Thursday, April 9, 2015

5k: Ferrari Powered: 1989 Lancia Thema 8.32

In the late 1970s Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo & Saab conspired to create a joint platform for executive class sedans.  The end product was called the Type Four and featured transverse front-engine front-drive setup to be shared between the Lancia Thema, Saab 9000, Fiat Croma, and Alfa Romeo 164.  Each version offered their own spin on things, the Alfa was pretty, Saab was funky, Fiat was crappy, and the Lancia was insanely expensive to fix.  Find this 1989 Lancia Thema 8.32 offered for $4,500 with a Swiss title (every gear is neutral?!) located in Renton, WA via  Tip from BarbaraPaddles.

Before you accuse me of simply echoing stereotypes about unreliable and expensive to maintain Italian cars, you need to take a look at the details on this on this crimson beauty -- its got a wing that pops out of the trunk at speed.  The Rube Goldberg contraption that allows the wing to extend into attack position is the least of your concerns once you understand what lurks under the hood.

The Thema 8.32 (8 for number of cylinders and 32 for valves) is one of the stranger ways to get the engine from a Ferrari 308/Mondial in your garage.  The 2.9 liter V8 under the hood was built specifically for the Lancia by Ferrari, but uses a cross-plane crankshaft instead of the typical Ferrari flat-plane crankshaft.  In Lancia specification it pushes out 215 horsepower and 210 ft-lbs of torque, all the time sounding great despite the cross-plane crank.

The interior features all the classic 80s Italian flair you'd expect, with leather seats, wood (style?) dash and a few big round gauges that feature Ferrari-esque fonts and colors.  This 8.32 (what a strange thing to call a car) features a 5-speed manual gearbox and will get you to 60mph in about 7 seconds quick for a late 80s sedan, but nothing special today.

See another Ferrari powered Italdesign penned classic?


  1. I'm awarding you 36 internet points for the are all gears are neutral comment.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thema and Louis?


  4. Fleetwood T. BroughamApril 9, 2015 at 8:33 AM

    These cars are a great way to turn a large fortune into a small fortune, but this one is starting to near what I call the Maserati Biturbo point on the bell curve, where you say "ehhh, I know better, but at this price, why not?"

  5. Here's a little promo video about the town it's located in, Renton, WA:

    1. And of course you can't forget Renton Abbey

    2. Why so much love (hate) for Renton?

    3. No more than for any city nearby Seattle or for any Seattle neighborhood. These are from a local Seattle skit comedy show from the 90's (and its current offspring) from back when cities near Seattle had a distinct personality as well as neighborhoods in Seattle. Sadly, a lot of that has slipped away and people who have moved here recently have no idea about this stuff like Ballard is full of old Scandinavians, Kent is red necks with 4x4 pickups, my city Bothell is full of old people ("Bothell is having its 5th annual Bring Back Kojak parade and rally"), Kirkland architecture is post-Taco Bell...

    4. ...and all this from a Seattle post. Here on the salt=rust East, I've been NW-culturally deprived. Thnx G.

  6. I owned a 5-speed Saab 9000 Turbo from this mash up family, and it was actually a pretty nice car. Reasonably sporty, comfortable, and had massive cargo capacity with the rear seats folded. 15 fewer horses with half the cylinders.

  7. The 8.32 (and the Fazzazi from which the motor was peached) uses Bosch KE-Jetronic, the last gasp for the mechanical CIS product line.

    This is one of those cars you have to really want for highly personal reasons, 'cause that same $4500 will buy you a decent E28 or E34 535i that'll run rings around it.

    The good news - and possibly the reason he might be able to bring it out of hiding and sell it for something - is that it's now past the 25-year NHTSA import window.

  8. Unlike the BiTurbo, the engine in the 8.32 is rather reliable. This car is rare in the US, handles great (yes I've driven one) and makes sounds that no BMW can match...and I am a multiple BMW owner. $4000 and $4000 in upgrades/maintenance and for under $10k you have an Italian thoroughbred that no one will know what it is, but will recognize the sound anywhere.


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