By on February 5, 2014

15 - 1982 Subaru BRAT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWith so many old Subarus in Denver wrecking yards, I do run across the occasional BRAT. We’ve seen this ’79 and this very rare Sawzall Edition ’86 so far in this series, and today we’ll be looking at a well-used ’82 that still has the very rare lawsuit-inducing jumpseats in the back.
14 - 1982 Subaru BRAT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYes, those Chicken Tax-skirting jumpseats that made the BRAT, legally speaking, a car instead of a truck were loose in the bed of this Subaru when I found it a couple weeks back.
13 - 1982 Subaru BRAT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI thought about buying the seats for my Dodge A100 van, but they’re missing the headrests and one of the grab handles, plus the floor-mounting brackets were beat to hell.
12 - 1982 Subaru BRAT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThese cars rusted very quickly, though Colorado’s arid climate spared this one from full-on Michigan-grade cancer.
10 - 1982 Subaru BRAT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNice BRATs are worth quite a bit these days. Thrashed ones are worth scrap value.
05 - 1982 Subaru BRAT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinStrangely, I saw three vehicles with variations on this sticker during this trip to the junkyard. There’s meaning there somewhere.

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39 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1982 Subaru BRAT...”


  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    I was one of those fools who lobbied Subaru to bring back the BRAT, instead they brought out that abomination of a Baja. I don’t tell the manufacturers what I want anymore. There’s no point – they don’t care, so why should I give them my money? No one builds anything for me anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      Crabspirits

      I always thought it was a good logical attempt for the current times.

      If the commenters here are any indication of the general populace, then for some asinine reason, everything MUST have 4 doors. It must be safe and well-equipped, or else everyone will make fun of it. Hence, bloated. The nasty Outback-esque cladding made sense to it’s purpose.

      By thinking about it too much, they made what should have been a ridiculous ute lose all of it’s charm. It should have been a WRX with the roof cut off after the B pillar. I doubt it would have sold well regardless. People don’t like quirky fun stuff anymore.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    Weren’t the jumpseats originally installed immediately behind the cabin and rear-facing?

  • avatar
    cargogh

    I wish I had one this morning to get out of the driveway. I was 16 in ’79 and remember thinking that I always wanted to be the driver, but occasionally ride in the back of one of these. It seems like an old commercial had rear passengers and sand dune jumps. That would make it more exciting than the rear of an old Rolls. I’ve never seen the seats mounted backwards or a topper. Like this one, every one I’ve seen in the last 20 years are very rusty. In my rural area, Gumbo mudders wouldn’t fit and it wouldn’t pull a pig trailer, so even when new, their point was missed and they were scarce as hen’s teeth. Never drove one, but still seems like fun.

    • 0 avatar
      honda_lawn_art

      A friend had one for a while. He’s 6′-1″, 280 and was pretty uncomfortable in it. The back seats were ancient history. Still liked it though.

    • 0 avatar
      sitting@home

      There’s one that looks in fairly good condition, with jumpseats, just around the corner from me. It used to be eternally parked on the road, but is now backed into the driveway with at least two flat tires so I’m guessing it’s neither functional nor licensed.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    This one is a ’79 , not an ’82 by the emissions sticker .

    Until about ten years ago , the Southern California Pick-A-Part were littered with clean , low mileage examples of these , usually with the jump seats , belt and hwe. .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    noxioux

    I would love any 5-speed dual-range Brat. Cool little cars. A 3″ lift and some 19″ pizza cutters, and they can be pretty tough little offroaders.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      No five speed in that era, all four speeds if 4×4. For that matter I don’t think the next generation ever got a 5spd either. The ’80-on did get a 3spd non-lockup automatic though, eventually. But maybe not in the 4×4. Ancient history now, but at one point my extended family had 11 of the ’80-’86 generation Subies, in just about every combination of body and drivetrain. I’d love to find a mint 4×4 wagon with the cyclops “passing light”. Absolute world champion rustbuckets though!!!

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        I always remembered these for those suicide jump seats and one of the first on-the-fly 4WD mechanisms that you didn’t have to get out of the car to lock the hubs. Having driven and loathed an ’86 S-10 Blazer (with the godawful 2.8L POS lump) that had the old fashioned system (put foot on brake and tranny in neutral, yank as hard as you could on the lever to get the transaxle to engage, get out and lock the hubs of both front wheels, get back in with the mud and snow all over the inside), the Subie’s was considered a near miracle.

  • avatar
    honda_lawn_art

    Didn’t even have to read the article to know this was a Denver, not an East Bay find. I guess it was the barcode. A buddy had one for a while recently that he got for a song and got back on the road, ultimately it was a bit far gone for daily use so he sold it to a Subie tech who restored it. I like that.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    My guess is the bumper sticker refers to the old saying “going to hell in a handbasket”.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I always loved these in HS, they were popular in Florida, the rear jump seats were great for cruising the beach. There is a guy locally selling one in pretty nice shape, but I think his price is still kind of high for one that is not MINT:

    http://tampa.craigslist.org/psc/cto/4314419636.html

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Johnny’s world was in terrible turmoil.

