Monday, May 10, 2010

Nostalgic Subcompact: Rust In Peace—Subaru Sambar trucklet

It's not every day you run a cross a decrepit Subaru Sambar pickup in Portland, OR. This second-generation variant appears to be circa 1966–1973. My buddy Scott found it rotting away at a local Shell gas station and said we needed to take a look. I've only seen one of these before, and it was a perfectly restored van version at SEMA last year.

This generation Sambar was based on the tiny Subaru 360, and is not much bigger. As you can see in the photo below, Scott, who is 6-feet tall, easily dwarfs the micro Sambar. A quick Internet search tells me the trucklet was powered by a 354cc air-cooled two-stroke engine making 30 horsepower. And yes, those are 10" wheels. Personally, I think this is the perfect candidate for a WRX engine swap. How about a "Drift Sambar?"

I went and asked the gas station attendant about it, and he said it belonged to the owner, who has had several offers to buy it. However, judging from the amount of moss and rust on the vehicle, it looks like the owner isn't willing to part with it any time soon. This would definitely make a hell of a project vehicle.

Subaru Sambar - Subcompact Culture
Subaru Sambar - Subcompact Culture
Subaru Sambar - Subcompact Culture


rubicon4wheeler said...

I want it!!!

Andy Lilienthal said...

Yeah, it's pretty cool. I wonder how hard it is to get any sort of parts for such a beast, though? My guess is that it's pretty difficult. Regardless, it's pretty sweet.

Eugene said...

ever since I saw a photo of a Sambar I have wanted one. Wonder if the owner of this one still has it and if he is willing to sell yet.