Thursday, January 4, 2018

Full Time 4WD Turbo: 1987 Subaru GL

This next car comes as a tip from Jeff S who writes: Turbo Subies last really but this is interesting.  I have to admit that this machine does have some interesting street cred regarding its turbo, hatch, manual trans, and push button hi-lo 4WD.  Find this 1987 Subaru GL offered for $2,500 in Eastern West Virginia via craigslist...which can't be much more than the seller paid for it about a year ago.

 From the seller:

I would trade for an STI drive train. Our '05 Outback XT has developed a rod knock and i've always wanted to swap a six speed STI setup in. 

Cool old survivor car. Under 82K miles. Turbo, hatchback, manual trans, HI-LO push button 4WD with locking diffs. Really a cool old original Subaru. It deserves a better home. I bought new injectors for it and STILL havent got around to working on it. Overall really nice. Only bad spot is the normal drivers seat wear and it was in a small fender bender at some point. New fuel pump and stainless gas tank. Needs a good wash from sitting. 
Ask for detailed pics of the fender bender.

Here is the original AD from when I bought the car:

I injured myself pretty badly back in July and simply haven't been able to wrench on anything. I'm still healing from the surgery. Now my daughter and work is taking up most of my time. If interested shoot me a message and we can discuss things.

See a better way to 4-wheel-drive?


  1. I wish Subaru decided to turbo all their cars at the same time when they made to switch to producing all cars standard with AWD.

  2. I can't trust a car that keeps it's spare tire warm in the engine compartment.

  3. I had the wagon version, except without all the cool stuff. It was a 1986 GL-10 FWD, but it was free, and at least had the 5-speed. Great little hand-me-down beater that got me through college and many adventures, many of which are not appropriate to share on a public forum! The spare tire in the engine bay was strange but it worked. They had the space there over the flat four, so it freed up lots of cargo room in the back. Even though the handbrake was connected to the front wheels for some inscrutable reason, I could still get it to slide the tail in the dirt with some Scandinavian flick / pendulum persuasion.

  4. These old Subies weren't as durable as the newer models-- lucky to go 100K miles before a rebuild, and this one has over 80K. Other drawback: body damage. Unless your cousin works at a body shop, and can do body work at cost, it's not worth buying ANY old car with a bad body. There are lots of cars out there, that are cheap, and have dent-free bodies. And mechanical work is WAY cheaper than body work.

    1. My '86 lasted to over 250k miles with basic maintenance and a clutch replacement. It was pretty tired at the end there, low on power, but still ran reliably.

  5. My 87 RX is still my daily driver, at 30 years old and 240K miles. I don't know where you are, but here in the PNW, 80's and 90's subarus are everywhere, still running fine.


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