1998 Lancia Dedra 1.6 LE Cat

Lancia - 1998 Lancia Dedra 1.6 LE Cat - Garage

My first car, a family member. Rest in piece...

Imported from an italian tree’s shade in 2009 by my dad, kept in my possession to the very end.

Bought for €300 in like-new condition. Sold in 2010 to my uncle as he needed his first car and my dad had no need for a 1.6 8v. Its only con was a few spots of missing 3rd layer of paint on the roof.

My uncle did not take care of her much. During his ownership some damage was done by other people – front right fender got crashed into when the car was parked… as well as a rear badge that was stolen…
During 10 years he owned the car it started rusting on the floor. Paint deteriorated even further, up to the middle of the doors. Front bumper was damaged from scraping on sidewalks. That created a shovel from the bumper which was even worse. Brakes were in a terrible state, way after their lifespan. Windscreen jets did not work, respectively one went too low, the other overshot the screen. LR lights sometimes acted up because of the electronics lead to the tow hook outlet.

In 2018 I bought it from him as my first car, getting the car essentially back to my family’s possession. And it was the best!


Interior plastics had to be wrapped due to the black plastic paint leaking from the plastic in hot weather. The paint was sticky and liked to stick to pants the most.

There was additional flip switch for rear foglight (there were none on the front) as the foglights button on the indicator stick at the steering wheel worked… sometimes. I replaced the indicator stick and all was good. I planned to use the mysterious flip switch for something cool, like muffler flap or a funny horn or something for the meme. Never got to it sadly.

Paint. As the 3rd paint layer scraped off by itself, winter was closing in – the rust fear was real. I had to scrape the rest of the layer off from the entire car. Took 3 months. Problem was I had no way to paint the car. I eventually teamed up with my friend and classmate who already painted some mopeds. We painted it in the winter, in a very cold wooden shed with a purpose-bought compressor. It was so cold the paint came out terrible as the particles was more dense then they were supposed to. The result was – 1/3rd of the car was matte, 1/3rd was pearlescent and a 1/3rd was metallic. But it gave me the feeling when I still cared for the car, but I didn’t mind scraping it with bushes, getting it muddy, crossing fields etc.

The fuel pump (the one in the tank) was screaming for its life. I replaced it, nothing changed. So I changed it for Walbro from stock Fiat Coupé 16v Turbo. The screaming stopped and car got its horsies back. The car is supposed to be 90 hp – it used to be until we towed some stuff in 2009. Since then it felt like 70hp. This fixed it and it became a sportscar in my eyes.

The first year I had the car I managed to crash the LR lamp. I fixed it years later due to MOT. I fixed it with a lamp from a Station Wagon. They are different…

Radiator broke one day. On the highway. I was thankfully near our garage, so I left the car there and fixed it half a year later. On the second attempt as the part we got was different, but the part number was the same.

One day to exhaust muffler fell off. The car screamed like hell, sounded like a real rally car. Police never stopped me, they never cared, they never could have expected any money from me seeing this car… It got fixed.

The driver’s safety belt pre-tensioner stopped working so I had to drive without it once. I replaced it for a different one from a pre-facelift. It worked, but it was also different for some reason, the entire unit…

Some funny failures:

– Radio’s antenna stopped working without any reason.
– Radio was from the previous owner switched to “newer”. It was soldered in with many cables hanging without being connected.
– A/C did not work. It only worked as a fan which fogged up the windows in bad weather.
– Due to the windscreen jets not working properly, the only way to clean front windows was to use snow. Either by hand-washing using a snowball, or by being close to cars spinning wheels ahead.
– The check license plate light was on, without there being any problem with the light.
– Clocks made a slight ticking sound which was quite annoying.
– Fuze box was placed over the pedals and it was on hinges so it could flip out to be reachable. Yes, I got sometimes smacked on my feet.
– Once the brake pedal just stuck to the floor when I attempted braking. I had to raise it by foot manually, it then gained pressure again and braked normally. I still have no idea what the issue was.
– I bought a phone holder on CarThrottle. It caused the phone to overheat due to the magnet creating heat, it damaged the battery a lot in hot weather. But that suction cup melted to the windshield and stuck there to the end of the car’s days. It literally became one with the screen.
– I never dare to clean the engine bay. Not with a powerwash, not even with regular wipes. I was scared I would damage the electronics. I still bet I would…

Somehow the car survived everything I threw it through. It was the most fun possible.

The damages

The end

Trying to back up from a parking space in a shopping centre, suddenly the steering rack broke.
It was expectable, the steering servo was replaced as it stopped working before. Suddenly it was more powerful than the rack could handle after the years and it broke.

The car was too rusted on the floor (due to snow drifting on salty roads) and it was no longer viable to put money into it. I did spend some bucks on it, althought none could see them on the car. More money was not a good idea.

I managed to close a deal with my acquaintance mechanic who said he would use it for sparts. He then decided to sell the car, which was an idea that failed. Car was scrapped in 2022.

It was tough, she truly was a family member, who we had for over 12 years…