Junkyard Find: 1991 Subaru Loyale, Colorado Stereotypes Edition

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1991 subaru loyale colorado stereotypes edition

I moved from California to Colorado in 2010, and the stereotype of the stony Subaru driver who snowboards/hikes/camps/rock-climbs, has some sort of retriever dog, and drinks super-hoppy craft beers turns out to be based on reality.

Everyone here drives Subarus — hell, even I have an Outback in the fleet — but we’re talking about the beat-to-hell, 15-to-30-year-old cars here, and not shiny new Crosstreks in the REI parking lot. Last week, I saw the perfect example of that type of Subaru in a Denver self-service yard: this rusty, crusty, 200,000-mile, Pleiades-badged Colorado veteran, which spent its long life driving to trailheads and brewpubs, is now set to donate its metals to the global commodities markets.

Colorado has 53 mountain peaks 14,000 feet or higher, while California comes in a weak second place with 12. If you’re serious about climbing mountains here, you need to hit all 53 (yes, including Pikes Peak, which has a paved road all the way to the top). I’m guessing that the last owner of this Loyale may have accomplished that feat.

There’s body filler over rust over more body filler.

According to the High Country Healing website, “Not everyone wants to smoke a gram. It’s a little intense, they see these Mini Js and they think, ‘That’s just right for me.'”

Vegetation-printed shelf liner works pretty well for covering sun-cracked dashboards.

Where it’s always 5 o’clock on the ski hill.

In 1988, Subaru claimed that 92% of 1978 or later Subarus were still on the road.

They should have used the Dead Kennedys version of ‘Rawhide’ for this ad.

It could be worse, though. It could be Leo Sayer. Now with Activu Torque-oo Split-o!

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  • Wantahertzdonut Wantahertzdonut on Mar 03, 2016

    Did Subaru ever fix their weak wheel bearings and automatic transmissions? Those two problems plagued so many of their cars throughout the 90s in addition to the head gaskets. I hope their rustproofing got better too. My parents bought a new 95 Legacy and the rear passenger door was rotted in 2 years. In 5 years the roof had rust around the luggage rack mounts. All this on a car that was directly marketed to ski patrollers (my dad got a hefty discount thanks to that program). The rust indirectly killed it when water came in and shorted the electrical system. Dead at 115k. A shame because the car would go through anything! I only see new ones in SoCal but due to my experience I look at them the same way as I do with British cars; never own one outside of warranty.

  • April S April S on Mar 05, 2016

    In 2001 I picked up a 1993 (last year imported) Loyale sedan from a elderly ladies estate. Mint condition with about 45,000 miles. Tasteful silver exterior and equipped with the 5-speed manual transmission (had the neat hill-holder clutch option). Other than the weird motorized front seat belts it was pleasant little car. Unfortunately it didn't make it six months due to a locked up engine. One of my co-workers decided to run a screwdriver though the oil filter.

  • Cprescott Looks like something a 10 year old would build.
  • Cprescott In order to buy any modern BMW, you have to be blind and an idiot
  • Cprescott I predict the Lyric will be a crushing success. After the initial buyers get a hold of one, they'll end up being made into cubes to make them attractive and sold for scrap.
  • Cprescott ...but the defective parts were well installed!
  • Cprescott I wonder if the witch made it to Washington on a single broom charge.