noise. The engine sounds like a honda on a bad day. To change the brake master cylinder, you have to be a contortionist while standing on your head. I think the zero to 60 time could be measured in minutes.

    The only thing in common between them is that they both have 4 wheels and changing the spark plugs are a pain.
     
  6. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    An X19 with very little work is an awsome handling car and the motor with some mods can make very good HP.

    Set up like that with a decent driver would give a good 308 lots of trouble on a twisty road.
     
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  8. ylshih

    ylshih Global Moderator
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    I owned a 1976 X1/9 and a 1976 308 GTB, not at the same time, but maybe 3 years apart. My recollection was that the 308 felt like a faster, but heavier X1/9. The Fiat was probably 11-12 seconds to 60, while the 308 was probably 6-7 seconds. You worked hard to gain speed and keep momentum, grip was harder to find with the skinny tires (145's), but it also felt as agile as a go-kart.

    I would love to try an X19 set up as you describe - any examples you know of?
     
  9. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

    Jan 3, 2009
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    X1/9 was my first car, 20 years later I have a 308GTS.

    They're quite similar in concept aren't they: mid engine, front radiator, targa top, 4 wheel independant susp, 4 wheel disc brakes, luggage space fore and aft, 2 seats, etc. Same alternator and I suspect the same headlight motors.

    Sure the X1/9 has half the cylinders and about 1/2 the power and 'only' 30% less weight, but they are brilliant little cars let down by 70's era rust proofing and electronics (like just about every other 70's era car).

    I don't take offense at all at the 'comparison' - 308's are like grown up X1/9s in my book.
     
  10. RBV24961

    RBV24961 Formula Junior

    May 23, 2006
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    Does anyone know what brand of side view mirrors are on that car? They look much more effective than the USA Vitaloni mirrors which are basically useless.
     
  11. dave80gtsi

    dave80gtsi Formula 3
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    #9 dave80gtsi, May 11, 2009
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
    I bought my X1/9 new in 1978 and still own it after 31 years. I bought my 308 to "keep it company" in my garage in 2003.

    I regularly drive both cars immediately back to back on the same roads, and the contrast between them is relatively small.

    The 308 goes faster and sounds better, but the lighter weight and size of the X1/9 makes it much more "tossable" on twisty roads.

    Love both, and I accept them for what they are (and don't criticize them for what they are not). I would not get rid of either.

    Cheers - DM

    P.S. - The specific examples of each car used in the magazine's article leave much to be desired. Both cars have "issues" if you are familiar with them.
     
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  13. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

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    nice! Any photos of the two together?

    I had three 1979 X1/9s at one point - 1 driver and 2 for spare parts :)
    Rebuilt the motor and transmission in the garage, where my father and I also did a bare-metal repaint.
    I believe in around 1989 we paid $400, $300, and $250 for each Xer!


    Shame there is no real modern car that uses the same formula (mid engine, light, targa top) but with updated engineering, materials and engine. The Elise is the closest, but a bit too hard-core for everyday use and not cheap enough for what it is. I drove several Opel Speedsters in Germany, including over 100 laps of the Ring, and this was more like it (grunty engine, and lots of good used ones for a bit over 15k Euros) but of course unavaiable in the US...
    Smart Roadsters are another similarly clever modern car that could carry the X1/9 torch, but of course....
     
  14. miketuason

    miketuason F1 World Champ
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    Guys, don't forget the Lancia Scorpion/Monte Carlo which I think fall in between this two cars. The Scorpion/Monte Carlo were originally going to be call X120, Being an owner of both Scorpion and 308, I can tell you how similar they are and how many parts that can be shared between the two cars and the X19 too. I would probably say that the Scorpion/MonteCarlo are a better comparison to the 308 than the X19.
     
  15. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
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    #12 Bullfighter, May 11, 2009
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
    I had an '81 X1/9 (Bosch FI version) and have an '87 328.

    The comparison, in stock form, is more interesting on paper than on the road. The X1/9 was unique in its market segment (the dismal Fiero and dorky MR2 notwithstanding), being an affordable exotic design built on economy car components. IIRC, the X1/9 had 75 bhp or so, 13 inch wheels/skinny tires and a 30/70 weight distribution. I think the drivetrain was yanked from a Fiat 128 sedan (?)

    The X1/9 did have the same wretched rustproofing (not) applied to the early 308s -- they would rust out if you drove through a fog bank.

    I don't think it's a "fair" comparison, given the relative costs of the cars. The X1/9 was a parts-bin effort built to a price point, while the 308 GTB/GTS were built as Ferraris from day one. Spiritually, you could argue the cars have some shared DNA.

    The intriguing comparison is with the 308 GT4, which was not originally marketed as a Ferrari. Both came out in 1974. The GT4 shared door handles with the X1/9, similar tail lights and rear profile, and a very similar Bertone design, right down to the dual lids on the rear deck -- you could argue that those two cars are sisters in many ways. Once Pininfarina re-conceived the 308 series, and Enzo brought it back under the prancing horse banner, the similarities more or less vanished.
     
  16. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    I had a series of Xs back in the late 80s, I absolutely loved those cars. I keep threatening to buy another, but I already have 3 cars and that's a bit much for a homeless dude :)

    The Xs are tossable, a lot of fun, and yes, they're slow. But everything was slow in the early 80s, so that's no shame.

