Thursday, December 12, 2013

5k: Rear Seat Coaster: 1978 Subaru BRAT 4X4

The Subaru BRAT (Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter) is a ute (El Camino) version of the Leone passenger sedan.  The Brat came new with two jump seats in the back...not designed for your brats, but designed to help Subaru evade the infamous Chicken tax (a 25% import duty on light trucks- adding the rear facing seats allowed Subaru to import the Brat as a sedan).  Find this 1978 Subaru BRAT for sale in Santa Cruz, CA for $3,600 via craigslist.

The BRAT won't win any drag races soon, but it fits the bill for an occasional commuter, cool/eclectic/hipster ride that you can pretend to use for light-off roading, but really gets the drive cycle of a Corolla.  Nothing wrong with that, since this $3600 car should be worth about $3600 when you sell it in 2, 10 or 20 years.

This Brat is powered by a Subaru EA-71 1.6 liter inline flat 4 cylinder gasoline engine putting out 67 horsepower into a 4 speed manual transmission and into all 4 wheels.  You'll know its a flat-4 when you hear the brat-brat-brat noise coming down the street...

The joystick handle bars attached to the rear seats always make rear passengers feel like they are a tail gunner on a B25, but the danger is real since you are driving around in a plastic seat with a lap belt and a steel roll bar head-basher two inches above your head.

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1 comment:

  1. I owned a 1978, same color. First new car I owned. I would take it to the Pismo Beach sand dunes. I got it about 3/4 up comp. hill, about the same as most 4x4's. Only Jeeps were able to get to the top. Very reliable vehicle. I highly recommend someone buy this unique classic.


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