How About This 1987 Subaru GL-10 Wagon For $3,800?

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

It looks like today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe classic Subaru brings it all. Part of what it brings includes some rust around the edges however, so you’ll need to figure out if it’s worth bringing out the cash.

Yowzer! Nice Price came screaming back with a vengeance yesterday, just as foretold by Judas Priest all those years ago and just yesterday on classic rock radio. How the hell did that happen? Well, it seems five-grand is a decent price for what seems to be a decent 2006 Mazdaspeed6 in cherry tomato red, at least according to the 93% of you who voted it so.


Let’s check off some boxes, okay? Wagon? Yep. Manual gearbox? Uh-huh. Turbo engine? Oh yeah. 4WD? But of course. Spare tire keeping company with the engine? Would you have it any other way? We’re talking of course about all the bonafides that today’s 1987 Subaru GL-10 wagon brings to the table.

Subaru has always been somewhat quirky. Whether it’s the connection with serial failed auto importer Malcolm Bricklin, the brand’s stereotypical association with Lesbians (hello, ladies!), or the fact that the company liked to hide their spare tires under car hoods, they have a history of eclecticism. They are also generally beloved by their owners, and present day Subaru has one of the highest customer loyalty scores in the industry.

This car is evidence why. The car’s simple boxy lines still look earnestly sensible today, that is of course if anybody was building sensible boxy cars anymore. Or naming their kids Ernest.


Painted an extrovert’s special red, and sporting the sport of body decals that were all the rage with Japanese makes back in the ‘80s, this 123,000-mile Subie has a lot going for it. Let’s have a look.


On the inside, well, just look at those seats! They’re tufted, and who doesn’t like tufted? Yes, the upholstery is a little saggy, and I’d hate to have to get my nose within three-inches of the driver’s squab, but hey, that’s what Fabreze is for.

On the plus side, it has a digital dash and the seller says that’s all working as it should. There’s also a cassette deck stereo with tiny buttons and a trip computer with an equally tiny display. It’s an excellent example of just how far we’ve come, and how quaint and rectangular ‘80s technology seems today.


Mechanically, the car seems solid. The A/C works and the turbo light for the 115-bhp EA82T flat four lights up to tell you when it’s turbo time. The seller says both front axles have been recently replaced, and that the car “runs and drives great.”


The transmission here is a five-speed manual with hill-holder feature and this being an ’87, the 4WD is on-demand and activated by a shift knob button. Full time All-wheel drive wouldn’t come to the Leone until the ’88 model year.

Okay, so far so good, but what about that body? Well, that’s where things turn south a bit. The seller says that in his whirlwind month of ownership of the car he’s discovered that road rot has taken up residence in the rockers. He also notes that the front rails show evidence of previous damage and repair.


That’s not why he’s selling, or so he says. Instead it’s the lack of time available to make the car right before winter comes. I don’t know, maybe he’s a bear and needs to hibernate or something.


Regardless of his possible ursine proclivities he does seem pretty honest in his description of the car. That is not a trait usually associated with bears (see Yogi Bear) so perhaps we’re wrong about his implied species. I’d still bring a tape measure when going to look at the car to ensure that both sides are about the same length between the wheels. Since we’re not traveling to Philly to see it, the pictures will have to do.


After looking at the pics, and reading the description, you should have a good basis for deciding whether the car seems worth its $3,800 asking price. If you do, then what do you think, is it worth that? Or, is this a GL-10 that’s far from a perfect 10 and hence way overpriced?

You decide!


Philadelphia Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Patrick George for the hookup!

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