Updated 19 January 2020
March 1977 Melbourne International motor show
With Australia delivered cars, these would be an optional extra. However, the fog lamps would be clear lenses, instead of yellow. One other subtle difference is the seat fabric on the UK models went from the top of the headrest to the base. The Australian model was replaced with a plain fabric piece in the bottom half.By the time we had the Australian delivered cars, the door cards design would also change from a square pattern to more of a stripe.
The first RHD X1/9 in Australia was imported by Fiat and was with Luigi Misurica who owned the Castello Motors dealership in Shepparton VIC. This X1/9 was imported especially to be displayed at the annual Shepparton Italian festival in 1977. This imported X1/9 from the UK came standard with Cromadora CD-58 rims as well as yellow lens Carello fog lamps. This was the standard delivery on UK delivered cars in1977.
Morrison Motors (1978)
Fiats official press car JRN592
In April of 1978, there were four (Green, Orange, and two Blue) Fiat X1/9's imported in by Fiat for LNC industries as they were the distributors for Fiat at the time. During this time George Caller was the service manager at Morison Motors Fiat division located in Chatswood NSW Australia.
George received a call from Bob McBeath the boss of Fiat Australia, that he would need to prepare these four X1/9's quickly as they just got through customs and certification on Friday, April the 28th 1978. They needed to be registered and made ready for the press day scheduled on Wednesday, May the 3rd 1978 at Warwick Farm. Once registered, Bob also asked George to get as many kilometres as they can on all four cars over the weekend before the press start road testing them.
Each of the four X1/9's was distributed out to different groups, including LNC, to get some kilometres on them. George ended up with the Green X1/9 registration JRN592, and this also happens to be the quickest of the four delivered. George asked his wife Frances to take it for a long drive on Saturday as he had to work in the morning. Frances and her sister managed to rack up 300km on the first day, driving around Sydney as well as being pulled over by police just wanting a better look at the new car.
Over the same long weekend, George and Frances would continued to put more kilometres on it on Sunday and Monday driving up to the central coast and back. They managed to put over 1000 Kilometres on it over the three days so it would be ready for the upcoming press day.
On the 3rd of May 1978, George had all four X1/9's sent over to Warrick Farm ready for the press. One of the first to road test was David Mackay, who was handed the keys to the green X1/9. This same green X1/9 JRN592 would continue to do the media round for three months where the other three X1/9's when back to LNC.
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