Junkyard Find: 1999 Subaru Legacy Outback Limited Wagon

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
It feels like the Subaru Outback has existed in wagon-only form forever, but you could get a new Outback sedan until 2004. In fact, the Outback name was once used by Subaru USA for outdoorsy option packages on both the Legacy and (from 1995 through 2000) the Impreza. If you want to go back down the branches of the Subaru family tree to find the current Outback‘s direct ancestor, you’ll come to something like today’s Junkyard Find: a second-generation Legacy station wagon with the Outback package, found in a Silicon Valley self-serve yard in June.
Subaru didn’t go to all-wheel-drive on every car sold in the USA until the 1996 model year, so you’ll find plenty of badging on their cars and bragging in their advertising on the subject during the late 1990s. My research indicates that all 1994-1995 Outbacks had all-wheel-drive as standard equipment, but I cannot rule out the possibility of front-wheel-drive examples with all the cladding, fog lights, weather-band radios, and other non-powertrain Outback goodies from those years.
Speaking of weather-band radios, I’ve found that this feature actually comes in handy when driving in the mountains. And, really, who doesn’t enjoy listening to a robo-voice describing hailstorms two counties over during a drive?
I see a lot more of these cars in Colorado (where I live) than in California, and it turns out that this one started its American journey a few miles from my house (about 20 hours’ drive away from its final parking spot). Burt Subaru is now Groove Subaru, still at the same address on South Broadway.
This car racked up a respectable final mileage total during its 22 years on the road.
These cars often blow head gaskets, which is a very costly repair job due to the maddeningly tight clearance around the cylinder heads in the engine compartment, but it appears that this one ended up in this place due to a crash.
The leather interior still looks good, so I think we’re looking at a car that got meticulous care and maintenance throughout its life.
Yes, it had been 30 years earlier when Malcolm Bricklin had the idea to import the Subaru 360 Kei car to the United States. Just the car to park between two GM behemoths!
Paul Hogan did the ads for the early Legacy Outback wagons.
For the home market’s ads, Mel Gibson drove a right-hand-drive Legacy wagon in a snow-covered mashup of Stockholm and New York City while schmaltzy music played.For links to more than 2,200 additional Junkyard Finds, be sure to visit the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.
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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  • Land Ark Land Ark on Aug 30, 2021

    Subaru actually sold the Outback sedan, I want to say actually called an SUS at the time, until 2007.

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Sep 01, 2021

    I've had enough after the fact upset legal consults with Subie owners, all non enthusiast, unhappy about the multiple expensive repairs...

  • Lorenzo Motor sports is dead. It was killed by greed.
  • Ravenuer Sorry, I just don't like the new Corvettes. But then I'm an old guy, so get off my lawn!😆
  • Lorenzo Will self-driving cars EVER be ready for public acceptance? Not likely. Will they ever by accepted by states and insurance companies? No. There must be a driver who is legally and financially liable for whatever happens on a public thoroughfare. Auto consumers are not afraid of the technology, they're afraid of the financial and legal consequences of using the technology.
  • Lou_BC Blows me away that the cars pictured are just 2 door vehicles. How much space do you need to fully open them?
  • Daniel J Isn't this sort of a bait and switch? I mean, many of these auto plants went to the south due to the lack of unions. I'd also be curious as how, at least in my own state, unions would work since the state is a right to work state, meaning employees can still work without being apart of the union.