Alright, who here doesn’t love the Subaru BRAT coupe utility? The Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter is such a neat-looking concoction of original Subaru 1800 front end and a pickup bed, that it still retains a strong fan base. Unlike in the States, the European versions did without the tax-circumventing bed-mounted jumpseats, which were discontinued in 1985 in the US models as well. The Finnish-imported Subarus did have to have their beds lengthened for some 20 centimeters to comply with our bed length regulations, the same thing as with Volkswagen Caddys.
This Finnish BRAT, named the “Targa Pickup” over here, has gone through a few attractive modifications recently. Check it out.
You instantly notice the matte green paint, which improves the looks a lot. Most of the Pickups here are Eighties Red, and this too has started its life as a red one.
The modifications have probably started as rust removal, but have gone on beyond just welding the car back into better condition. Let me count the things mentioned in the ad:
• Bodywork redone with rockers out of acid-proof steel, structures and beams rust-proofed
• Completely repainted in Syntal AN11
• Hilux/Hiace hubs, tire size 205/65R15c
• Fabricated bull bar with Hella lights
• Fenders bulged 5cm
In addition to these, some wear parts have been replaced, like joint rubbers and the water pump. The headlights are brand new.
Here you can see a seam on the bed’s end; that’s either the bit where the BRAT was originally stretched at import time, or then it’s a legacy from the rust repairs. Call it what you want. It’s a Lapland car, and Japanese cars usually survive better there as they don’t salt the roads too much in Lapland.
This shot shows you how the car’s dimensions have been affected by the longer bed. It kinda looks rear-heavy.
Inside, the seats are in reasonable condition. There is a split on the side plastic on the driver’s side, but otherwise this shot is very revealing: just look at the attention to detail here. The green doesn’t stop when you open the door, but the door jambs and door insides have also been resprayed green. Top job. The engine bay is still red, but one does open the hood a bit less often than the driver door.
I just love these gauges, by the way.
The Subaru is for sale for the reasonable sum of 2000 eur, by the way. The odo reading is pleasantly low and backed by a service book, and the three-owner car looks solid enough to withstand the kind of use its looks convey. Inspection’s been done in Nov 2012, which means all the modifications have been approved at the inspection station. There are a couple of things to fix, as one of the mufflers resonates against the body when you reverse and there’s a clicking CV joint. In addition, the wheels need balancing and the CASSETTE PLAYER DISPLAY IS DEAD. That last bit is almost a deal killer for me, honestly.