In the 1980s, Subaru claimed their four-wheel-drive GL wagon was the perfect car for climbing mountains and the social ladder. Unfortunately, the specimen we have here is front-wheel-drive. Nonetheless, the seller believes they’ve proven that two wheels are as good as four when it comes to their 1984 Subaru GL Wagon for sale on Craiglist outside of Chicago. They state that it was driven from Washington state to Illinois last fall, and that their little wagon “took the mountains in stride.” Having made this drive on several occasions, I can say that this is quite a feat for a 36 year old car. Subaru must have done its research, at least in regard to the mountain part. At $3,400 could this Subaru be your future collectible?
Featuring an astonishing 72 horsepower four-banger connected to a 5 speed stick, this Subbie has all the makings of a classic… or at least a decent 1980s commuter. Let’s jump back to the social ladder claim though. This plush interior looks like it’d fit as well in this Subaru as it would in a Lincoln, at least a low end Lincoln. On second thought, more of an Oldsmobile or Buick of the era. In any case, it looks to make for a comfortable drive, especially if you’re covering half the country.
The current owner intended to cut this up, make it 4WD, and go rock crawling. Honestly, I’m glad they didn’t. These old Subarus may be lacking in terms of power, but I think they make up for it in character. The 13 inch wheels (with spare under the hood!), a perfectly integrated AM/FM radio, and the surprising clean boot around that long 5 speed stick, all bring this author back to a time of automotive simplicity and bliss.
With 254,000 “original” miles on the odometer, this GL has gone the distance, but I don’t think the finish line is anywhere in sight. The asking price seems a little steep at the moment, but these could be a viable investment if you’re willing to put in the work. Would you give this wagon some extra love to bring it back up to speed cosmetically, or do you see another future for this Subaru?