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Hello I’m curious to talk to owners of Lancia Integrales in the USA. Im don’t commute daily so I am lucky to be able to own interesting daily drivers. I used to use my 911 which I sold and now drive an e30 sedan. I like the visual and mechanical simplicity of the 8v cars but I’m not opposed to the 16v either. Mostly I would like to talk to someone who used one of these cars daily to understand some of the intangibles such as the fit and finish comfort HVAC and other things. I’m sure I will love the performance and I know I love the looks.

Im also debating an e28 m5. Nothing like the Integrale really, only in as much as its a cool car that is also practical.
 

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I drove an integrale as my daily driver for 6 years 20 years ago (1998-2004). It is one of the best driver’s cars of all times - in addition to also being an ikon.

Unfortunately, it became much to unreliable with numerous electronic issues (not to speak of the tin worm issues...) and I sold on. A decision I have since regretted many times.

The biggest issue is probably parts availability when something goes wrong. I had the ECU hand built - twice.

So, a mixed bag of experiences, but I still regret selling it. My present Stelvio has many of the same driving caractheristics, though.
 

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I have had the fortune to have owned 2! An Evo l from new in the South of France and then an Evo ll 10 years later in the UK. (where I am originally from) Never driven one here in the US. All along the way I was a Porsche 911 driver as a daily car (still am) Now based in No Cal. But what I can say....... these where the most fabulous cars to won and drive. In Italy they where affectionately called "la Bomba" and people would come up in the street or gas station to admire the car. The Lancia is a Jewel, an icon of a motorcar. Easily can accommodate upto 300hp on an ECU without needing any engine mods. A Supersprint cat back exhaust helps. I dare say in the US they will not have the cred that they do in Europe as no one knows what they are. If you have country roads (they call it canyoning here) or any road that is curvy and you can overtake.....(OMG how dangerous in this day and age!!).......nothing is a finer automotive expereince. A waste on a straight highway. Go for a later 16v Evo cars, the earlier ones did not offer the suspension or interior upgrades and have a basic fiat 8v turbo engine. You will be impressed and feel special, and therefore WILL NOT use it every day, but polish and admire it alot!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for sharing these experiences guys. I suppose I should emphasize that I am very much looking for something that walks the line between feeling special and being highly suited to daily use. I do not commute by car every day, maybe only twice a week but I do drive a decent number of miles per year. The E30 is totally perfect for this in as much as it is reliable, easy to work on but still puts a smile on my face both for the way it looks, how it feels to drive and the quality of the interior. As all car guys do, I can't help but think life is short and I want to experience some of the other cars I love. My Alfa GTV and Porsche 912 project are my real weekend duty 'passion' cars so I need to balance that with usability year round for my "real" car. Wife also has a modern BMW.

Been looking at the E28 M5 which is probably the 'safest' choice. Would love to get back into an aircooled 911 preferably 993 but those have gotten quite pricey. Don't laugh but a Mondial T is also in the running.

I do all my own fixing and am proud to have done enough preventative maintenance that my '87 911 and '89 325i never once stranded me or prevented me from getting where I want to go. I am leaning to cars of the 90s more than 80's as the fuel injection, air conditioning, ABS, safety and general reliability are just better. Seems to be a golden age for stuff I can still fix but is a bit safer and more usable.
 

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I was lucky to drive an early example in Italy during 1987 and 1988. Not a 16 valve. I was told that the chassis had been lowered by 1/2 centimeter and can only presume it had some sort of a spring (suspension) kit and that was all. It was owned by dear friends and was not mine, so I have no personal insights into any "issues" they might have had with it, even if none were reported.

This car gave me the best of grins and I wondered if any of the later "improvements" were actually necessary. The car had seemingly two personalities. It was docile and friendly and then, when awakened (easily) became a very friendly animal.

I was lucky to drive the car again at Lombardore (1988, I think?) and found it to be a bit difficult on one turn only. My problem almost certainly(!), but when driven correctly, was immensely satisfying. I have wanted one ever since 1987. Maybe 2020 will be the best kind of hind-sight for me? I have thought since using that car that there was no need to have a more capable car on the road anywhere when dealing with real-world situations. It was simply "magic". A bit thirsty, but absolute magic! There may some better magic out there today?

My Italian friends (more like family) replaced the car with a very capable Toyota that surpassed the Integrale in some specifications, but when driving, had very little of the magic of my prior experience. I would choose a 1986/1987 Integrale that is "lowered" just a bit and probably some tires that are not the all-too-common rubber bands of today.

It will make you smile and sometimes laugh semi-uncontrollably. What more could a driver want?

John
 
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