The Subaru BRAT, basically a factory El Camino-ized Leone, has quite the lawsuit history in this country, due to the Chicken Tax-evading-but-dangerous jump seats in the bed that made the BRAT a “car,” legally speaking. The BRAT was sold in the United States until the 1987 model year, but it’s nearly impossible to find examples built after the early 1980s. Here’s a reasonably nice-looking ’84 that Shawn Rodgers (you may recognize him as the hero of the Junkyard Build Quality Challenges, as well as the captain of the very fast Bunny With a Pancake On Its Head 24 Hours of LeMons Rabbit team) saw in a San Francisco Bay Area wrecking yard last week and was kind enough to photograph for us.
I shoot junkyard BRATs whenever I see them, and so far in this series we’ve seen this ’79, this ’82 (which still had its jump seats), and this Sawzall-converted ’86 (I’m a sucker for cruelly hacked-up Subarus).
73 horsepower, which would be considered absolutely unacceptable in any vehicle attempting to be even vaguely truck-like today.
Nice nearly-a-T-top double sunroof— called a “Halo Twin Roof”— on this one.
Just the lo-fi solution for listening to bad mid-80s AM hits!
In Australia, the BRAT was called the Brumby and it was marketed with ads featuring pig passengers.
In the United States, Ruth Gordon pitched the BRAT.