With the new year upon us, no doubt everyone is busy making their resolutions. I, on the other hand, am busy figuring out what new cars are legal to import, now that 1987 vehicles fall outside of the 25 year importation ban imposed on enthusiasts living in the United States.
One car that has always fascinated me is the Lancia Thema 8.32. If you aren't familiar with the Thema, this large Lancia shared it’s platform architecture with the Fiat Croma, Saab 9000 and Alfa Romeo 164. The Thema was rather sedate styling wise, but in true Lancia form, their engineers went ahead and did something completely off the wall. They stuffed a 3.0 liter V8 taken from a Ferrari 308 under the hood. This V8 was pretty much unchanged, save for a cross plane crankshaft which replaced the Ferrari’s flat plane crank, a different firing order and smaller valves. This was a rather exotic engine, as some of the engine components came from not only the Ferrari factory in Maranello, but from famed motorcycle manufacturer Ducati, as well.
The resulting car put up numbers which were impressive for a sedan at the time; 212 horsepower, 0-60mph in 6.8 seconds and a top speed glancing 150 mph. The interior included added luxuries such as wood trim and leather by Poltrona Frau. And electronically deployable rear spoiler rounded off the package. In total, 3,971 examples of the Thema 8.32 were built. For the intrepid US Italian automotive enthusiast, here is an example for sale in Germany.
ABS, alloy wheels, central locking, ESP, leather seats, warranty. Car is in excellent condition, service receipts available at the official Ferrari shop.
For someone brave enough to tackle importation to the US and the servicing costs that come along with Ferrari V8 ownership, this is a Q ship right up there in rarity, if not desirability, with the Mercedes-Benz 500E and Lotus Carlton. You would certainly be the center of attention at any Fiat Lancia Unlimited meet up. With 65,000 km under its belt (~ 40,000 miles) it has been lightly used. The asking price of €13,800 (~ $18,000 USD) is at the high end of the range for these sedans and similar money can buy equally fast (and more reliable) new and used vehicles. For the Lancia or Ferrari enthusiast, however, this is a nicely preserved example of a rarely seen and forgotten Autostrade beast.