Merry Shednesday. On Sunday, the family and I got caught short in a lot of rain. As I watched my son merrily scamper about in the rain and ever-deepening puddles without a coat, umbrella or a care in the world, it got me thinking about small all-wheel-drive cars. In this writer’s opinion no one does 4WD better than Subaru (hence my first car), so this week’s car is, of course, the Subaru Justy 4WD.
Subaru manufactured its own Justy until 1994, when it shifted into reworking and rebadging the cars of other manufacturers – notably the Suzuki Swift. Our car is one of the final, proper Subaru Justys: a 1994 first-generation car.
So what does OG get you? Answer: a 1.3-litre naturally aspirated engine, five-speed manual gearbox and selectable all-wheel drive. Yes, permanent symmetrical all-wheel drive is great, but it’s not necessary all of the time. It doesn’t exactly assist with fuel economy.
While I don’t love cars without rear doors, even I have to admit that our car looks great in three-door format. The bodywork isn’t perfect, but the seller openly admits that and even goes so far as to suggest that its battle scars add to its charm. For me though, what is most reassuring is that the car apparently starts first time, every time and has never let the owner and their family down. It has even become their go-to car when other cars have failed.
As admirable as this level of dependability is, it has still racked up 95,795 miles and it sounds like a good service couldn’t hurt ahead of its MOT in late October this year. Should parts be desirable for said overhaul, the seller also has a bevy of bits available separately, including multiple spare engines and an entire rust-free shell. A parts deal could be prudent given availability and some of the bodywork condition, but obviously only if you have the storage space and are happy to re-spray, etc.
The car is in Houghton-le-Spring and it is currently advertised on eBay (Facebook Marketplace failed me this week). Now let’s get Gavin’s thoughts…
It won’t surprise you to discover that this popped up as a recommended item on my eBay app. I love it. I’m still kicking myself for missing out on a rusty but trusty Justy in the village. At one point there were two to choose from: a silver and white one. Both were crushed, along with my dreams.
This Subaru Justy 4WD gets the PetrolBlog seal of approval. It looks honest and ready to face a few more MOTs before it succumbs to terminal rust. Good work, Ben.
Speaking of Ben, he is now taking a break from Shednesday duties to concentrate on serious work matters. He will return in September with more sheds of many colours. Thanks for keeping the home fires burning, Ben.
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