It says DeSchryver Concrete Construction on the door. We’ll assume it didn’t actually haul any concrete, but this gen1 Subaru Brat found in Beatty, Nevada by Curtis Perry undoubtedly worked for its living. Until one day, anyway, when it was left here in the sand for its retirement.
Gen1 Brats aren’t common sights anymore, although I still run into one from time to time, like this one at the beach. They obviously have an affinity for sand. I wonder why?
Found in Beatty, Nevada…but the script on the door bears a Sacramento area code.
Looks kinda rusty for a California car!!
When looking at classic car adds, the impression is all California cars are rust free versus cars maintained in the northeast or south.
Back then, and maybe some even today, Japanese cars rusted just because.
DeSchryver Concrete Construction is based in Auburn, CA, but serves the Truckee-Tahoe area, which (used to) gets lots of snow. The rust isn’t all that bad, as it’s not perforated from the inside, but just mostly on the outside.
Salt isn’t used now at Tahoe (or at least not much) for environmental reasons – concern about runoff into the lake. But it used to be used a lot. Between that and certain foggy coastal climates, rust wasn’t that rare on California cars before the ’80’s. Fiats, Alfas, Vegas and many Japanese cars would start showing surface rust then perforation within a few years. Although most of California’s population lives in the fairly benign San Francisco/San Jose and LA/San Diego areas, the more sparsely populated mountainous parts of California can have severe and long snow seasons.
That would fail a WOF inspection here they are anal about rust, probably why few early Subarus are still on the road they were quite rust prone in humid damp weather, you dont actually need salt though no doubt it helps.
yes, Minnesota road salt made quick work of my 79 Brat
IIRC it had quite visible rust on the front fender tops by 1984.
My brother-in-law’s Brat rusted through to where the rear suspension tore out from the frame while accelerating from a toll gate on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
This proves (1) that these vehicles were rust-prone, and (2) that Pennsylvania vehicle inspections were ineffective if the rust wasn’t where the “technician” could see it without dirtying his trousers.
If you’ve ever been to Beatty, you’d understand. The nearest scrapyard is well over 100 miles away, and with scrap prices being what they are, the cash you’d get wouldn’t cover the gas.
On the other hand, land is essentially endless there, so leaving a vehicle where it died has no downside.
It might have carried a couple of bags of Redi-Mix to a small project 🙂 Is that rust of just ‘patina?’
I once had a 1979 DL wagon with 5-speed. I was slow as molasses in January (68 hp IIRC) but seemed indestructible. Cars in south Texas didn’t rust either unless you took them to the beach and didn’t hose them off afterward.
I think I could have a lot of fun with a vintage Brat today, minus the chicken tax rear seats of course.
If you can find a Gen 1 Brat that is roadworthy I would be willing to bet that the chicken tax seats have been removed. My (then) brother in law bought one of these back in the early eighties and the first thing he did when he got it home was to get out the hot wrench and remove the seats. I honestly can’t remember seeing a Brat that has not had this surgery.
A first-gen Brat is something I’ve not seen in a long, long time. Too long to remember, if ever–but then again I could say that about most 70’s Subarus. They didn’t really become common in the Southeast until the early-mid 80’s.
Very evocative photo, too. A modern version of the 1930’s and 40’s hulks that (if what I’m told is true) pepper the desert along old Route 66.
The owner’s name is written in concrete. DeSchryver = de schrijver = the writer.
I’m always amazed at the number of ‘mobile homes’ you see on the outskirts of most American cities. It seems you just say yep, this’ll do and have it dropped off there and that’s where you live … They look depressing.
KJ in Oz
Hard to believe but many Trailer Parks are actually spread out and well maintained , good places for Seniors to live IMO .
I spent miserable New England Winters in rusty drafty leaky cold as open graves trailers in the 1960’s so I hate them but I *do* see many really nice parks in my travels , I was looking at and commenting on one to – day .
I seem to recall these early Subies were slow but very reliable in the Southwest .
Actually, I’m Tom DeSchryver. I bought that Brat from my wife’s mother in about 1986. The transfer case had a manual shift. 1972, I think.
Sold it early 90’s. Probably not worth restoring.