Junkyard Find: 1995 Subaru SVX

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Living in Colorado, I find lots of junked Subarus. Today’s Junkyard Find, however, is the first Subaru SVX I’ve seen at The Crusher’s doorstep.

The SVX is one of those cars whose Internet Car Expert Perceived Value (ICEPV) tends to be far, far higher than its Motivated Seller Trying To Get Rid Of This Heap Value (MSTTGROTHV). You can find other cars with very high ICEPV-to-MSTTGROTHV ratios (e.g., Porsche 944, Dodge Omni GLHS, any 1960s Detroit station wagon), but none inspires quite the passion that you see when you start talking about the SVX. For example, the Living Waters Church of Subaru SVX that competed (if that’s the word) in several 24 Hours of LeMons races a few years back. When the online car forums caught word that an SVX qualified for the LeMons $500 budget rule, the bulk of the fevered responses were variations on the “NO WAY can you get an SVX for that cheap!!1!” and “It’s gonna PWN everything else on the track!!1!!” themes. Well, of course you can buy a basket-case SVX for dirt cheap, for the same reason you can buy an ugly BMW L7 for cheap: once they’re less than perfect, the cost of fixing them up is too high. As for dominating the race, the Living Waters SVX ran a total of maybe 25 laps in three races, breaking some difficult-to-fix component every hour or so (and while it was running, the ill-handling Subaru got its doors blown off by Neons and Cavaliers).

Right. So, let’s not hear any anguished Internet Car Expert talk about this “$10,000 car” ending up in the junkyard. Nobody was willing to pay just-above-scrap-price for it at auction, and so now it’s going to get picked over by junkyard buzzards and then crushed like it’s a Ford Contour with fire damage.

Of course, a 24-valve EG33 Subaru engine isn’t going to last long in a self-service junkyard; someone grabbed the long block right away.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Ranwhenparked Ranwhenparked on May 03, 2012

    While all Subarus are interesting mechanically, I believe this was the absolute model that was visually interesting, in a good way. Since the SVX, everything they've done has been either dishwater dull in the looks department, or had a retina-searingly-ugly flying vagina on the front.

  • Cfclark Cfclark on May 08, 2012

    Like the Citroen SM, this is a car whose weird factor appeals to me but whose reality of ownership experience will likely always preclude me from actually purchasing. I mentioned to my Subaru mechanic that I'd thought about it, and he told me, "well, a lot of people put a WRX transmission in them, and that seems to work pretty well...but overall, it's a pain in the ass to work on, not to mention heavy. You'd be just as happy with a WRX." Which I think was his way of saying, "if you get one, I'll work on it, but I'll charge you a premium to do so". I did see a nice one recently in Beaverton, OR...out of commission on a flatbed truck.

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  • Varezhka And why exactly was it that Tesla decided not to coat their stainless steel bodies, again? My old steel capped Volant skis still looks clean without a rust in sight thanks to that metal vapor coating. It's not exactly a new technology.
  • GIJOOOE “Sounds” about as exciting as driving a golf cart, fake gear shifts or not. I truly hope that Dodge and the other big American car makers pull their heads out of the electric clouds and continue to offer performance cars with big horsepower internal combustion engines that require some form of multi gear transmissions and high octane fuel, even if they have to make them in relatively small quantities and market them specifically to gearheads like me. I will resist the ev future for as long as I have breath in my lungs and an excellent credit score/big bank account. People like me, who have loved fast cars for as long as I can remember, need a car that has an engine that sounds properly pissed off when I hit the gas pedal and accelerate through the gears.
  • Kcflyer libs have been subsidizing college for decades. The predictable result is soaring cost of college and dramatic increases in useless degrees. Their solution? More subsidies of course. EV policy will follow the same failed logic. Because it's not like it's their money. Not saying the republicans are any better, they talk a good game but spend like drunken sailors to buy votes just like the libs. The sole function of the U.S. government is to take money from people who earn it and give it away to people who didn't.
  • CecilSaxon Sounds about as smart as VW's "SoundAktor"