In 1971 at the Turin motor show, De Tomaso unveiled this prototype built by Ghia named 1600 Spider, powered by a Ford engine and completely similar to the Fiat X1/9 designed by Bertone.
It is perhaps thanks to this hoax that the story of X1/9 began, probably to demonstrate that the small De Tomaso company could pull out models like Fiat in a few months and not in a few years amid a thousand hesitations. The fact is that this setback to Fiat set in motion a mechanism that allowed Bertone to finalize and definitively present the X1/9 project.
De Tomaso did not have any productive ambitions towards that 170 hp prototype, drawn in a hurry by the good Tom Tjaarda, at the request of Alexandro himself, after seeing some models that for years wandered between Fiat and Bertone. What would the project of this magnificent two-seater have been without this affront? Maybe he would forever be buried in the dust in some Bertone warehouse, but history gave birth to it, and we all enjoy it.
Images: www.qv500.com; www.tom-tjaarda.net