For $3,500, This 1988 Subaru XT6 Could Be Your Days Of Future Past

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Subaru is nearly 30 years old, but it still looks like it’s from the future. Let’s see if its price might make it part of some new owner’s future.

Oh how I love a close call. Whether it’s nuclear armageddon stopped with a second to spare, a game winning Hail Mary interception right at the buzzer, or yesterday’s 51%/49% vote on a stick shift 2004 BMW X5, there’s just nothing like a good squeaker.

Back in the ‘80s Nancy Reagan espoused an anti-drug message that was notable both for its brevity and its forehead-palming obviousness. What the First Lady recommended to America’s drug-temped teens and do-these-Ludes-make-my-ass-look-big bored housewives was this simple advice: Just Say No.


Have a gander at this 1988 Subaru XT6 Full Time 4WD coupe and you’ll realize that the good folks at Subaru were obviously not practicing what ‘ol Nancy was preaching.

It is rumored that the XT’s basic shape was sketched on the back of a cocktail napkin (why is nothing ever sketched on the front of a cocktail napkin, what are they hiding?) and achieved a 0.29 coefficient of drag via having flush everything and pop-up headlights.


The interior was even more wild, awash with a sea of tiny buttons and switches, and featuring pods on either side of the wheel for the main systems management. Those move with the tilt wheel so you’ll always have optimal access. A beer tap shifter rounds out the peyote vision quest that is the XT’s work environment.

This ‘88 XT6 represents from the first full year of the car’s only restyle, and the first year of Subaru’s first six-pot pancake engine. The ER27 displaces 2.7-litres and from the factory produced a whopping 145-bhp. These also got “Cybrid” electro-hydraulic power steering (which requires its own unique fluid, not ATF) and a beefier suspension than on the four-pot cars.


The first thing you might notice about this one is that it’s not lying fallow in a field somewhere, or surrounded by trashcans and pit bull shit in the back of somebody’s driveway. Yeah, these have become pretty rare, and rarer still are ones that have been maintained in any sense of the word.


Here you get a car that the seller describes as 7.5/10 on the outside, and 8.5/10 on the inside. The odd man out on the inside is a cracked piece of trim and a headliner that’s losing its fight against gravity. Oh, and these cars had mousebelts, I hate those guys.


On the outside, there’s an issue with the paint on the horizontal surface of the rear bumper and a headlight that’s not going all the way up. That latter ailment lending the car somewhat the appearance of a pre-plastic surgery Sylvester Stallone.

Mechanically things seem equally good and bad. The seller says that the car is his daily driver and that the engine, five-speed transmission, and push-button 4WD all work fine. What’s not so good is the clutch, which he says is stiff and which he thinks might be caused by the pressure plate.


Let me tell you something, it’s not the pressure plate. It’s most likely the throw-out bearing, and that demands separating engine and gearbox and installing a new clutch. There’s also some mystery noise coming from under the car if you set the spurs to it. Fun.


At least there’s apparently a parts car that could possibly come with this one.

Other than all that, it seems to be in fine shape with 181,000 miles beneath its seats and a clean title to keep it on the up and up. The asking price for this rare bird is $3,500 and it is now time for you to weigh in and say whether or not that’s a fair deal.


What say you, is $3,500 for a six-cylinder, five speed, 4WD coupe with crazy-cool styling a killer deal? Or, would you have to be plenty high to pay that much for this old and odd Subaru?

You decide!


Corvallis Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to 710 for the hookup!

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