For $16,500, If It WRX, Don’t Break It?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The Subaru WRX is venerated for its rally heritage, embodied in its high-revving turbo mill and all-wheel drive. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe '02 throws that all out the window and instead goes the LS2 route. And of course, now that it's done, it's for sale.

Rust never sleeps but it does influence how much someone ought to pay for a car that's slowly disappearing via a redox reaction. That was the likely reason for yesterday's 1954 Volvo PV444 falling in a 53% Crack pipe loss, as, like the Pope, it was holier than thou.


There's an old mantra that goes if it ain't broke, don't fix it. To that I would like to add if it WRX... well, you read the title. Subaru's Impreza-based WRX is known far and wide for being the road-going doppelgänger of the marque's AWD World Rally Car competitor with just a thin veneer of civility thrown on to make it allowable to take mom to church on Sunday. They have, shall we say, a reputation.

Now, there are other ways to go fast. Perhaps not so efficient in the corners, but still, alternative methods to get mom to the church on time. This 2002 Subaru WRX has gone that other way, and while it ain't broke, I don't know if an LS2 under the hood is the fix we all deserve.

First off, I'm totally amazed that six litres of V8 could actually fit under the hood of the small Subie. Still, there it is, none the less, looking perfectly at home. There's not much description in the ad, other than that the Chevy mill is 'fully built' and that the work was done by 'schwanke engines in Springfield MN.' Behind the hard eight is a freshly geared T56 six-cogger and some sort of 'built' rearend.


There is of course no mention of a front end, built or otherwise. That's because this WRX has traded its AWD cow for the magic beans of V8 power. How much power? Well, the ad claims 580 which seems reasonable from six litres.


Of course being three-up in displacement on the EJ20 that originally called this car home also means an increase is weight. From what I can find, the Subie long block tips the scales at around 350 lbs. The all-aluminum LS2 adds about 110 lbs more to that. And remember, the wheels underneath that added weight don't help with the traction anymore.


Aside from the big Chevy under its be scooped hood this WRX seems to be pretty regular army. The interior is pretty stock, and looks to be in fine shape. Sure, there are some extra gauges, but they live in a binnacle on the dash top and not in the expected A-pillar placement. A heavy tint on the glass alll around blends nicely with the black paint but is potentially a cop magnet owing to just how heavy it is.

Black paint also coats the spokes of the alloys, around which are wrapped tires that are so low profile that when they bend over, we can see their ass crack. The ad claims 69K on the car and 21,000 on the 'never raced' engine. As the last piece of the puzzle, the title is as clean as the car.


I confess that this one's a real nut-scratcher. On one hand it looks to be a pretty well executed conversion that's had a lot money (over 30K according to the ad) thrown at it. On the other foot, it's a WRX that seems to have had a lot of its WRX-ness extracted.


Of course I should really table judgement of the car until after having driven it. That doesn't mean however that we can't judge it on its price! The seller is asking $16,500 for this WRX that's singing a new LS-tune. Based on the car's description in the ad, what's your take on that? Is that an Imprezive price? Or, does that just not WRX for you?

You decide!


Minneapolis Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to BDJ238 for the hook up!

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