Subaru went through a lot of bewildering names for the early Leone in North America, and they’ve retained that tradition with their Legacy- and Impreza-based Outbacks in more recent years. Here in Colorado, I find astonishing quantities of 20+ year-old Subarus in wrecking yards. Most are four-wheel-drive machines, for obvious reasons, but every so often I run across an elderly front-wheel-drive Leone. Here’s a rare 2WD coupe version I spotted in Aurora a few weeks back.
These things were cheap and (by the very lenient standards of the time) fairly reliable. Sure, they rusted like crazy (this one isn’t too bad, thanks to Colorado’s single-digit humidity), but what Malaise Era Japanese car didn’t?
I’ll take any excuse to find weird Japanese car ads.
Or vaguely relevant songs that I remember from Dr. Demento in the late 1970s.
This car appears to have been pretty well loaded with options you don’t see too often on Japanese subcompacts of the era. Power steering!
Subaru stuck with this semi-weird style of headlight switch as the 1980s progressed, though it was sort of drowned out by the wilder fighter-jet-style stuff in cars like the XT6.
One thing that hasn’t changed in all these decades of Subarus is the good old boxer engine layout.