SOTW: Subaru Impreza Turbo

A Subaru Impreza Wagon really ought to be SOTW gold. It's got decent pace and character courtesy of that burbly blown boxer motor, chuckable, grippy handling thanks to that four-wheel-drive hardware and plenty of space, due to - er - having plenty of space. And that's before we mention the appropriateness of all-wheel drive in wintry weather.

So: practical, fast, fun - the holy trinity of shedding. The trouble is that Imprezas that aren't dead, dying, or dubiously modified to within an inch of their lives are pretty thin on the ground within Shed's £1K territory.

Last time we brought you a Subaru Impreza as Shed of the Week, we freely admit that it was a bit of a ratty specimen, probably suffering from the infamous 'piston slap' of late 90s Subarus. But this particular Scooby seems a whole lot sweeter.

Yes, it's done a chunky 158,000 miles, but the engine was subject to a full rebuild by specialists API at 106k miles, according to the seller (who has all the receipts and service history, so it's something you can presumably confirm by riffling through the paperwork). The car sounds like it's been pretty well looked after in general in fact, having been treated to newish tyres, clutch, front and rear droplinks, rear dampers, discs and pads by its current owner.

That API rebuild sounds like it's the source of some sympathetic mods, too, with a lightened flywheel, ported headers and an uprated fuel pump, so we imagine it's giving a wee bit more than the 210hp-or-so that Fuji Heavy Industries originally intended.

So what's pushing this car down into Shed's grubby mitts? Tatty bodywork, from the sound of it. But hey, what's a bit of rust on a Shed? Then, we suppose, there's the spectre of some fairly heavy running costs, both in everyday/fuel terms, and the looming possibility of a pricy mechanical malady. But good Shedding is all about taking a bit of a punt, isn't it?

Advert is reproduced below

Subaru Impreza Turbo with API Engine rebuild - Perfect Winter Car! (1997)
158,400 miles £1,000

Subaru Impreza Turbo, 1997 R plate, 5-door Wagon, 158k with full API engine rebuild at 106k, Red, 5-door, comprehensive service history including all bills and old Mots, Mot Feb 2013, Tax end Feb, CD player, Cat 1 with r/c/l, e/w, e/m

Full engine rebuild by top Subaru builder API now on 50k including lightened flywheel, ported headers, uprated fuel pump at cost of over £3k, standard UK car except for engine and stainless backbox, recent front tyres, brake pads and calliper rebuild, always well maintained regardless of cost - including new clutch, front and rear droplinks, rear dampers, disks and pads in my ownership.

Only ever run on V-power and Motul 300V oil.

Bad points: Bodywork getting tatty in places - especially rear arches (but interior is excellent), due for a service

Ideal winter car! Any inspection or questions welcome. No test pilots, please bring proof of insurance if you wish to test drive.




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Comments (221) Join the discussion on the forum

  • ALfooy 09 Feb 2012

    Tidy looking shed, shame about the lack of cash =( and the running costs

  • B'stard Child 09 Feb 2012


    I like the wagon shape better than the saloon

  • soad 09 Feb 2012

    That's quite tempting.

  • Lord Flathead 09 Feb 2012

    Cracking car for the dosh. Would rather buy an older cared for model where money has been spent where needed than a newer one with less history.

    Always buy on condition yes

    Who's going to snap it up then scratchchin

  • 0a 09 Feb 2012

    If it keeps running you won't lose money on that - a future classic, especially if jap 4wd cars come back into fashion.

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