Friday 7th September 2012


SOTW: LANCIA THEMA TURBO LS

A picture speaks a thousand words, which is fortunate for this week's Shed...


If you're buying a car, even at Shed money, it's nice to see some decent photos and an adequate description of your potential purchase. The latter is especially desirable if the car under consideration is one as seldom seen as a Lancia Thema Turbo LS. But Barrie, the vendor of this particular Thema, has seen it fit to describe his car with simply: 'Good Condition, Performs well but needs a new/replacement Air Conditioning Pump'. This is despite providing seven decent photos. Bizarre.

My first saloon car, by Lancia
My first saloon car, by Lancia
So, with great thanks to the Thema and DedraConsortium here's some info if a Thema Turbo tickles your fancy (and why wouldn't it for 1,000?).

Firstly, this is a quick car. Well, it was in 1993, it may not be 136,000 miles later and nearly two decades later. Contemporary road tests recorded this 200hp executive express from 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds and onto a top speed of 143mph. This was thanks to a 2.0-litre twin-cam Fiat engine with a Garrett T3 turbo, Motronic fuel injection and a kerb weight of just 1,335kg. The Turbo LS also had a limited-slip differential on the options list. Don't you just love the internet? Unfortunately, Barrie hasn't mentioned whether this Thema is so equipped.

Not exactly Lancia's most memorable design...
Not exactly Lancia's most memorable design...
So that's what you'll find in every Thema Turbo, but what to make of this example? It certainly looks presentable enough, with the exterior seemingly free from any major imperfections. The Thema was never the most exciting of vehicles to look at and its plain appearance probably won't attract many stares today. The tiny Turbo LS badge in the grille is barely noticeable so the Thema remains fairly nondescript to all but extreme aficionados (the Thema and Dedra Consortium members, for example).

Inside, the cream velour of this car still appears in good nick; there are even some wood inlays, just to remind you of the Thema's luxurious billing. The footwells look slightly messy but a Sunday morning of hoovering should resolve that. Deciphering which functions the myriad of buttons on the dash actually control may take slightly longer; fixing them if they don't work probably longer still...

Live the high life with genuine cream velour
Live the high life with genuine cream velour
A Lancia Thema 16v Turbo LS (what was so wrong with simple trim levels?) will always be a risk at 1,000, especially with an ad of such worrying brevity. But it could be a good one. And you could find yourself cruising up an autostrada (or the M18) with 200hp at your disposal in a true Q-car Shed.

Advert (all twelve words of it) reproduced below. Also, if you've rather more to blow on a Thema, how about an 8.32?

Lancia Thema 16V Turbo LS (1,000)

Good Condition, Performs well but needs a new/replacement Air Conditioning Pump.

Author: Matt Bird
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