    Frankly, the X1/9 started my affair with Italian cars, and if I hadn't owned them back in the day I probably wouldn't own a 328 now.
     
  17. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Truth.
     
  18. decampos

    decampos Formula Junior

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    #15 decampos, May 11, 2009
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  19. 2dinos

    2dinos F1 Rookie

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    I bought my X1/9 new in 1979. I had it 16+ years and 231,XXX miles until Bambi committed suicide on a rainy night. I credit the wedge shape for saving me. It went over the whole car crushing the front end, ripping off the windshield trim and breaking the antenna. I would have restored it if the rust wasn't an issue. I think the 308 feels more like a Mercedes. Very solid and a bit heavy. Both could get you plenty of speeding tickets. I souped my X1/9 a little. Flowed head, slightly more aggressive cam, and bigger carb. It helped, but I wouldn't do that again. My gas mileage was 30+ when new and the power increase was small. The 308 is 13 - 14 give or take. I loved driving that X1/9. I wish Fiat would bring it back into the US and do what Porsche did with the 911 - evolutionary improvements like better engine management, rustproofing, wheels, etc. etc.
     
  20. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    #17 GrigioGuy, May 11, 2009
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  21. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Oh...I see, a genetic problem huh?
     
  22. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    Yeah -- we all got it from my little brother :)
     
  23. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    I don't know of any around here anymore. There used to be some around the bay back when they were current cars. I know of a few that autocrossed them back then and the companies that specialized in what has become known as tuner parts for Italian cars used to have quite a bit of wheels, suspension and engine parts for them. I ran across a few when I had a very fast 510 and they gave me fits in the tight twistys.
     
  24. Fiat4Fun

    Fiat4Fun Formula Junior

    Jul 1, 2008
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    I will throw my $.02 in! i have seen that article, and the X that was used in that story.

    I have had five or six X1/9 over the years, and I think they are great cars, as long as some dumb mechanic doesn't mess them up and use non- original parts ( sound familiar?). A Fiat has a Italian "soul", pure and simple

    I sold my "favorite" X1/9, right before buying my 328. I got in May of 2000 with 36k on it, and it was a great car, never a major issue, always started and yes, I did do the "belt" on it when I got it. The car was totally original and I kept it that way. Is the FIAT the same as a 3X8? No, but it was great to throw around, drive it all weather and leave it in any parking lot, and not worry about.

    Now maybe I am still to new with my 328, but I don't drive it if the weather sucks, or leave it in just any parking lot, as I would worry more about it. So, it that sense, I miss the X, but I had to make a choice ;-( . I kept my Fiat 850 spyder ( which I need to pull the motor out and replace the front seal on, which I will start today) and use my 240z as the car I can leave either anywhere. So even though I miss the X, I still have the go-cart feel with my other cars, and still have the 328 to go play with.........

    Would I pick up another X? Yes, if it was the right car. I just find it much more difficult to find Italian cars that have not been messed up by a owner that would not repair things correctly. At least with a F car, owners "seem" willing to fix them right, with a Fiat? not likely!

    Hopefully, when Alfa and Fiat make their return to US, I can rethink my next car purchase................

    Enjoy, and I think before I take the Fiat apart, I will take the 328 for a spin..................
    Bob
     
  25. David_S

    David_S F1 World Champ
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    The latest generation MR2 comes close (other than being a convertible rather than a targa top) - Bullfighter called the original "dorky," but the 2nd generation was pretty cool and the latest version at least has some nice traits. Doesn't hurt that it is cheap and gets good gas mileage either! That said - I haven't driven one.
     
  26. moysiuan

    moysiuan Formula 3
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    I have a 1988 Mondial Cab, my dad has a 1978 X19, he has about 180K miles on its, and has done a rolling restoration over the years. My Mondial is a 40K km jewel, we both maintain our cars to near perfection.

    His parts costs are much lower, but it really is a hard car to work on, and while parts are cheap they not necessarily available any more. The Mondial is ok to owner maintain at least at the level my low milage car requires, and all parts seem to be available, for a price.

    I actually think the X19 is a great drive, a small chuckable car that feels faster than it is provides a lot of real world driving pleasure. The engine sounds good to me, kind of turbine like and not unlike my Mondial. The angular look of the Mondial and the XI9 might be closer than the 308 comparison, and I like the look of both, althought the X19 probably wins for really nice proportions, and the wedge look is quite striking against a modern car setting. The Mondial in cab form is looking better with the passage of time, early detractors seemed to simply prefer more hard core Ferraris, but it has unusual style that I think is going to hold up well over time, and its a usuable street vehicle with quite good ergonomics.

    I think the article in the magazine concluded the Ferrari mystique is hard to not like, and more or less ranked it the better of the two, but I think concluded you should own both.

    If it wasn't for the difficult access to maintain, I would say the X19 deserves a tie.
     
  27. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    They rust at comparable speed......
     
  28. 208 GT4

    208 GT4 Formula 3

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    I had an X1/9 with twin 40s, a hotter camshaft and sports exhaust. It certainly sounded like half a Ferrari engine, and off the line it wasn't much slower. It lost out at higher speed as you would expect. Overall the driving experience was quite similar.
     

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