The Story of my 300 quid Lancia, pt.1

Once upon a time a certain Multipla enthusiast brought his low mileage Maxima to inspection, only to fail due to a singular rust hole in a non-structural part. Immediately after he began looking for something with actually good rust protection. This however has only ever been achieved by three cars: A Renault Espace, a Citroën Xantia and a 1990s Italian executive sedan.

Having owned an Espace before this was immediately out of the question. Being the son of a Xantia owner he already knew that nothing can ever top the XUD9.

This left him with either an Alfa 166 or this: A 1998 Lancia k 5.20 Sedan, in blue, with blue seats, a manual transmission and factory satnav, but no foglights. Found nearby, not registered, has been sitting on someones lawn for two years. But it only costs €299. I am quite certain that I’ll buy it soon especially since I can effectively get it for free due to selling off the last few Espace bits left.


The engine: Its the highly underrated Pratola Serra C 5.20 VIS. This means 5 cylinders, 20 valves, 1998cc, a variable intake manifold, 155hp, a 7000rpm redline and a sweet noise.


Upon first starting up, it initially ran quite rough but swiftly settled into a smooth idle. Not bad for mostly not running for two years. A too short test drive (couldn’t do much due to it not being registered, a quick sprint and reverse to get a feel for the clutch and shifter was all I could do) revealed an eager, rev-happy nature despite the 1500kg heft of this blue whale. Clutch and Steering are light but with enough precision. The Brakes also still do a good job.

Initial impression: Good

Speaking of blue, this car has all of it. Lancia blue on the outside meets blue velours seats on the inside, as well as a generous amount of fake wood. The rear bench in particular is pretty much a Sofa, and the front seats were plush yet far more supportive than those found in my Maxima.


As to be expected there are imperfections such as this encounter of the first kind with a supermarket wall and some missing or loose trim pieces, but nothing too major.


What needs to be done is a fresh set of tires, some new brake lines and a new coil spring. Asking price is €299, which seems fair for a perfectly working family car with reasonable mileage (202,000kms), only minor visual and mechanical imperfections and a (once) prestigious manufacturer.

Say what you want about Italian cars, this one is a survivor, hopefully mine and back on the road again soon.

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