RE: Lancia Thema 8.32: Spotted

RE: Lancia Thema 8.32: Spotted

Thursday 15th November 2018

Lancia Thema 8.32: Spotted

One of eight in the country, and looking absolutely superb - what are you waiting for?



Even in the barmy days of the 1980s, when Dodge was conjuring up the Viper, Jaguar on the brink of the XJR-15s and BMW created the original, supercar slaying M5, the Thema 8.32 must have seemed bizarre. Yes, even for Lancia. Here was a car that shared much of its nether regions with a Fiat Croma and the Saab 9000, yet was powered by a Ferrari V8. Okay, so it was changed to a cross-plane crank from the flat-plane 308 of whence it came, but this was still a bonafide Ferrari powerplant. In a Lancia saloon.

Some might argue that seems less remarkable today given the world now has the Giulia Quadrifoglio, which to all intents and purposes has a Ferrari engine at the snouty end. But even the most ardent Alfisti would have to concede it's missing a couple of cylinders from the full Maranello masterpiece. And it has a torque converter automatic, where a Ferrari gets a dual-clutch. The Thema went the whole hog, and more than 30 years ago too: eight Ferrari cylinders, more than 200 Ferrari horsepower, and a manual gearbox. Plus, er, front-wheel drive. Definitely don't get that with a Giulia, either.

In keeping with its rather bonkers gestation, the Thema 8.32 was ludicrously expensive: at launch it was nearly £40k, or near enough £100,000 in today's money. It was more than twice what any other Thema in the range cost, and well beyond anything else that might be considered a rival. So, in true late Lancia fashion, this was of niche interest, extremely costly and yet still really rather interesting.


Imagine being one of the very few people who took the plunge, and was rolling around Britain in the late 80s and early 90s with their Thema 8.32. Not only were cars like the 037 and Stratos within recent memory, but Lancia was dominating the WRC (again) with the Delta. Certainly there were less iconic cars in the recent past, but what a brand to be associated with 30 years ago. In a V8 saloon...

When we use the phrase 'very few', that's not hyperbole either: there were probably more Thatcher portraits sold in Yorkshire between 1986 and 1992 than 8.32s nationwide. The seller of this car suggests seven were purchased through UK outlets, and there aren't any estimates that reach into double figures. Apparently there are eight currently residing as taxed in the UK, perhaps with one or two having been imported once upon a time.

It'll be a proper struggle to source one, basically, but here we are: a genuine Lancia Thema 8.32. Look, see, says 'Ferrari' on the engine and the spoiler pops up too. Furthermore, it's probably no exaggeration to see this must be one of the best, if not the absolute pinnacle, of Themas in the UK.


It has covered less than 70,000 miles in more than a quarter of a century and is said to be rust free, which is extremely encouraging. The current owner is clearly an enthusiast (as you'd have to be), listing the details of a recent four-figure service, posting good pictures and ensuring the car is kept in dry storage. Those images say a lot, too, the dark blue paint still gleaming and the chocolate leather truly immaculate. Best like that spec, too, because there's plenty of the leather around...

What does it cost, then, this feast of Italian curiosity? Well, it's for sale at £27,000. With cars selling for £20k less half a dozen years ago, that seems a lot. Although with European cars selling for more than €35,000, perhaps not. And while the aforementioned E28 M5 is not a conventional rival, given the Lancia's more relaxed remit and less power, it's hard to avoid in a comparison; £80,000 buys this 1987, right-hand drive car.

Truth be told, those who want a Thema 8.32 are surely going to accept nothing less than a Thema 8.32, which is probably going to mean paying what's being asked for one. And as the Lancia brand fades ever further into obscurity, so the wares of its heyday will likely be ever more cherished (and highly prized) by their keepers. It's hard to see a car like this ever having mass classic appeal, presumably boasting much of the awkwardness and expense of Ferrari ownership without the glamour - but for those who are keen then this could be the opportunity they've been waiting years for. Good luck and a gold PH star to that brave soul.


SPECIFICATION - LANCIA THEMA 8.32
Engine:
2,927cc, V8
Transmission: 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 215@6,750rpm
Torque (lb ft): 209@4,500rpm
MPG: 26.9
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1992
Recorded mileage: 67,000
Price new: £37,500 (1988)
Yours for: £27,000

See the original advert here

Author
Discussion

numtumfutunch

Original Poster:

3,189 posts

81 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
Lovely, just lovely

We'll have a pic from Viz in 5,4............

