Old Subarus like this one aren’t exactly a common sight, even here in one of Subaru’s traditional U.S. strongholds, the Pacific Northwest.
The setting isn’t exactly a showroom, but the way this car is parked at an angle reminds me of a brand-new car posed behind glass at a dealership. But no dealer showroom would have such a surreal backdrop; to the left of the car are the remnants of windows that were bricked-up and painted over, and to the right, there are painted-on fake windows! Note the Montana license plate; they’re not very common here in Seattle.
My opening photo was a hail-Mary shot with the camera held over my head; this picture taken from eye level tells a very sad story. The poor Subaru is incarcerated, and it might be a life sentence.
It’s not the most dignified fate for an old car; on public display behind wire mesh, at an urban storage-for-rent facility. The automotive equivalent of the pillory! Look at that flat tire. You know a car has been sitting a while if the whitewalls have started to run.
There’s no “4WD” emblem on the tailgate; this is (or was) a two-wheel drive Subaru. Of course Subaru sold a 4-wheel drive version of the wagon back then, but it used an old- fashioned part-time 4-wheel drive system, nothing like their current Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.
I’m intrigued by the chrome trim on the D pillar. It looks like the framing for a vinyl top.
But if any vinyl was ever on top of this car, it’s long gone, along with most of the paint. I’ve seen this sort of ‘top-down’ surface rust pattern before, mostly on cars parked very close to the ocean.
But this car isn’t parked by the shoreline, and it looks like it’s been in this same spot for quite a while. This Subaru also has the air of a car that punched a clock and worked for a living; a real blue-collar Subaru. But who knows what the owner did for a living, and what solvents his station wagon got exposed to in the process? It’s hard to say. Maybe he’s in jail, too!