Neighborhood Outtake: 1983 Subaru GL AWD Wagon – Crunchy

This blue gen2 Subaru GL AWD wagon is parked just around the corner from my house, and is owned by one of the daughters that has moved back in with their elderly parents, who were clearly hippies in their day. Subaru wagons are everywhere now; meaning all over the country. But back in the 70s and early 80s, Oregon was one of the early hot beds for them, along with Vermont, Northern California, and Colorado. That’s back when they were closely associated with the Birkenstock-granola crowd, but now almost everyone eats granola and Birkies long ago went mainstream.

So it goes with so much of what was once called hippie-culture; it inevitably goes mainstream. Who’s going to buy a kombucha brewer first; Pepsi or Coke? (Update: Pepsi bought KeVita for $200 million in 2016). We’re all hippies driving Subarus now.

Well that should set off some howls of protest from this crowd.

Back to cars. Well, it’s hard to separate cars from their drivers, and very few cars have had their owners stereotyped more than Subaru, although that’s essentially over now, thanks to the brand’s huge growth. But back in 1983, when this GL found a home in Oregon, it was a different ball game.

This is a pretty well-kept example of this generation, sold from 1980 through 1984. And they’re getting mighty thin on the ground, despite their intrinsic ruggedness. Thirty-four years will do that. But I’m hoping this one sticks around for a while.