New car on the way – Subaru Brumby

Subaru Brumby

I’ve talked about this one for a while. At long last, the right vehicle has come up and I’m heading to Melbourne Friday afternoon to pick up my first ever ute – a Subaru Brumby.

This is it.


So why a Brumby?

I’ve been looking for one of these for some time. The first utes were developed in Australia and feels like a rite of passage for an Aussie bloke to get one at some stage.

More than that, though, they’re just so incredibly practical. Our Saab 9000 can take a heck of a load in it, but I get sick of vacuuming leaves and twigs out of it (and worrying about the creepy crawlies that might have made a new home under the seats). It’ll be great to just chuck some junk in the back and clean the tray out afterwards without having to worry about damaging the upholstery.

These Subarus have a reputation for being pretty much unbreakable. There are examples for sale right now with well over 300, 400 and even 500,000 kilomoters on them. The only common problem is CV joint failure, which isn’t a problem on this car and should be easy to fix if and when it happens.

And the best part – this one is rust-free, only has 100,000kms on the clock, has air-conditioning and was fitted with power steering! That last one is an extra-special bonus because the Brumby never had power steering.

The unmarked interior…..

The car was owned from new by an older gentleman. He passed away recently and it’s being sold by his son. The Dad fitted power steering because he was older and didn’t like fighting to turn the car any more.

It’s got a new windscreen, too!

The only blemish is a small dent in the tailgate. Other than that, it’s all good!

We’ve got heaps of garden waste stacked in various parts of the yard, and plenty of other rubbish waiting to be cleaned out. This Brumby’s going to be my daily driver and weekend workhorse.

Can’t wait!

The Brumby has both low and high-range four-wheel-drive. It’s powered by a 4 cylinder, 1.8litre, carby boxer engine driven through a four-speed manual transmission. That’s not an inspiring sentence from a driving enthusiast’s point of view, but then that’s why I’ve got the Alfa Romeo GTV6, isn’t it?

This one’s for work and maybe a little bit of play on a muddy day out in the bush 🙂

More photos will come in due course.


Encouraging little Brumby factoid…..

These cars carry some great residual values. They’re all 20 years or older and many of them are still fetching up to a third of their new car price. I’m getting this little red wagon at a decent, but fair price and I’m quite sure it’s still going to be worth every penny IF I go to sell it in a few years from now.

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  1. Nice one! Wonder if they still have the original front bumper? Mind you, with all the critters on Tassie roads, maybe the roo bar will come in handy?

    1. It’ll definitely be handy for night driving, Ian.

      I quite like the roo bar on it, actually. They look a little naked without. It’s slightly wannabe, but I’ll live with it, happily.

      1. Wannabe or wallaby? (rofl)

        But hey, I must have read your mind way back when you posted about a post-saab car choice, and I suggested one of these babies!

  2. You failed to mention that the steering wheel is on the wrong side. But hey, that’s a minor detail 😉

    1. Thankfully the pedals are on the same side as the steering wheel, so it should be OK. I’ll just have to get by.

  3. A Brat (as we know it over here)! What fun! Were your Brumbys available with rear-facing bucket seats in the bed?

    1. I don’t think we ever had the rear-facing seats. That was just a US thing to change the classification of the vehicle (must have been cheaper, I guess). I’ve never seen them here.

      1. The fake rear seats were used to get around the US’s 25% small truck tariff.

        The tariff is still around, and it may be the main reason why there are very few small trucks on offer in the US.

  4. It sounds like it is in great shape and you got yourself quite a deal there! I know what you mean about hauling outdoor and garden stuff in the hatch of a 9000. As my 9-3 is my daily driver, multi-purpose car, I love its versatility, but I always keep a big sheet of heavy gauge plastic to line the hatch when hauling some stuff and you still end up cleaning it out frequently.

    “The only blemish is a small dent in the tailgate.” Well, a small truck like that is hardly a real truck without a small dent in the tailgate, eh?

  5. With those seats in the back it did not have the pickup truck tariff, it was considered and SUV by the USA authorities.

    You need more roo bars and larger. Don’t you need to cover that new windshield with screen or bars to keep the roos out of the cabin?

    In my memories of Australian trucks, that roo bar is just a “starter” set!

  6. wow! I have not seen one this shiny in years — in the early 80’s I worked as a tech in a Saab /Subaroo/chevy dealership and these things were strange then. I remember adjusting valves a lot (do it stone cold), replacing lots of inner and outer cv joints, and replacing worn ignition locks (do not hang a big wad of keys off of the ignition lock) and clutch cables.
    This needs the cool white spoke wheels — and don’t forget that underhood spare tire — it’s part of the crash structure! That 4 speed dual range trans is a little wimpy, we fixed lots of synchros and broken reverse gears. But these are in a class by themselves as a small 4wd pickup thing. It’s really fun to thrash it on a rainy day in 4wd low range, second & third gear can hang big drifts until the valves float @ 6,000 rpm. I tried to kill a bunch of these but they were pretty tough. Always came back for more.

    1. I’m a bit disappointed, too, that it doesn’t have the white Sunraysia wheels. I might have a look around for some, but only if they’re cheap.

      This one will get some work, but nothing that’ll be likely to kill it. If I kill it, the Mrs will kill me!

  7. Swade,
    As we says in the States- that is one butt-ugly car! I hope you like it but as for me in addition to the 2 9-3s I have a Toyota Tacoma 4X4 for that messy stuff.

    1. A lot of people would have said that about the Saab 900 back in the day, too, Larry. Eye of the beholder, etc.

      I eyed off a few Toyota Hi-Luxes here but they were all much more than I wanted to pay. This will do quite nicely.

  8. Re: residual value: The same is true of American pickups. There comes a certain point where the truck’s utility as a hauler (and thus its value) doesn’t diminish. It’s generally much lower than your one-third value, but it’s greater than cars of similar age almost every time.

  9. Like 5-6 years ago i owned a -85 900 jubilee edition 900. This car was priolrly bought new and owned by an older gentleman that gotten to old to drive. It had a dark gray metallic exterior and a wine read interior. It was in perfect condition when i bought it and the old man had even made his own custom fake-leather door threshold covers (i mean the part that is made to step on when entering the car) Not long after i bought it i crashed it pretty badly in a icy corner and then i sold it. I so regret that i did even use this car as a everyday car.

    I’m gonna put the Brumby as no 2 on my exotic cars wish list. No one is of course this one


  10. Looking good! Wish they have them here in the US 🙂 I am kind of jealous!