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Subarus of the Past

tazerelitazereli Posts: 241
I am starting this one b/c my first car was a Cosmic Blue 1984 GL 4x4 wagon. It was and is my favorite car i have owned.


  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have an '88 XT6 :)

  • kameelekameele Posts: 29
    I can't say I've ever had a brand new subaru, but my wife and I had a good number of new-to-us soobies that I remember fondly. We started out with a '78 coupe in the early 80's and liked it so much we got another in blue at the same time. They both ran great, over 150k before they biodegraded. we then got an '84 wagon w/ only 40K on the clock (just like new!!) It wasn't a 4x4, but it was a beauty. In a sad story, it only lasted two weeks before an idiot turned in front of us and ended up 18" into our front end. Those flat 4's are tough, but they just don't work too well when the head on one side is ripped off. :( My wife then got an '84 (i think) 4x4 wagon (white w/ the cute center headlight) I got it as hand me down when the minivan followed the kids into our lives. I didn't realize how much I missed the 4 wheel drive until I just got back to it with my new '95 Legacy L sedan last month.

    Sorry about the long post, but I guess I've liked my Subarus more than I thought.

    Cheers and hope to be reading these posts for a long time.

  • lugwrenchlugwrench Posts: 213
    A friend of mine bought a new 1982 Subaru which was a great car except that it rusted out so quickly. By 1986, the car resembled a piece of Swiss cheese with numerous holes and rust spots. Has Subaru improved on the rust problem?
  • tamirkfirtamirkfir Posts: 1
    1. did anyone know how to make "valve clearance adjustment"
    and how to tune up my car?
    2. did anyone have a solution for a lazy first gear (car made only 30'000 Km)
    pleas send to:
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    my parents owned and drove to death. First Japanese car I ever loved. We nick-named it Poo-Poo.Small inside though, but loved the engine, especially. My parents bought it in Iowa and had it "Ziebarted", so it never rusted in the 2 years they lived there before retiring to Arizona.
    My Father tried to stay with American cars, looked at the Chevette and strippo Fairmont and when he asked to see one the dealers acted as if he'd requested to see nude photos of their wives. Pissed him off so bad he went into Moline and bought the Subaru. Every time he drove by those dealerships, he got the greatest sense of satisfaction. The dealer though charged him TWICE for the dealer installed simulated wire wheel covers, which he didn't notice until after the deal was done.
    I tried to buy it from my folks in 88 or 89 but they wouldn't sell it to me, but sold it to a guy in their neighborhood, who promptly took off for a round trip to Salt Lake City. They thought he was nuts, especially since he was 300 lbs or so and the car had 100,000 miles on it and a few fuel and electrical problems. Yuma to salt Lake and back and it ran fine, the guy loved it too.
    I wish it was still in the family.
  • I have a 1984 Subaru Brat 4x4 GL with 40,000 miles on it. It's in perfect condition with amazingly no rust. I have yet to see another Subaru Brat on the road. Are they really that rare?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    I had a friend whose father had a beat up little Subaru from the 70's. I don't remember what model it was, but it was a 2-door hardtop. It also had an automatic tranny, which I'm sure must've been rare for a Japanese car back then! It was rusted out, had no grille, and a two-by-four for a rear bumper, and looked like it had been on its last legs for about 10 years. But still, it refused to die!
  • killer99killer99 Posts: 21
    I recall as a child in the 80s BEGGING my mother to buy a Brat with the Jump seats in the back... Totally not practical for our family, but my brother and I thought they were cool. Probably a good thing we did not get one, as those jump seats would not have been nearly as appealing in the rain (or winter for that matter).
  • The first car I bought new was a 1979 GL 4x4 Subaru Wagon. Purchased in July of 1979 and still own. This car got me though the College / Party years with heavy snows in the NC Mountains.

    It hasn't been on the road since 1986 and is sitting inside waiting a total restoration. The interior is still as clean & fresh as the day it came off the lot. (not counting floor mats) It needs some body & engine work, but I hope to have it back on the road one day.

    Needing various parts for this 79 Wagon, and would welcome any help in finding these parts.
    (original outside mirrors, rear spoiler, rubber bumper ends, other items I can't think of right now)
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181 (not sure of the exact address) they specilize in pre-95 subarus.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Oh yeah, lug, they use double-galvanized steel now.

    My cousin had an '88 Loyale. It had over 150k miles and wouldn't die, so she sold it to her nephew. It's still running. She replaced it with a '99 Outback.

