There are sport sedans, and then there are sport sedans. While some manufacturers might be content to tinker a bit with cylinder bores and valves or add a bit of forced induction to come up with a hot version of a sedan, Lancia, in their usual fashion, went about things differently. They dropped a 2.9 liter Ferrari V8 under the hood of their executive sedan. And thus, the Thema 8.32 was born. With the addition of a cross plane crank and modified firing order, this car was a screamer in its day, capable of 60 mph in under seven seconds. The Thema 8.32 is a unique car indeed, and this particular example for sale in Switzerland is made even more so with rare blue paintwork and custom alloys.
Very nice 8.32 in a very rare color combination, 18" three piece aluminum wheels (customized especially for this vehicle). Modified chassis includes new shock absorbers, new front and rear brakes, revised brake calipers, timing belt and water pump replaced, great service history and great condition
It's great that many of these Thema 8.32s are now eligible for importation to the US, as a few, like this one, are over 25 years of age. It would take some nerve to own one here, though. Make friends with your local Ferrari mechanic and say a prayer, because servicing on such a rare beast will not be easy on these shores. But, for the dedicated few, you could be proud in saying you own what could be considered the closest thing to a four-door Ferrari this side of a fifth generation Maserati Quattroporte.
If you wanted to go fast in an executive sedan that was rear drive in the 1980s, you bought a BMW M5. If you wanted to go fast in an all-wheel drive sedan in the 1980s, you bought an Audi 200 or 5000 quattro. But if you wanted to go fast in a front wheel drive executive sedan in the 1980s, this is the car you wanted - the Lancia Thema 8.32. Outfitted with a Ferrari sourced, Ducati built 3.0 V8 channeling over 200 horsepower through the front wheels, the Thema was an unusual choice to go fast in. It was also an expensive one; the coin-counters at Lancia must have figured that if they priced it high enough, everyone would just buy it. They didn't. As a result, only around 4,000 total of these cars were produced and they were never imported to North America. Despite that, one has made its way around the world - from Italy to Japan, and then on to British Colombia where it's for sale today:
Year: 1988 Model: Thema 8:32 Engine: 3.0 liter V8 Transmission: 5-speed manual Mileage: 60,000 mi Price: No Reserve Auction
1988 Lancia Thema 5 speed 8:32 this car has a Ferrari 308 qv Motor thats all original
The motor needs some work there are two bad cylinders the mechanic did tests on them and determined that it is the valves so it needs the heads to be done, The car runs and drives like this, to see the motor running and more photo go to .
Condition throughout great shape no rust, the car is from Japan and has never bin driven in the winter .The interior seats are in really good shape, no rip, or stains on the seat .The dash has a crack from the sun and needs to be repaired .
This car is a lot of fun to drive, I driven a lot front wheel and this is the best one no torque steer .
You call me at 778-350-8111
The Car at Clemente's Autosports and you can call them at 604-568-0491
1600 Kingsway Vancouver B.C. Canada
Because of their limited appeal and running costs on the Ferrari V8, these Themas haven't gained the sporting reputation of the M5, nor have they gained the accompanying market value. Despite that, this is a pretty cool and interesting alternative to the M5, Audi quattros or Alfa Romeos and fast SAABS of the same generation. You're not likely to draw a crowd, unless of course you pop the hood and rev that glorious Ferrari V8 a few times. Unfortunately, that will be difficult in this particular example as the engine is in need of repair; however, in terms of Ferrari motors this is probably one of the cheapest you can fix. Does that make it worth it? Well, if the bidding stays low - it's at around $5,000 as of writing - this could make a neat and cheaper alternative to the quickly appreciating M5 market.
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?
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.
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.
The Lancia Thema 8.32 is one of those cars that makes little sense. Who in their right mind would stuff a liter Ferrari V8 under the hood of an executive sedan...sideways? Well, Lancia thought it would be a good idea and produced the Thema 8.32 in limited quantities for those who sought the ultimate Q ship. This sedan shared it's platform with the Fiat Croma, Alfa Romeo 164 and Saab 9000 and its engine with the Ferrari 380 and Mondial. Few automotive mashups were ever so interesting. Now the first of these 8.32s are falling outside of the 25 year importation law that faces US automotive enthusiasts. This 8.32 is for sale in Italy and will be legal to import stateside after January 1st, 2013.
Lancia Approved! Car never crashed, FSH, service book. Car rarely used in the rain but driven regularly. Regular maintenance carried out with great care, 10,000 spent in the last three years on mechanicals. Like a new car, used with the utmost respect not to exploit its full performance potential. This car is all original, even in the smallest details, so register without any intervention to the Historic Lancia Register.
At about $18,500, this is steep for a Lancia or cheap for a Ferrari, depending on how you want to look at it. This particular 8.32 has lower mileage at just over 60,000, but the price still leaves it well above other 8.32s we've featured here at CICFS. It also makes it quite a pricey proposition for anyone interested in shipping it to the US. Still, with a lot of these 8.32s run hard and put up wet, it's nice to see a well preserved example can still be had.
With every passing year, a slew of interesting cars become available for import to the US that fall outside of the 25 year law set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. I've had my eyes on the Lancia Thema for a while, but not just any Thema, the one with the 3.0 liter Ferrari V8 under the hood. Even though it was front-wheel drive, this is a piece of exotica revered by those in the know. This Thema for sale in Germany was imported to the country four years prior from Switzerland.
Car is in good condition with little mileage. Carpets in the front should be replaced. Injection lines slightly corroded. Just needs some TLC and movement as it sat for three years in the garage. Sensational engine is good for a lot of fun. In five years, this car will be vintage and guaranteed with high appreciation potential. One of the first of the "nicer" series, only 2300 pieces built. Poltrona Frau full leather interior with Alcantara roof. The car has no technical approval because it was never registered in Germany and was imported from Switzerland four years ago.
It's a risk buying a car of this caliber that has sat for a while and needs mechanical attention. At about $7,800 USD, you're looking at about a $10,000 car after importation and customs fees. If you can keep the repairs to around $2,000 to $3,000, I'd say it would be worth it. The exterior looks tidy and the interior leather and wood is well preserved. Sort the mechanicals and this would be a fantastic sleeper.
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.