La Forza del Destino is an opera by Giuseppe Verdi that features love, death, betrayal. . . and gypsies! Less dramatic is today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Laforza, but will its price have you wishing the fat lady would sing?
You know why even minor highway accidents can back up traffic for miles? It's because everybody whizzing past has to slow down and gawk at the events unfolding on the shoulder. It could be a simple bumper thumper but they - and by they I mean you - want to see if maybe, just maybe there'll be a loose head rolling around or something. It's just human nature.
That inability to look away from something horrific was the primary reason for foisting yesterday's freakishly fauxrrari'd Mitsubishi 3000GT on you all. Sadly for its proud owner, there was just too much wrong with that beast and it rightfully went down in a very real 98% Crack Pipe loss.
There wasn't anything Italian about that Mitsu' yesterday, but there's a whole lot that is about today's Rayton Fissore/Laforza - well, except for its designer. . . and engine.
The rest however is as Italian as flavored ices and the Pope's ping-ping partner, and represented that nation's singular entry into the US's hot as the sun ‘90s SUV market. The Tom Tjaarda-designed Laforza debuted at the 1985 Turin show as the Rayton Fissore Magnum, and was built upon a shortened edition of the IVECO 40.10 chassis. Intending to capitalize on the success of Land Rover's Range Rover luxury off roader, the name was changed to Laforza (nominally The Force) when the five door wagon started its conquest of America.
To meet US emissions standards the Laforza eschewed the various Fiat, Alfa and BMW diesel and gas options and and went with the tried and true Ford 302 out of that marque's truckline. That fuel injected edition of the long serving Windsor V8 offered up 225-bhp, and made the truck welcome at Pep Boys nationwide. The US Laforzas all came with Ford's AOD four speed automatic as well.
The body is steel over a square tube frame and bolted to the fully boxed ladder frame through a series of rubber mounts in a process Rayton Fissore called UNIVIS. The styling mimics the Range Rover's airy greenhouse, and should the need arise, parts such as head and tail lights and door handles should be easily sourced as long as your neighborhood junkyards happen to be full of old Fiat Unos and Tipos.
This 1989 Laforza is appropriately Ferrari red and appears to be in really great shape. These trucks had power everything, including 6-way driver's seat and roof through which you may moon. The interior seems to have just about every surface covered with floor mats, a dash pad (where does one find a dash pad for a Laforza?) and fuzzy seat covers that look like a Three Musketeers bar that a mouse has denuded of chocolate. Underneath all that is leather and burled walnut and carpet, which hopefully is all in more than serviceable shape.
Outside, this incredibly low mileage - 42,000 claimed - Laforza also looks to be in top notch shape, remarkable as these trucks typically did not age well. The red paint is appreciably shiny and the truck appears to have all its factory badges, wheels and glass, all parts that would be difficult and expensive to replace should they have gone missing. A clean Carfax and claim of being untouched by that ol' demon rust round out this Laforza's list of attractions.
Almost all luxury brands demonstrate precipitous depreciation and even a cursory search for Range Rovers of this age will show that much like the Motorola's RAZR flip phone, they have gone from aspirationally priced to near junkyard fodder in the time since they were new. At $7,995, this Italian stallion is not nearly as cheap, but then again, it's also a whole lot more rare - only a handful were ever sold here - and it's infinitely cooler than the Brit as well.
What we have here is what appears to be an incredibly well taken care of example of an SUV that's extremely rare due to its original lack of appeal, and typically not in this condition due that continued apathy.
Regardless, there's a lot to like here now, and at $7,995 it's no longer in the pricing stratosphere which makes it a prime candidate for our perusal. What do you think, is this Laforza worth that kind of lira? Or, is this an SUV whose price S-U-X?
H/T to Kevin Duffy for the hookup!
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PS: Stupid Mayans.