1989 Lancia Thema 8.32 – REVISIT

The 1989 Lancia Thema 8.32 that we featured for sale last year in Canada is back up for sale with a Buy it Now of $15,900. Is this tempting enough for a US enthusiast to travel across the border, bring it back here for one year under a potential "show and display" exemption and then be in the clear in 2014?

1989 Lancia Thema 8.32 - REVISIT

The below post originally appeared on our site June 27, 2012:

Cars like the original Mercedes-Benz 500E, the BMW M5 and the Cadillac CTS-V are all sedans that enthusiasts are familiar with. Take an executive saloon, drop a bomb of an engine under the hood, tweak the suspension, brakes and transmission and you have a recipe for stealth. But one of the most interesting and seductive sports sedans to ever hit the streets is probably one you never heard of. The Lancia Thema 8.32. This car shared architecture with the Fiat Croma, Saab 9000 and Alfa Romeo 164. While the Giugiaro inspired styling may have been a bit tame, in true Lancia form, the engineers went off the reservation. In went a 3.0 liter V8 from a Ferrari 308. Mounted transversely with a cross plane crankshaft and a few bits from Ducati, this was a serious motor. With 212 horsepower on tap and a sub seven second 0-60 time, the Thema 8.32 could hang with the best of them. This one for sale is unique in that it has been imported to Canada, putting it within arms reach of US enthusiasts.

1989 Lancia Thema 8.32

I am offering one of the rarest, world's best, unmolested factory original 1989 Lancia Thema 8.32 with the Ferrari 3.0 four cam V8. Yes, a true sleeper. Incredible performance from the 3.0 four cam Ferrari V8. This rare all numbers matching Thema 8.32 is one of only 3,971 ever made and in spectacular original condition with only two meticulous owners since new. It was professionally appraised in January of 2006 for $36,000. That was six years ago. VIN #: ZLA83400000164763.

SOME BRIEF HISTORY: First shown at the Turin Auto Show in 1986, the Thema 8.32 ("8" standing for the number of cylinders and "32" for the number of valves) was assembled at Lancia's S. Paolo plant in Turin. Shaped by the hands of Giorgetto Giugiaro, the boxy sedan model featured a 0.32 drag coefficient, which was an impressive figure at the time. Being a luxury model, it featured a comprehensive list of standard and optional features, including automatic air conditioning and heated seats wrapped in leather or Alcantara.

Two years after the launch of the model, Lancia executives decided to step it up a notch with the presentation of the Thema 8.32, perhaps better known as the "Thema Ferrari." The Italian Q-car was fitted with a 3.0-liter 32valve V8 engine (hence the 8.32 in the name) sourced from Ferrari. Power was sent to the front wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox. The Ferrari-powered Thema completed the 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint in 6.8 seconds and achieved a top speed of 240 km/h or 149 mph!

The styling of the Thema 8.32 was rather discreet with exterior upgrades being limited to the different grille, tailpipes, gold/yellow pinstripes on the sides, a retractable rear boot lid spoiler and the alloy wheel designs. Inside, the flagship Thema offered buyers a full leather treatment (or Alcantara) along with a wood trimmed dashboard featuring unique gauges and a three spoke leather steering wheel.

Here are some highlights: The actual mileage on this 8.32 is 123,413 original km or 73,000 original miles. No rips, tears, cuts, or any other imperfections in the Alcantara seats, door panels and dashboard Non-smoker and was never smoked in by anyone else. Full service history from Grand Turismo in Alliston, Ontario. One of 2 in North America that I know of. Does anyone else have one in North America? I would sure like to know.

Purchased from the first and only original 73 year old owner in Italy and imported by Autoforum into Canada several years ago. Must be seen and driven to be appreciated.

MOTOR: 3.0 quad came FERRARI V8. The previous owner (Paul) has spent over 20K in making sure this 8.32 is perfect. Speak to Brett at Gran Turismo. I would be more than glad to give you Brett's telephone number.

TRANSMISSION: 5-speed transmission. The transmission shifts perfectly in every gear!

BODY: 100% rust free with factory original paint. Never in any accident or collision whatsoever. All original factory shell panels, no aftermarket parts whatsoever. Perfect floors, rocker panels, trunk, etc.

EXHAUST SYSTEM: Upgraded Magnaflow exhaust system. Comes with factory exhaust system as well.

WHEELS/TIRES: Factory original 15" WHEELS with Yokohama tires! I will install a brand new set of 205/50 15" tires for the new owner.

INTERIOR: All original, as new. What can I say, again, let the photos speak for themselves.

COMES WITH THE FOLLOWING: Color brochure, untouched original tool kit, original untouched spare wheel/tire, original factory jack, appraisal - was appraised in 2006 at over $36,000. Today it would be appraised at $45,000. Full service history from Gran Turismo. Original factory exhaust, Lancia Thema floor mats, everything you see in the video/photos. This Lancia cost the equivalent of $80,000 when it was brand new.

TITLE/SHIPPING: This 1989 LANCIA THEMA 8.32 comes with a clean Canadian title. For US residents, I can title this Lancia in your name here in Toronto and get Ontario license plates/sticker in your name so you can drive this Lancia anywhere in North America.

The attractive thing about this Lancia is that it is already residing in North America and will be legal for US road use in 2014. I'm not sure how the seller would work out Canadian license plates for a US buyer, but it wouldn't be out of the question for a US collector to buy this car, store it away for a short while and then title it. It sound kind of crazy, but sadly the US government is so draconian that we are left with few other inexpensive options. The last Thema 8.32 we featured had a little more than 30,000 less miles on the clock and was being offered at $18,000. This car was also located in Germany. I would wager to say averting the hassle that comes along with importation logistics, the asking price of $22,000 is almost a bargain for a decently preserved example of unobtanium.

-Paul

Posted under: Lancia, Modern Classic
Dated: Feb 25 2013

1 Comment

  1. Larry says:

    Something’s wrong with the link, Paul.

    Conceptually, the Thema 8.32 is awesome. Family sedan with a Ferrari engine. Super rare (particularly in this condition) and very cool. Unfortunately, it’s so bland and dated looking that no one would even look twice at it. At least not in a positive way.

    Practically, the Thema’s Alfa 164 brother makes more sense. A LOT less cash – both upfront and later. Arguably, the look has aged better. And the Alfa’s engine looks and sounds sweet – even if it isn’t quite as cool as the Ferrari mill.