Subaru Justy | Shed of the Week


There’s no such factor as an affordable Subaru, says Shed. If the value is low, the restore prices might be excessive, he says, whether or not there’s anyone listening or not. Normally not.

This kind of generalisation feels like basic outdated git ‘knowledge’, however is he proper? Subarus haven’t precisely constructed up a legendary repute for reliability and low operating prices. Boxer-engined automobiles particularly have gained poor critiques for oil leaks and head gasket travails.

Regardless of that, all-wheel drive Subarus are nonetheless fairly frequent in rural elements of Britain the place there are many dangerous roads and loads of outdated folks keen to take them on in Foresters and the like at an unwavering velocity of 43mph regardless of the prevailing restrict. Older drivers have at all times been a key a part of Subaru’s UK demographic, however Subaru UK bumped into an ideal storm a few years in the past when Covid, an off-point vary of hard-drinking automobiles and a grumpy community of demotivated sellers got here collectively to generate barrel-scrapingly low UK gross sales for 2020, described with a pleasant line of grim understatement by the corporate’s MD on the time as ‘ridiculous’, ‘horrible’, ‘insane’, and ‘a catastrophe’.

Nonetheless, as outdated folks prefer to say, issues had been at all times higher within the outdated days, and that brings us to this week’s Shed, a Subaru which could show Shed unsuitable by being each low cost to purchase and low cost to run. When you can preserve it operating, that’s.

Because the personal vendor of this 1992 specimen says, this model of AWD Justy is a really uncommon chicken within the UK. The whole variety of roadgoing and SORN’d examples might effectively be all the way down to single figures. Publish-‘94 Justys had been rebadged Suzukis, however these earlier ones had been true Scoobydoos. Subaru’s stock-in-trade boxer engine was deemed unsuitable for such a small car, so as an alternative they used a 1.2 litre three-pot engine, a standard format these days however one thing of an outlier within the early Nineties. The one modern rival Shed can bear in mind is the turbocharged 104hp 1.0 litre triple that Daihatsu stuffed into its hootmungous and closely wanted gen-three Charade GTi. The Justy’s unassisted 1.2 solely had 66hp at 5,600rpm, nevertheless it did put out 70lb ft at 3,600rpm, which was fairly good for such a titchy n/a engine. Even so, the tow bar on this one seems to be a bit hopeful except you’re a sweet floss salesperson.

With or with no trailer the AWD Justy was recognized for its driving hilarity due to a glittery chassis which mixed impartial entrance suspension with a multilink again finish and a kerb weight of simply 830kg. After urgent the button on the shift lever to activate the ‘on demand’ all-wheel drive system (which used a viscous coupling somewhat than a centre diff) you might rapidly see why they turned fairly well-liked as finances rally automobiles. As this one was heading in the direction of being till the proprietor determined to enterprise off into pastures new.

The Justy’s gas filler cap offers us a pleasant perception into how automobile manufacture has modified through the years. These days, every thing has to work in every single place, with minimal or no design flexibility allowed.  On the five-door Justy the filler cap was in a standard location between the nearside rear door and the again mild unit. On the three-door it was in a completely new spot between the passenger door and rear wheel. Why would they try this?

Who is aware of or cares. What could be good to know although is why automobiles like get this bought for buttons when their homeowners have spent 1000’s on them, as right here. May it’s a challenge that’s reached a useless finish as a result of some essential spares are No Longer Accessible? Perhaps. Discovering elements for considered one of these might simply flip right into a labour of affection. Shed thinks that engine mounts and throttle cables are fairly skinny on the bottom, together with the vacuum solenoids for the AWD. If the system is caught on, which may occur, you may get it to show off by disconnecting the vacuum hose and sucking on it. Though your native Postmistress might be glad to help with this activity it isn’t actually a sensible long-term resolution, not least as a result of the gears received’t be working.

Speaking of which, Shed likes a challenge. His most up-to-date one was meant to be for the Postmistress nevertheless it by no means acquired off the bottom. When she just isn’t franking the village mails the PM is a eager horsewoman. After buying an outdated eighteen-hand Clydesdale from the brewery, she requested Shed if he might consider something that may assist her climb aboard her huge gluepot. Over that night’s mutton stew Shed stupidly talked about to Mrs Shed that he was pondering of knocking up a mounting block to assist the postmistress tame a stallion. Sadly Mrs Shed’s ears had been partially blocked by a head chilly and he or she solely heard mounting, knocking up, mistress and stallion. Shed ended up sporting many of the stew, plus the saucepan containing it, as a heat, moist but additionally nutritious hat.

Even should you managed to see this Justy challenge to its conclusion, you’d nonetheless have to be in your guard. We’re instructed there’s a tiny spot of corrosion on one door. A small quantity of rust could be a big miracle on an early ‘90s Justy. Hardly any of the outdated MOT experiences courting again to 2006 fails to say it. As quickly as a essential level of structural fragility had been reached Justy drivers needed to studiously keep away from any kind of encounter with tougher objects, the record of which included not simply different automobiles but additionally lemon souffles, over-inflated balloons and a number of the bigger butterflies.

The vendor does state that a lot cash has been spent on the bodywork and underside. And on the engine, apparently, however his sincere admission that it nonetheless has an occasional overheating drawback tells us that more money will have to be spent there. Did Subaru supply its Justy head gaskets from the identical place as its boxer ones? If that’s the case, that is likely to be an affordable place to begin your inquiries.

There comes a degree in any automobile’s restoration the place the restorer has had sufficient. If the restorer is fortunate, that time might be on the finish of the restoration, however you watched that glad endings like which can be closely outnumbered by sad ones. Don’t sweat it. With solely 51,000 miles coated (verified by the MOT historical past, which by the way runs to the tip of September), a £1,500 price ticket, lots of the work already finished and really doubtless a prepared market of patrons in Japan, this mini-Scoob is unquestionably worthy of additional investigation. Particularly should you dwell wherever close to the south coast because the automobile lives in Dawlish, Devon. How lengthy it would proceed to dwell exterior of Dawlish should you determine to purchase it’s within the lap of the Previous Git Gods. Worst case state of affairs, you’ll have had a pleasant journey to the seaside.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here