The Truth About Cars » 1986 Subaru GL http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 04 Dec 2014 19:13:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » 1986 Subaru GL http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1986 Subaru BRAT, Sawzall Style http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1986-subaru-brat-sawzall-style/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1986-subaru-brat-sawzall-style/#comments Wed, 16 Jan 2013 14:00:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=473945 You could buy the Subaru BRAT in the United States until the 1987 model year (though removing the Chicken Tax-loophole jump seats— which made the BRAT a passenger car, legally speaking— meant that it got a lot more expensive in 1985). Thing is, Coloradans love BRATs, which means you can’t even find a total basket-case […]

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You could buy the Subaru BRAT in the United States until the 1987 model year (though removing the Chicken Tax-loophole jump seats— which made the BRAT a passenger car, legally speaking— meant that it got a lot more expensive in 1985). Thing is, Coloradans love BRATs, which means you can’t even find a total basket-case example for cheap here. What to do? Why, take a beater 4WD Leone aka GL hatchback and apply ingenuity!
Other than the mini-pickup-bed in the back, there really isn’t much difference between the mid-80s Subaru Leone hatchback and the BRAT of the same era.
Oh, sure, nitpickers might point out that the BRAT had a rear window and associated body structure, but the problem of roof flutter at high speeds can be solved with a couple of S-hooks and an old bicycle inner tube. Bungee cords are too expensive!
There’s this weird hallucination among Subaru lovers that 80s Leones were million-mile survivors that needed zero maintenance, when in fact most of the examples of these things I see in the junkyard have less than 200,000 miles on their clocks. 80s Subarus fell somewhere between 80s Nissans (pretty good) and 80s Mitsubishis (don’t ask) on the Japanese-car reliability spectrum.
One of the dangers of the Sawzall convertible can be seen in this photograph. Safety tip: always duct-tape some pipe insulation over the sharp metal pillar edges after you make a “roadster” out of your car. Your passengers will be glad you did!
Given that it spent the final months of its life with wind-in-your-hair (and face, and everywhere else) modifications, passengers in the Sawzall Subaru probably didn’t look at this placard and curse the original buyer for cheaping out on the dealer-installed AC.
We’ll grant you that this car was about half as good as a real BRAT. But it only cost a fourth as much! WINNING!

02 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 24 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 25 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 26 - 1986 Subaru Homemade BRAT - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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