By on August 28, 2011

When I lived in California, I never saw a car covered with Insane Clown Posse paraphernalia in a junkyard. Colorado is a different story. When a Juggalo slaps some ICP stickers on his or her car here, it’s next stop, junkyard! Usually such cars are pay-it-no-mind Contours or Accords, and so I don’t really notice, but I’ve been not-so-secretly lusting after a Subaru XT as a winter driver and it pains me to see one end up like this.
Yes, this car is done. I just hope the driver was wearing a seat belt when the XT-versus-concrete-abutment incident occurred.
That’s right, no need to move a complicated lever (like older Subarus) or flip a confusing switch (like the AMC Eagle) to get four-wheel-drive in this car. Subaru had figured out by the time they built this car that throwing a center differential in the drivetrain meant that clueless drivers wouldn’t tear up their tires (or worse) by leaving their cars in 4WD for 3,000-mile drives on dry asphalt. Full-time!
Class of ’08! Well, young drivers sometimes have to use up a few cars before they get the hang of the driving thing.
Used to be, you put a Grateful Dead “dancing bear” sticker on your car to ensure that members of the law enforcement community felt an overwhelming urge to search you for contraband. These days, you want this sticker to get that reaction from John Law.
No amount of frame-straightening is ever going to make this car right. Next stop, Crusher!

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48 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1991 Subaru XT, Juggalo Inside...”

  • avatar

    The cherries are a nice touch.

    • 0 avatar

      Insane clown posse. I can’t imagine a more pathetic pre-pubescent joke. Insane scary clowns! The band is about as orginial as the idea behind it’s name.

      Talk about trying too hard.

      This Subaru was also trying too hard. When they came into the market, being different was the whole story. When the Subaru wagon went mainstream, Subaru wanted another hit of “WTF?”, from John Q. Public, and shipped over the Brat.

      When the Brat no longer turned heads, Subaru did this.

      Subaru discovered that being weird had it’s limits, so for the next twenty years, Subaru copied from the Boring School of Design.

      Subaru is still trying to figure out how to make an attractive car. What they have succeeded at doing however, is how to create a niche car manufacturer, and a profitable one to boot. In their drive to create a marketable brand, they stumbled into success.

      Good work to the guys that gave us this thing, the Brat, the Brat II, and the original Tribeca. Sometimes weird works.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I wonder which ICP song was playing at the time?

  • avatar

    Man I miss my ’86. What a weird little car. All angles but a cd of 0.29. Digital dash with turbo boost-o-meter, instrument ‘pods’, pistol grip shifter, giant removable sunroof, pop up headlights, checkerboard seats, springloaded extendo-handle for raising the seat, single gigantic hiding windshield wiper, asymmetric steering wheel, flush door handles, parking brake on the front wheels?? This is sad on so many levels…at least stickers come off.

    When I crashed mine in 1994 I had to troll three states for a junkyard hood and front end, and I couldn’t even find a proper turbo hood (probem solved with a sawzall). I haven’t seen an XT pop up for sale in at least a year on ebay. I think the chance to own one again is dwindling rapidly and parts must be impossible by now.

    • 0 avatar

      They’re still out there…try this in google: subaru xt gl-10 – that’s how I found my two-owner, 69K mile gem 3 years ago. Silver, turbo, checkerboard seats, also an ’86 – I intend to keep it ’til I die. Parts aren’t that hard to come by either, unless you’re looking for interior bits and pieces.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    This is why teenage drivers shouldn’t have nice things.

    And why they should never drive anything with more than 150hp or 3000lbs curb weight.

  • avatar

    Apparently ICP are Evangelical Christians:

    • 0 avatar

      “The guys in ICP haven’t used the word ‘Christian’ or ‘evangelical’ […] so let’s not call them anything that they’re not claiming for themselves.”
      Mike Moring, Christianity Today

  • avatar

    Nice K-car coupe in the background there, eh?

  • avatar

    Awww come on… that’ll buff right out.

  • avatar

    I love these things – very funky. Quite rare to see one these days so it is a shame that this one is done for.

  • avatar

    I wanted to get one of these years ago after I had to put my beloved 88 Prelude SI 4WS (5-speed of course) out to pasture. By then though they were impossible to find.

  • avatar

    I’d completely forgotten about the XT being available when I sold Subarus. The addition of the XT means that in 1989 Subaru sold the Justy, the Loyale line, the ancient 2nd generation Leone GL hatchback, the new Legacy line, and the XT coupes at the same time. Back then, AWD was not standard on Subarus, so there were also FWD version of each, in addition to multiple body styles for the Loyale and Legacy lines. All that and they were barely a national brand.

    • 0 avatar

      Barely a national brand?

      In 1989?

      Where did you live back then?

      • 0 avatar

        Summer of 1989, but we already had the 1990 model Subarus – Charlottesville, Virginia. They were common in Charlottesville, which is a college town. They were common in New England, and probably in western ski towns as well. That left a whole bunch of country where you could go days without seeing one. I can’t find the sales figure for 1989, but Subaru only sold 172,216 cars in the US in 2000. I believe they were considerably smaller in 1989, and even that wouldn’t much of a sales total for a car company with five different model lines, four engine families, nine body styles, and multiple drivetrains per model.

