The Malaise Subaru Apocalypse is in full swing in Colorado, if we are to judge from the selection of old Leones in Denver junkyards these days. Yesterday, we saw this ’82 GL “Cyclops”, but that was just the beginning of the Subaru death toll in this yard. A few rows away, I found this brown GL wagon, a little rustier than the ’82 but still appearing to have plenty of life left in it. Is anyone restoring these things?
When you’re driving a brown Malaise econo-wagon, you’re pretty well obligated to sport brown plaid upholstery.
The same rule applies when it comes to orange and white tape stripes: you must have them!
I thought that speedometers on US-market cars from the 1979 through 1982 model years were required to max out at 85 MPH. You know, for safety. Either Subaru found some loophole for this car, or someone swapped in a later 120 MPH speedo. Imagine, this car doing 120!
I’ve worked on a few of these things, and I always thought they were pretty unreliable and shoddy next to contemporary Hondas and Toyotas (though Malaise Subarus were built like bank vaults next to Mitsubishis of the period). The quality of Subaru products improved as much in the 1990s as did Hyundai stuff, which may explain the hindsight-based perception that the old GLs were bulletproof (cue the enraged commenters who got 400,000 trouble-free miles out of their Malaise Subies). Were I transported back to 1979 and found myself shopping for a four-wheel-drive car, I’d go for the less civilized but sturdier AMC Eagle SX/4. Still, it’s sad to see all the old (non-BRAT) Subarus getting crushed now.
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