Wolf in Sheep’s clothing, Ferrari Engine, 1st car with retractable wing, rare and Unique
Who hasn’t wanted a Ferrari in the garage & who can resist Ferrari inspired passion on the road behind the wheel? Alas, deep pockets have always been required to buy one, then requiring even deeper pockets just to maintain it. Well, this car solves all of your problems and gets you into a Tipo 105L 3.0 liter 32 valve V-8 Ferrari engine featured in Ferrari’s own 308 and Mondial Quattrovalvo models. This proven reliable and easy to maintain engine can be tuned by the motor masterminds at Valenti to achieve its full scale Ferrari sound, power, and glory. They could have this unassuming sedan growling and performing to its fullest. Best of all, you can tell everyone you drive a Ferrari cast in Maranello, assembled by Ducati, and tuned to its fullest intended performance level by Valenti.
This particular model was introduced at the 1986 Turin Auto Show. According to Road & Track “Designed by Ferrari! Built by Ducati! How more red-blooded Italian does it get?”
Historically, Lancia has been noted as a highly innovative and groundbreaking designer often manufacturing some of the world’s most fascinating automobiles. As examples, they were the first to use an electrical system in a production car, established the wide use of fully independent suspensions in the 40s, and the very first use of a 5-speed manual transmission in a production car. The list is long and illustrious.
The Thema was originally designed by Pininfarina as a station wagon whose unassuming features were carried out into sedan form here. It is the closest Ferrari ever came to making a 4 door sedan. Subtle cues hint of the monster within, like special 8.32 badging and 15” Ferrari inspired alloy wheels on 205-55VR Goodyear tires. The nearly 3,000 pound car could do 0-60 in the 6.8-7.2 second range with capabilities of easily reaching a top speed of 150 mph! For cabin creature comfort, there is full instrumentation, auto/sport switch, real wood accent trim, power seats, and even entertainment options that are now considered mundane, rear passenger headphone inputs! Interior seating is all original, luxurious leather made by famed furniture maker Poltrona Frau of Turin. Though established in 1912, it has been a top specialist providing automotive interiors from Italy since the 1960s. There were many other excessive custom features on the car like handpainted belt line stripes, as well as other handmade labor intensive processes that went into its production which made for an asking price $57,000 when new.
THE MOST SPECTACULAR PARTY PIECE THIS CAR OFFERS, did I mention it has a FERRARI ENGINE before, is the FIRST EVER automatically deployable rear wing!!!! While everyone seems to have this today, the Thema was the first to offer it standard on a production model. It provides vital aerodynamic improvements, at speed, when fully deployed. Though you may have seen this feature before, you and your friends will still stand amazed at this fantastic over the top feature this proverbial “sleeper wolf in sheep’s clothing” pioneered. It can also be deployed upon demand for applause at a flick of the switch. A must at 150 mph cruising speed.
This car was never offered in the US, hence its even more exceptional rarity. Only 4,000 were built from 1986 to 1992. Again, according to Road & Track “They’re expensive and rare and imbued with the bulletproof, economical reliability of an 1980s Ferrari engine…..In the UK, where it sold for £40,000 in 1988 money—which is approximately $3.8 million USD today?—in LHD-only guise, just nine were sold.” Anecdotally, there have been sightings of a blue one, seen hither and yon in cyberspace along with this model, plus maybe no more than a half dozen others unaccounted for. So, it is a visual, as well as historical & mechanical, headspinner!
According to Road & Track, Over “30 years ago, Lancia stuffed a Ferrari V8 and created the ‘Thema Hellcat’” so how big a boy are you?
Or, seeing as how the engine could be worth well over $25,000 alone, buy the engine and get the gorgeous carrying case for free!