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

If you jones for alfresco backwards freeway rides and off-road acumen, then Subaru's original Brat can't be beat. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe California ex-pat Brat isn't too beat up, but is its price warrant a beat down?

Rolls Royce Motor Cars, that bastion of English aristocracy and riffraff exclusion, is in fact owned by the Germans - BMW to be precise. And the difference between the Germans and the English whenever tackling any task is that the Deutsch make decisions based on careful analysis and empirical observation, while the British slog forth because, well, that's the British way, laddies! Neither of those can explain the Dusseldorf-offered Rolls Royce Kombi Badonkadonk that apparently befouled these pages yesterday. Equally inexplicable was the 6% of you who felt it worth its $87,000 asking price.

It was jet lag perhaps, or maybe too many in-flight cocktails, but all the same, we're staying firmly in the U. S. of A. for today's contender, and nothing's more America, apple pie and flag-wavingly jingoistic than a pick-em up truck. Even, that is, when it's built in Japan's Gunma prefecture.


When Subaru anointed its small El Camino-like 4WD trucklet the Brat, it didn't just mean it had a sassy attitude - although it does have that, in spades. BRAT is actually an acronym for Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter, a cobbled together compilation that assures you Marketing focus grouped the name Brat and then came up with that hokey business afterward. Regardless, should you be Bi-drive curious, then this 1980 first generation Brat could salve your yen.

Powered by the 1,595-cc EA-71 flat four, this Brat came from the factory with 68 bhp. Sitting longitudinally ahead of the front wheels, and sharing its under-hood domain with roommate spare tire, the ubiquitous boxer puts power to either front or all four wheels through a four-speed manual gearbox. A floor-mounted lever offers up that choice and the seller makes the claim that the whole bowl of nuts works like a lucky charm, save for the A/C which is eff'd. To make up for that, the truck has a set of new rubber, and the claim of heads that were given the spit-polish by a previous owner, as well as a recently renewed clutch.


Wrapped around that is a body that, while showing a healthy patina of use, doesn't evidence the leprous advances of the tin worm so common with the model, so a tetanus shot is not required. Wheels are stock steel spokers and appear to be off of a gardener's trailer. Similarly agrarian, the interior, in blue vinyl with large swathes of the fakest woodgrain money can buy, is equally well-used but serviceable, although the driver's door panel looks like it has had a mouse living in it.

But it's out in the bed where the little Subie's most notable feature resides. In retaliation to Japan's France and Germany's tariff on chicken imports, the U.S. Cried fowl and instituted a tax on imported pickups that was ten times that for autos. To get around that 25% tariff Subaru welded a pair of hard plastic buckets into the bed of the Brat, making it nominally a four-seater, but one in which the disparity between the classes is almost as great as is represented in today's economy.


This would of course be the perfect car in which to meet your potential future in-laws for the first time, and take them to dinner at that little restaurant down the freeway. By the time you get them there - unless you let them drive, and who would trust near strangers like that - not only will the wedding be off, but you likely won't even have to bother with driving them home.

Yay, forever alone!


The seller says this is a Cali car, and in fact it sports that state's number plates, despite being offered up on the Albany Craigslist. That might explain its relatively unmarred condition, as would the mostly sun-friendly white paint. Sure it has a few minor dings here and there, but nothing major, and with a claim of 133K on its clock it's not hard to see why. Of course, that could be 233K or hell, even 933K for all we know.

What we do know is that the seller of this Brat is beating the drum for it to the tune of $5,000. That's more than this Subie went for new, but hey there just ain't that many left out there any more that haven't been rusted through or hold my beer and hooned ‘till their back buckets popped out. That makes this one sort of a survivor, and one that possibly could command such scratch.

What do you think, does this Brat that beat the odds have a price that's also hard to beat? Or, for that much is this Brat just too damn beat?


You decide!

Albany Craigslist or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to allidoistype for the hookup!

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