      • 0 avatar

        Subaru was very much a national brand in 1989. They had been selling at least 150,000 cars per year in the US from 1981 through 1988, but sales dropped off closer to the 100,000 mark beginning in 1989.

      • 0 avatar

        Type ‘Subaru dealers’ into google maps and zoom out to show the continental USA. They’re still a regional brand.

      • 0 avatar

        I did. That’s hilarious… Michigan, of all places, shows just four locations north of Detroit, but FL, California, Texas, and the Pacific Northwest are well covered. Very odd.

        OTOH, type in “Nissan dealerships” and it don’t look so different… so maybe they’re not so much of a regional brand after all.

      • 0 avatar

        Subaru is indeed still mostly a regional player. In the midwest Subaru dealerships are few and far between, and it only decreases as you head south. Outside of the snowbelt, an AWD sedan with (comparatively) poor gas mileage, a low-rent interior, and iffy reliability coupled to a premium price is a tough sell.

      • 0 avatar


        I’ll give you the (comparatively) poor gas mileage but iffy reliability, low-rent interior, and premium price is not what Subaru is known for, at least ’round my part of the country. Back when I last went car shopping an Impreza was almost equal in cost to a Mazda3. Foresters are advertized at $19,995. The only overpriced Subaru that I know of is the Impreza convertible built for Manchester Subaru.

        Also, if Google Maps is anything to go by New Hampshire has more Subaru dealers per person than any other state.

  • avatar

    This makes me a sad panda :-(

    Has an XT made a showing in Lemons yet?

  • avatar

    F***ing Brakes! How do they work?

  • avatar

    I refused to listen to the ICP after I saw that one of their fans graffitied a tree on the road to one of my family’s favorite rustic state forest campgrounds in the Upper Peninsula with the band’s name. I don’t like the band’s shtick either. I’m willing to concede that when it doesn’t vandalize others’ property, graffiti can be art, but not on a tree, and certainly not on a tree in a state forest in the UP. It’d be one thing if it was a logging crew marking trees for culling. That’s productive. The graffiti was just ugly, serving no purpose beyond someone’s silly ego.

  • avatar

    A 19yo cousin recently pretzled his S2000 that his pops bought him…I feigned empathy, but my schadenfreude was probably showing.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I remember buying a satin blue XT 4WD for $100 at the local Carmax auction a few years ago.

    They advertised it as ‘transmission needs service’, no overdrive.

    I was going to do an impound lot auction that weekend and I ended up bringing it up with me. Sold it for $875.

    That’s about all the interest I’ve ever had in the XT models. They are good weird cars for snow country. But here in northwest Georgia they are about as popular as stale pretzels.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I have not seen one of these on the road in years. But in the late 80’s through the 90’s I used to see a lot of these in the Metro NYC area. Everything from base XT’s w/FWD to loaded XT-6. Someone on my block had a base XT. It was so base it had a fiberboard panel where the rear seat would go. Affixed to it was a warning sticker telling you not to allow passengers to sit there. You could call it the Subaru business coupe. Subaru ought to bring back a new version based on the Impreza.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    I always loved how the beltline kinked down behind the A-pillar.

  • avatar

    I worked in parts at a Subaru dealer in the mid to late nineties.
    I remember when the XT6 was introduced. The extra length of the engine to accommodate the two extra cylinders ruled out a power steering pump, so they came up with an electric motor to do it. I think it was the first time it had been done. Then, they figured out that by accessing the computer for steering inputs, they could either add or subtract assist when necessary.
    Like a lot of the Japanese companies back then, there was a lot of innovation happening.
    Good times.

  • avatar

    That’s a really odd damage pattern-It’s not crumpled so much as twisted. I really wonder what happended here.

  • avatar

    Subarus are definitely popular here in Maine. Although I don’t really see why because the fuel economy numbers are not very impressive. If people really think AWD is going to help them in the winter with all-season tires, then I don’t know what to say. A FWD car with decent winter tires will do just as well and get better fuel economy.

    A guy I worked with back in 2000 owned two SVXs. Weird cars but they were unique looking. Coming from Southern Ontario where there are very few Subarus, it’s still odd to see so many on the roads in NE. Used to be the same thing with Saabs here. But now that they’re dead I guess I won’t be seeing many new ones driving around.

    • 0 avatar

      If people really think AWD is going to help them in the winter with all-season tires, then I don’t know what to say. A FWD car with decent winter tires will do just as well and get better fuel economy.

      I’d take AWD with good all-seasons over FWD with studless winter tires. At least the acceleration and drifting will be fun. Neither will have much traction on the really slippery stuff – wet ice – so you’d still have to be cautious during braking and turning.

      • 0 avatar

        So the AWD with all-seasons will stop better than the FWD with winter tires? Yeah, no thanks, give me winter tires over all seasons no matter what wheels make the car go.

  • avatar

    Poor car

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