For $3,500, Be A King Of Leone

Illustration for article titled For $3,500, Be A King Of Leone
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Doctor Christiaan Neethling Barnard performed the world’s first human heart transplant on December 3rd 1967, transferring a donor heart from a young accident victim into an older, very sick recipient. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Subaru has seen a similar infusion of young blood, but is it priced to give you a heart attack?


Yesterday’s 1987 VW Jetta SCCA-ready two door had you racing to vote and it took the checkered with a handy 68% Nice Price win. Since we’re on a roll with modded cars this week, let’s keep the dream alive with today’s Subaru. Its mods are far more subtle than that of the Jetta or Monday’s Caddy, but they’re worthwhile nonetheless.

It’s a funny thing about Subaru’s situation in the late ‘60s. It seems that they lacked the resources to design cars that didn’t look either like pillbugs or mini Ford Taunuses. Seeing little future in that they entered into a deal with 20% stakeholder Nissan to help with styling duties. That resulted in the ensuing Leone looking a lot like. . . well, the Nissans of the time.

Today’s 1978 Leone 4x4 wagon is an exemplar of that long-hood/short tail style and this one is so small and scruffy that it reminds one a little of Tyrion Lannister - post Blackwater. By the way, yesterday was actor Peter Dinklage’s birthday!

These cars were originally powered by the EA71 OHV edition of Subaru’s iconic boxer rebellion four. That 1,595-cc weezer was good for an anemic 67 horses, which did managed to move the little car, but only due to its light weight.

Illustration for article titled For $3,500, Be A King Of Leone

This one however has seen that ‘70s EA71 get the heave-ho, to be replaced by a 2.2-litre EJ221, which is a SOHC flat four that should be good for 135-bhp. Behind that is a five-speed manual and two-speed transfer case from what's said to be an '87, sending power to both front and rear wheels.

Overall the car looks to be solid, if not prime valet positioning condition. The blue paint is somewhat translucent in places and the bumpers have more dings and waves than a kindergardener’s clay Father's Day project.

Illustration for article titled For $3,500, Be A King Of Leone

On the inside, the seats are covered with shrouds which doesn’t bode well for the viability of their surface or stuffing. I think my favorite part of the ad however, is the interior shot where the picture taker looks like he’s smoking a bowl in the rearview. Party on Garth!


Speaking of the ad, it doesn’t really say much about the car’s current state, although the note that it has “modern drivability and reliability” leads one to believe that it does move under its own power.

Illustration for article titled For $3,500, Be A King Of Leone

Still, the seller cryptically says that it has a touch left to finish up, and that if left to do so he’s only going to increase the price. That means that should someone be looking for an old Subie with the heart of a. . . well, not new one exactly, but pretty damn close, then they should jump on it right now.

To do so will take $3,500, and remember the seller is threatening to finish up the car - whatever that means - which will only mean he’d throw that amount back in your face. What do you think about that price for this heart recipient? Does that seem like a deal? Or, is does that mean this Leone is flatlining? CLEAR!


You decide!


Denver Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to bigblockbear for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.


GOooood morning, kids, it's time for Crack Pipe Math!

Actually, it's really tough to do the usual "Well, we start with...." type of calculation because I'm REALLY NOT SURE what we're starting with. I'll go with what I can see. The body looks fair-to-good, and (importantly) free from the tinworm. So that's good. And I think it's fair to assume that the engine, transmission, and drivetrain actually work. That's also good. Stylistically, this is an awesome combination - I will not deny my Jalop-love of a 70s wagon with a stick-shift and extra POWAAAAAAA!

...Now on to the bad stuff. First, you can buy a complete, working, needs-nothing[1] '97 Outback with a stick for $2000. Second, I think it's probably reasonable to say that the engine and transmission are installed and might even turn the wheels. But I think there's a crapton of work to make this "complete". Scratch that. A crap-megaton. Owner says it needs "a touch more work", but I'm going to presume that the donor '78 car was in rough, probably ran-when-parked condition, and might have needed some TLC. Presuming that the last picture, with the engine in place but still attached to the hoist, is the most recent...Further work would include...

  • Fitment tweaks on drivetrain
  • Steering overhaul/install
  • Brake work
  • Suspension work (because we all know that '97 motor is going to weigh a wee bit more than its older cousin, so we need those fenders to not touch those tires). Probably a mix of new parts and some custom bits. Plus doing an alignment for something that doesn't exist, which means either finding a shop to do it, or spending a lot of time with a calculator, some string, and round after round of "well, let's see if this helps".
  • Wiring/electrical (Including those TOTALLY SWEET driving lights.) including getting an OBD-2 engine to run in a 35-year-old car, including getting gauges that work in this car, and getting them to work.
  • HVAC (because, come on, that '97 can run AC, and that would be really, really nice.)
  • I'm leaving off body/paint work, because I kinda dig the patina on this one.

That's kind of a worst-case, but that goes back to the original problem: WE DON'T KNOW what works/doesn't and what's installed. Now we'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that some of this has been done or isn't that bad. OK, so you skip the HVAC and open the windows. We'll presume that it's not too bad to get the '97 motor to run and you can just [mumble mumble jumpers mumble relays mumble solder] and make it work. And you just say "eff it" and use the current suspension. I *still* don't see any brake system, and it doesn't look like steering's installed either. At the very least, you're looking at something that will likely to be trailered away and would require months of weekend work before it was streetable. The more I think about it, the more I want to run away, fast. I have some Subie love. I've got an '09 Outback Sport sitting in my driveway right now. But Too much work to do, too much money. Crack pipe.

[1] Nothing more than the TLC that a high-mileage car would need.