    I really like the SVX. It's such a rare, unique car. Wouldn't mind getting my hand on one of those.

    We had a meet to run through the off road trails in the Pine Barrens, and couple of BRATs showed up. They were running beautfully, and even made it through the mud pit.

    I have photos of the trip here. #20-26 are of the BRAT. Very cool.

  • Does anyone know what the ugly early 70's Subaru "station wagon" that had the cursive "Four Wheel Drive" logo on it?

    I see a few of these in Austin every now and then and they've got to be the ugliest cars I'ever seen! I am a Subaru fan deep down, and I actually like the cars.

    I have a fondness for hideous automobiles. Can anyone tell me what this car was called and what years it was built?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587

    It came out in 1973 as a '74 model. It has true 4WD with a low range and all. The suspension was even lifted, making it the first car-based 4WD, a true pioneer.

    In reality, this was the world's first sport-utility wagon, not the Outback and not the AMC Eagle, which came years later.


  • wow juice you're quick with that one!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    :-) Already had the photo from a previous who-was-first discussion.

  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    Has anyone ever driven one of these egg cars? I saw one as a seventh grader at an auto show in 1968,and loving its small,boy size. The Japanese really learned quickly!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not me, but I've seen photos and some i Club meets have had one show up.

  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    I know you're in TX and cars really don't rust down there. I live in Chicago, and I never (I mean NEVER) see a Subaru older than about 1985 (when the 'new' body, aka Loyale was introduced). The rust kills them.
    I very briefly had an 82(?) GL hatchback in about 1989, it ran OK but had a bad transmission (no 2nd or 4th gear) and would *soak* my left foot in rain or going through puddles. I dumped it and bought a very nice 85 Jetta (my first car payment!). I've never had a Subaru since, but would definitely consider one (especially a 4wd for the snow here). I'd rather have 'off-brand' cars (Sube, Saab, VW, Mazda) rather than a Toyota, Honda, Ford or GM, though sometimes I question my sanity in this regard.
    I think the first Subaru I remember in my neighborhood was a circa-1976 2-door hardtop automatic, owned by a friend's mother (school teacher). Strangely enough, she traded in a 69 Cadillac Coupe DeVille on it. In 1984, she traded the Subaru in on a CRX. Quite a switch in ten years.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yep, that was in the pre-galvanized steel days. The salt they put on our roads makes older 4WD vehicles pretty rare.

    Nothing wrong with shopping a little off the mainstream. I like a little character in my cars, too.

  • any way to shoe horn a 2.0 liter turbo boxer 4 from a wrx into a brat? that should be an interesting monster! (just kidding)
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    to get the 2.0l into a brat. Just move the spare tire and you should have plenty of room.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    What about a 2 engine BRAT? Put the 2nd engine in the bed. That would be wild!

  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    How good were these things, anyway, in quality and durability? My next door neighbor bought an '80 GL 4WD wagon new, but by '87 it was gone due to the big rust problems.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    They had a alot of rust problems. Other than rust they were unstoppable. Post 87ish the rust problems are better. I have an '88 XT6 and a '91 XT6 the '88 has been great for me for 30K+ miles I've had it with only minor repairs other than the air-suspension.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They replaced regalar steel with galvanized steel right about then. It really hasn't been much of an issue for the last decade or so.

  • When I was growing up here in Ct. my best friends dad had a real early 70's subaru wagon. It was dark blue with fake wood paneling on the sides. He had bought it new and when the body turned to dust I remember seeing him cry as they took it away. We had always called it the gumby car, by the way the motor never stopped running. He and I both agree that even with all of their quirks we would never buy anything but subaru cars. I just got my first new suby and it is my first awd model...2002 Forester L MT and I really am impressed everytime I step on the gas!!! Cheers!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats. I have a Forester L also. Come over and introduce yourself in the Subaru Crew - Meet the Members thread. It's under owner's clubs.

  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    I had a friend back in the 70's who actually owned a suby-360. It was eggshell white, and if you have ever seen a 360, you know how appropriate that was. I rode in it once. I remember that it was incredibly small, noisy, and smelly. It was a two-cylinder, two-stroke and the exhaust reeked of oil.

    I have a vague recollection that the 360s were imported to the US by Malcom Bricklin, who later achieved his "15 minutes of fame" as the builder of the gullwing sports car that bore his name.

  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Sounds a lot like a Geo Metro I pedaled recently.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    Here's what I remember about all '80s Subarus: They never stopped rusting.
This discussion has been closed.