    Johnny slammed the freezer door enraged. “No more Hot Pockets?!”, he yelled at his father. Pops sat at the kitchen table with papers before him that told the tale of his financial ruin. It was joined by a newspaper explaining how much worse things were than yesterday, last week, and several decades ago. His response to his son’s stressful complaint was to look at him over the wire frames of his glasses, and flick the long ash off his cigarette into the ashtray. He then produced a bill from the table, displayed it to the boy, and flicked the paper repeatedly to make it attractive to someone with a short attention span. “Your car insurance just came in. Where is your $75 from last month?” Johnny smarted off, “It’s coming. GOD!” Johnny’s father exhaled a relaxing drag from his cigarette, and eek’d out a gasping reply. “Well, cut me a check.” After drawing up the payment, Johnny briskly walked out the front door of the middle-class home. He furiously swatted a flower from a bush on his way to the driveway. It exploded into confetti. “Fu&K!”

    The door of the “B-Rat” squeaked open and closed, and Johnny started the vintage boxer four. “I just want to crash into a bridge embankment.”, he said to himself. The stress was almost more than one could bear. The droning exhaust alerted at least four neighbors that little Johnny was starting his school day. “What the hell am I supposed to eat today?”, Johnny griped to himself as he pulled into the convenience store parking lot to spend fifteen hard-earned dollars. The answer would be $.75 Hostess fruit pies, three of them. Johnny opened a pack, and lit up a much needed cig. The little Brat scurried across town, and the boy enjoyed a barely editable pie in between speed shifts, washing it down with a half liter of Monster energy drink. The syrupy cocktail soured his stomach and gave him an instant headache. “Why do I always feel like sh*t in the morning?”, he thought to himself.

    Third period. World History. Time to skip class. Johnny and Dave hunched down while traversing the senior parking lot. They had eluded Winford, the security guard up to this point. The wily old man was aware of their “class schedule” so to speak. As soon as the EA71 was summoned, Johnny pulled the Subaru out of the parking lot. Dave handled the lighting of cigs, and handed one to the driver. “Oh sh%t!”, Johnny said, noticing the black STS pulling out onto the street behind them. “Winford!” Now ole Winford usually wouldn’t give chase and endanger the lives of students. He would vet his unsuspecting prey from a distance, showing up when they least expected it. Today was different. Winford had grown tiresome of watching the little truant Subaru speed away, sometimes with giggling teens flying around in the unsecured rear seats. Johnny mashed the gas, running a hard-yellow at an intersection. He delighted at the sight of the Caddillac braking heavily in his rear view mirror, with it’s enraged driver pounding the steering wheel.

    The Brat darted into a suburban labyrinth to further shake their pursuer. Under braking, the pedal felt strange. Johnny let off the gas and looked down at the floor. It was confirmed. No brakes. The Subaru crawled around the neighborhood, and stopped out of view. After a cursory inspection, the problem was obvious. The Brat was hemorrhaging DOT3 all over the pavement from a rotten steel line hidden under the middle of the cruck. “I can’t f&^kin believe this.”, said a very upset Johnny.

    The B-Rat limped to a gas station under control of it’s one functioning parking brake cable. The boys munched $1 hot dogs while dumping in more brake fluid, hoping some magic would come of it. “I’ve got something for a little bit, and then it goes to the floor.”, said Dave. A large puddle formed under the Brat. Johnny threw the empty quart container to the ground, and yelled “Fu&K!” When he turned around, a black STS had materialized in the parking spot next to the Subaru. Dave still sat behind the wheel of the Brat with his mouth hung open in shock.

    “Dad, I need a new car. I couldn’t even make it to school this morning cause the brakes blew out. You can’t even order the part any more, so it can’t be fixed. The thing’s trashed.” His father sighed, tossed the recently delivered bills on the kitchen table and said, “Do you know a guy from your school named Winford Taylor?”

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    You little BRAT! Take that!!! LOL!

  • avatar
    Toy Maker

    That’s a rather strong rear bumper if they could rest (balance?) the car on it without bending.

    I’d like myself one of these too.

  • avatar
    Garak

    In my socialist hellhole, Subarus lacked those lovely seats, but instead had their cargo beds lenghtened in the port by welding some sheet metal in the back. The law stated that pick-up trucks have to have a certain length, in order to prevent Toyota from importing the Timangi truck. The wonders of arbitrary legislation.

  • avatar
    Synchromesh

    I wonder if that bed cap is worth something all on it’s own. I bet these are rare!

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      They were pretty much standard equipment on these in Maine back in the day. Actually, pretty much every pickup had one, but you don’t see them much anymore. Out of fashion?

  • avatar
    thunderjet

    The bondo work on this BRAT is pretty awesome. Looks like someone actually tired to smooth it out at one point.

  • avatar
    teasers

    One of my best friends has three of these. They’re fun to drive if you don’t need to maintain anything above 60-65 MPH. It had surprisingly poor MPG, although he said a carb swap would fix that.

    I drove one for a few days, and had several people asking how much I would sell it for, including one guy who said he had never seen a mini el camino.

  • avatar
    April

    I had two of this era Subie. A 76′ GF hardtop and a 78 two-door coupe. 5-speeds. Both pale yellow with some nice red primer in places.

    They were fun. I miss them.

  • avatar
    big_gms

    Never owned or driven one, but I’ve crossed paths with a couple Brats. When I was in kindergarten, my teacher had one. That was in 1979-80. The other one I crossed paths with was under very unpleasant circumstances: a car accident. I was turning onto a side road in my 1973 Chevy Caprice, when my car began to slide sideways on the snow. Next thing I know, bang! I was hit in the passenger side rear quarter panel and spun around. The vehicle that hit me was a Subaru Brat. My Caprice looked bad, but was still driveable; the Brat was totaled…that was in December 1990.


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