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.

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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.

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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.

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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.