By on March 28, 2014


Via Zero Hedge, we have a listing put up by the Italian government of 1,500 luxury cars that are being auctioned off. Italy, which is deep in the throes of austerity, is doing the wise thing from an optics perspective, as the cars have come to symbolize government waste and unnecessary opulence.

While most of the stock consists of diesel Alfa Romeo 166 and Lancia Thesis models, there are some oddities at both ends of the spectrum. Random Italian detritus, like the Fiat Croma and Lancia Dedra, populates the ranks as well, along with a few BMW 525d sedans. There are also a number of Maserati Quattroportes (apparently procured because they were the cheapest armored sedans available….right) as well as a Jaguar S-Type R.

You can peruse the Ebay listings here, and tell us what you’d pick out of the current lot of 25 cars. At first glance, the Thesis would have been my choice, but they appear to be automatics. The Alfa’s seem to be stick shift, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s a no brainer. If only they were wagons.

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32 Comments on “QOTD: Italian Government Auctions 1,500 Cars. What’s Your Pick?...”

  • avatar

    The auction winners should spring an extra $2 for a bottle of bleach for the backseat.

  • avatar
    Zekele Ibo

    All are diesels, all are (in my mind) massively overpriced – but I don’t know anything about used car prices in Europe…

    Of the selection, a 166 is the only logical choice. A beautiful and underrated car.

    • 0 avatar

      The 159 has all the Giugiaro goodness in its design. The 166, in spite of being designed by Walter de Silva, has not aged nearly as well (although the facelifted model looks much better in my eyes).

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Weimer

        I had the opportunity to drive a 159 for a week in Italy 5 years ago. While a striking car visually, it was underwhelming to drive and the interior was noticeably low-rent. Both of which surprised me at the time.

  • avatar

    I would buy the one pictured just for the bizarro factor. Bright paint would really help the look.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    How to BMW’s get to that many miles in Europe, but are nightmares in the states? What is going on here?

  • avatar

    I would pass on this first group hoping that a later auction will have an Alfa 159 with a V6, 5 Speed with leather and low miles/kilometers that had been babied by its previous government appointee.

    The diesel engine takes the fun out of an Alfa 166 and the Lancia front end and headlights look like they came from a late 1930’s/1940’s Checker.

  • avatar

    Has to be the Lancia Thesis just for the ugly factor. Looks like an illegitimate gene spitting experiment between a Citroen DS, Kia Amanti and Lincoln MKS gone awry.

  • avatar

    Cover picture looks like a Daewoo. Hideous.

  • avatar

    Any Lancia, just so I could one day say, “Lancia, yeah, I oened a few”.

    The Alfa 166 is a beautiful big sedan. The Fiat Croma looks good inside and out. Would have one of them also.

    Shame they’re all diesels. Would love any of them in gasoline.

    • 0 avatar

      The old Croma looks JUST like a Seat Toledo.

      I’m going to guess and say they’re both a Guigiaro.

  • avatar

    I would pick the BMW 525d.

  • avatar

    Apparently the Alfa’s diesel engine is a five-cylinder. I mean, a diesel Alfa seems wrong, but that seems neat otherwise, and I’m down with a big handsome 3-pedal sedan.

  • avatar

    I’ll take a quattroporte, yes, I am that person you all personally hate as I would drive that quattroporte around and would repair the car as necessary even though I could never afford to purchase it new. I’ll bask in your hatred from behind my trident.

    The others all seem interesting and I would probably opt for the 166. According to the sources that Diesel is surprisingly peppy (150hp/225T). It’s not going to blow the doors off of anything but it certainly an interesting car, the only underlying issue is I believe they don’t meet crash tests so they’re effectively a grey market import. Still a fun car to perhaps track run just because it would be different and with so much torque it wouldn’t be a total waste. But the prices seem oddly high or it simply because they’re diesels that the market value just doesn’t depreciate as drastically?

  • avatar

    A lot of the cars being sold have quite a few miles on them. I don’t think I would choose any of them, to be honest.

  • avatar

    The sam hill…. no Toyotas?!

    I like the BMW ’cause it looks a little like a Pontiac.

  • avatar

    Does it really make much economic sense to sell used luxury cars in order to replace them with newer non-luxury cars? Luxury cars normally have a big depreciation. I wouldn’t be surprised if the car above is sold for the price of a new Yaris.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s pretty much spot on. A used Lancia Thesis goes typically for about 10000e – the price for a new base-model Yaris in Italy. Fleet vehicles like these might go even cheaper.

  • avatar

    I wouldn’t touch a car from the Italian government.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Alfa 156 or 159 for me. One with the Carabinieri livery would be nice, but not essential.

    They can keep the rest.

    The C8 minivan must be nice. My uncle has a Lancia Z (manual, diesel, yada yada yada) and it’s very nice inside.

  • avatar

    I’m a mid-level government flack. Where’s my damn Quattroporte?

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