Dale487

972 posts

66 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
What more could you want - a Ferrari engined Lancia super saloon? The want is very big.

(I've have to find the correct gear knob & fast - its upsetting my originality freak.)

cookie1600

1,193 posts

104 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
I've always fancied one of these but I imagine the running costs and scarcity of spares means it would be consigned to the back of the garage for fear of something going wrong and waiting weeks to secure a replacement.

Mind you, if I had Rowan Atkinson's bank account to cover £20k of work in 7 years:

http://www.silverstoneauctions.com/1989-lancia-the...

Odd fact I didn't see in the article, the engines were assembled at Ducati.

Spitfire2

1,740 posts

129 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
One of the other 7 is about 400 yards from me. Looks equally good condition but lives outside so not sure how long that will last. It does appear to move occasionally but not often.

Has reg number 832F too if I'm remembering right.

Hub

4,234 posts

141 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
An interesting car, but you'd have to really want one. I imagine the running costs are a little high for the performance on offer. IIRC the Thema Turbo was very similar performance wise.
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BFleming

1,180 posts

86 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
The Fiat Croma and Saab 9000 got a mention, but not the other Tipo 4 car, the Alfa Romeo 164. Although it looked like it came from different parentage, it didn't & was the same base car.
The last facelifted version of the Thema was certainly my favourite, and although the 8.32 went like the clappers, it also had an air of fragility about it - too much to go wrong, and most of it beyond the realms of the home mechanic. I've always been tempted by the Thema, but never particularly by the 8.32 for this reason.
I saw a Thema 8.32 for sale on Ebay last week. Time had been a cruel mistress to it, but I see it's sold. The owner had bought it to 'borrow' the engine for a Stratos kitcar he was planning. The listing is still here to peruse: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1989-Lancia-Thema-8-32-...

s m

17,626 posts

146 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
BFleming said:
...the 8.32 went like the clappers,
I don't think GT86 performance gets too many excited on here nowadays!

Still, it was fast in its day and the boot spoiler was unusual

McFarnsworth

266 posts

92 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
A friend of mine had one a couple of years ago. I've driven it occasionally and the best thing I can say about it is that it sounds really good... and the dash and spoiler are pretty cool I guess.

He loved that car though, even after the engine blew up and he had to sell it for spares. He still misses it.

Esceptico

1,736 posts

52 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
If you ever needed an example of how irrational car-lovers can be then this is it. Expensive, unreliable, slow and not even special (except perhaps for the engine).

Does look nice though.

MikeyC

558 posts

170 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
This particular car was on ebay a couple of weeks ago, but didn't sell

The seller has some interesting words on his search for one of these cars:

Seller said:
Welcome to my auction.
I would like to invite you to bid on one of my cars from my personal collection.
Unfortunately, due to health problems I am forced to sell two cars from my collection - Mercedes 300TE-24 Lorinser and my Lancia Thema 8.32 Series 2.
This listing is for my 1992 Lancia Thema 8.32 Series 2 205bhp
I purchased and imported it from Japan in September 2017 and registered it in UK in March 2018.
This car is very rare. Its 1 of 5 Lancia Thema 8.32 sold to the Japanese market. It comes with original Japanese owner’s manual book, 1 key, full service history and an export certificate.
If you are looking for an excellent example of a Thema 8.32 you probably already know how difficult is to find a faultless one smile
My story with the 8.32 started in 2014 when I saw one in Italy. I loved the idea of front wheel drive Ferrari with such a luxurious interior and for half the price of a Ferrari 308.
In January 2015 I've started searching for one. After seeing 2 in UK, one at £9000 a running project and a second one for £18000 a "mint example" I was a bit disappointed with the condition and so many present issues. In June 2015 I’ve driven to Italy and Germany to see 5 more examples with a price range between 14000-37000 Euros. Once again same story – The first 4 cars were advertised with unfair description; actually two of them were worse than the £9000 project in the UK. However the 37000 Euros example was in perfect condition for a 25 year old car. Unfortunately the car lacked service history and was much over my budget. At least I have compared compare cheap examples with the finest ones available on the market.

