What do you do when you want to experience the joys of mid-ship motoring, but can't afford exotic iron and don't want the reliability of an MR2? Well, have we got a Fiat for you.

The Fiat X1/9 was produced in conjunction with Bertone and deep within the tight confines of the engine bay, beats a heart as athletic as Dick Cheney's. For the U.S. market, the X1/9 came equipped with a 1.5-liter mill, producing around 85 HP, which was a considerable upgrade when compared to its 75 HP European counterpart. Although the Fiat tipped the scales at just over 2,200 pounds, the little motor barely provided enough power to get out of its own way.

This 1986 model is proudly owned by Flickr member Desl, and comes complete with luxurious items like power windows and air conditioning. With 200k on the clock and an engine rebuild at 193k, Desl still manages to get his little runabout to a few track days and autocross meets, and describes it as "a Ferrari 308, scaled back by 95% of the purchase price."

We've posted a few more pics after the jump, including a mildly disastrous encounter with a downed tree that caused us to blurt out a few expletives before chuckling on and off for the better part of ten minutes.

The addition of Desl's Fiat has upped the ante in our Beater of the Week contest, so if you think you can out do either one of our featured rides so far, submit them to our Flickr pool by following the directions after the jump.






How to submit to RR of the Day:
Create a
Flickr account if you don't already have one. Search for and join the group called 'Autoblog RR of the Day'. Upload up to three photos of your ride to your own account at a size no larger than 450 pixels wide if possible and include as much information about it and yourself as possible. Even if your ride is sweet, it will not be chosen if there's not a lot of info accompanying it. Click on each photo and just above the picture it will say "Send to group". Click that and select the Autoblog group. You're done, that's it!

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