Junkyard Find: 1979 Subaru BRAT

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1979 subaru brat

Where I live (Denver), wrecking yards overflow with old Subarus. I walk past junked early-80s Leones (or GLs or whatever Subaru’s confusing naming conventions of the era were) all the time, but I’ll always stop and photograph a BRAT. So far in this series, the BRAT roster includes this ’79, this ’84, this ’82, and this Sawzall-converted ’86. Last week, I spotted another example, and it still had its Chicken Tax-dodgin’ jump seats.

Yes, the personal-injury lawyers loved these seats, but they let Subaru evade the 25% tariff on imported light trucks.

Remember AOL CD spam? This car still has one!

It’s somewhat rusty (I know, Midwesterners, you don’t consider this to be true rust), but could have been kept on the road a while longer.

Corn stopped by.

The condition of the seats and the AOL disc suggest lengthy outdoor storage of a nondriving vehicle.

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3 of 50 comments
  • MrFixit1599 MrFixit1599 on Nov 12, 2014

    I still want my '84 BRAT back. 4WD, check. 5 speed manual, check. T-tops, check. Missing the jump seats, but it had the oddball topper on the back that I immediately removed, which is probably worth some money to someone today. Rust took it's toll. Last I knew, BRAT was the most searched vehicle on EBAY, with the fewest results.

    • -Nate -Nate on Nov 13, 2014

      Who knew ? . Sadly , the So. Cal. Junk Yards used to be chock full of neat old vehicles just needing Mechanical refurbishment , no one wanted them when they were 10 ~ 20 years old . Now it's Toyota Tercel 4X4 Wagons I see , as a Yankee Farm Boy this seems wasteful but what do I know ? . -Nate

  • Olydoug Olydoug on Nov 13, 2014

    There's one up the street that was just tagged by the city. Been there at the curb with a flat tire for several weeks. Same color but without the jump seats.

  • YellowDuck Thank goodness neither one had their feet up on the dash....
  • Zerofoo I learned a long time ago to never buy a heavily modified vehicle. Far too many people lack the necessary mechanical engineering skills to know when they've screwed something up.
  • Zerofoo I was part of this industry during my college years. We built many, many cars for "street pharmacists" that sounded like this.Excessive car audio systems are kind of like 800 HP engines. Completely unnecessary, but a hell of a lot of fun.
  • DedBull In it to win it!
  • Wolfwagen IIRC I remember reading somewhere that the Porsche Cayenne was supposed to have a small gasoline-powered block heater. There was a loop in the cooling system that ran to the heater and when the temperature got to a certain point (0°C)the vehicle's control unit would activate the heater. I dont know if this was a concept or if it ever made it into production.