After arriving back to UK, I decided to buy a £9000 Lancia 8,32 project in need of a full re-spray and a major service as it had difficulties with cold starts and a misfire. After 7 months and 4 so called ''Lancia specialist'' - car was still running with the same problem and I wasted £3000. After a year I found a good mechanic who used to work on them in the late 80's and I agreed for minor engine rebuild, after spending £4500 - the car is better, the misfire disappeared but it still had problem with cold start. In March 2017 I just gave up, parked in my storage and left for better days. Then in September 2017 my business partner spotted a Thema 8.32 series 2 in Japan. According to the advert it was in mint condition; completely rust free with a full service history, mechanically spot on. Having some experience with poor condition 8.32s and never ending problems with my 8.32 - I decided to buy this unique example knowing just how well Japanese people look after their cars. The Lancia also had a valid Shaken Test(MOT) - Japanese Shaken Test for cars over 15 years old are the most rigorous and toughest in the world. Buying an old car with valid test in Japan means that the car must be mechanically perfect.

And I wasn't wrongsmile

My Lancia arrived late December - mechanically it was in perfect condition and underneath it was like a new car - no rust at all.

The UK MOT was passed without any advisories.

I then booked my Lancia for major serviced at my local garage. The total cost was just over £1200. I purchased all the parts from a Ferrari parts supplier specialist - Superperformance UK LTD:

Engine oil Eni I Sint 10w40 F/S
Oil filter
Air filter
Gearbox oil castrol SAF XJ 75W-140
Brake fluid Eni Dot 4
Diff oil Eni Rotra ATF III
Air-condition re-gas (temp 6.9C)
Front wheel alignment
Ignition wiring repair (a common issue on the Lancia Thema)
Rear spoiler set up
1h road test

After the service I have only driven 25km and then I parked the Lancia at my dry storage.

Unfortunately in August I found out that my storage will be liquidated by the end of September (The new owner has plans for housing estate).

I re-did the MOT on 04.09.18 – it passed with no advisories again. I parked the car in an outdoor tent at my friend place in Bedworth, Warwickshire hoping to find heated storage before winter but due to my health problems I need to sell and raise extra funds.

<snip>

StescoG66

1,072 posts

86 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
There is one I used to see at CM Garage in East Kilbride which resides somewhere in the Glasgow area. Last I saw it about 2 years ago looking cosmetically rather sorry for itself. Shame.

Dale487

972 posts

66 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
Esceptico said:
If you ever needed an example of how irrational car-lovers can be then this is it. Expensive, unreliable, slow and not even special (except perhaps for the engine).

Does look nice though.
If you want logical, buy an i30N or Gold GTI for the same money - faster, safer, more economical, spare parts support, manufacturer warranty..............but about a tenth as interesting - the Lancia might be confused for an old shed but never a cooking model or GTD.


MJK 24

5,320 posts

179 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
This I.O.M. registered example is a regular sight in and around south Liverool. Sounds lovely.


Dale487

972 posts

66 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
MJK 24 said:
This I.O.M. registered example is a regular sight in and around south Liverool. Sounds lovely.

A rare Australian import?

Alex

9,735 posts

227 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
Dale487 said:
A rare Australian import?
Good road holding.

otolith

38,052 posts

147 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all

Dale487

972 posts

66 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
Alex said:
Dale487 said:
A rare Australian import?
Good road holding.
And with the boot spoiler re-tracked - impressive.

Esceptico

1,736 posts

52 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
MikeyC said:
This particular car was on ebay a couple of weeks ago, but didn't sell
Highest bid was £14k. Someone would have to be very brave to spend £27k on it.

2smoke

75 posts

54 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
Harry's Garage review from September 2018

https://youtu.be/y3rHl4DH-fY

Greg the Fish

628 posts

9 months

Thursday 15th November 2018
quotequote all
Showing my age now but what the hell, my paper round took in the road locally known as millionaire's row just outside the village. One of the very nice houses on my round belonged to a serial car buyer who had one of the first in the country of these.

Even coming from a household of some rather plush motors I was pretty awe-struck with this insane thing and utterly charmed by it. Owner took me for a spin in it once as he knew I was a bit of a car nut. Sounded great. Went well. Always wanted one since smile

Cool story bro.