Junkyard Find: 1982 Subaru BRAT

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

With 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.

Yes, 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.

I 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.

These cars rusted very quickly, though Colorado’s arid climate spared this one from full-on Michigan-grade cancer.

Nice BRATs are worth quite a bit these days. Thrashed ones are worth scrap value.

Strangely, I saw three vehicles with variations on this sticker during this trip to the junkyard. There’s meaning there somewhere.

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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  • April April on Feb 05, 2014

    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.

  • Big_gms Big_gms on Feb 06, 2014

    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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