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Cold Start: Imagery Is Important


Look, I love Fiat X1/9s and clever, evocative imagery as much as the next guy, very likely significantly more, but you have to really think through the cultural significance of the images you portray. For example, this cloud-themed brochure sure looks good, but is it possible to look at this and not think, oh, how sad, that Fiat X1/9 is now dead?

No. It’s not possible. The car is in heaven.

Ah, dammit, I noticed something and I can’t help but show you now. Look at this:




Clearly, it was designed to have US-spec side marker lamps, but they removed them to be cheap, replaced them with these black plastic ribbed rectangles, and then up front installed a different, smaller side marker/indicator repeater unit inside the blanking panel.

What the hell? Was this cheaper than just using the US-spec one that existed? Weird.

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18 Responses

  1. What a gorgeous little car! Thank goodness I was too young and too poor to buy one of these when new. That’s one of the few times when the universe took care of me.

  2. My SO saw this and remarked, “All cars go to heaven.”
    I’m not so sure about that.

    Also appropriate post for 4/20. Hey, that could explain the marker lamp!

  3. Exposing your Fiat to large quantities of water vapor just seems like a bad idea. Did they also feature a 124 Spider parked in front of a municipal road salt pile?

  4. Don’t worry, Jason, it’s only sleeping. See? Look again at the top photo. Eyes closed, mouth agape. The little Fiat is snoring. It’s dreaming about flying! So cute.

  5. That’s a 74′, the first model year. I’m going to guess that these images were drawn before fiat figured out exactly what it was going to do for side marker lights.

    On mine, a previous owner shaved the side marker lights off entirely, and I think it looks a lot better and cleaner without them.

    1. I can’t edit my comment, but looking at images these were the correct lights for a 74′, but fiat later changed to lights that filled the panel later on. I’d just chalk it up to one of those peculiarities that exist in first model year designs.

  6. I am pretty sure those were required to be small and round by the Italian legislation who was the first country to require orange front side repeaters in the late 1950s.

  7. The second-to-last paragraph starts with “Clearly, i was designed to have US-spec side marker lamps.” And frankly, since it’s Jason, the sentence makes even more sense that way.

  8. >> S13 Sedan says: “Don’t worry that Fiat isn’t dead, it just went to live on a nice farm upstate”

    Am I the only one who read: “Don’t worry that Fiat isn’t dead, it just went to live on a MICE farm upstate”?

    I obviously have watched too many “Will it start” videos.


  9. It’s not a car that’s in heaven, it’s a Fiat firmly grounded in our reality. It’s smoke, not clouds, a question not of What happened to it’ so much as What happened to it NOW?’

  10. Friend of my Dad used to bring one over in that exact green. I learned sooooo many great swear words when that car was in our garage. So much rust. And yes, my Dad’s name is Tony…

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