Junkyard Gem: 1993 Subaru Impreza AWD Wagon

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With Subaru finally planning to retire the 1970s-vintage Leone in the early 1990s (the very last Leones, badged as Loyales by that time, were 1994 models), a modern competitor for the likes of the Civic and Escort would be needed. That car turned out to be the Impreza, and the very first examples showed up on our shores as 1993 models. Here’s one of those first-year Imprezas, found in thoroughly used-up condition in a Colorado Springs car graveyard recently.

That’s 319,554 miles on the odometer, making it one of the highest-mile Subarus I’ve ever found in such a place.

The emissions sticker under the hood says it was a California car to start with … but then I noticed the 1997 model year and realized that this car had a hood swap at some point.

This appears to be the hood from an Impreza Outback Sport or WRX, and it’s in rough shape.

Yes, that’s packaging tape being used as a hood latch. When you know you’re a car’s last owner, it can be hard to spend actual money on repairs.

The build tag shows a March 1993 assembly date, making it one of the first Imprezas sold here; the red paint behind it is the car’s original color.

The only engine available for the first couple of years of U.S.-market Imprezas was this 1.8-liter boxer four, rated at 110 horsepower and 110 pound-feet. Make all the head-gasket jokes you like, but this car lasted longer than most Corollas!

The transmission is a five-speed manual, and this car has Subaru’s optional all-wheel-drive system (which became standard on all U.S.-market Subarus starting with the 1996 model year).

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The interior is dirty but not too shredded, suggesting that this car was well-cared-for during all but its final few years. You don’t get 300,000 miles out of a car if you abuse it for its entire life (unless it’s a Honda Civic VX).

The 1993 Impreza was available as a sedan and as a wagon. A coupe version showed up for the 1995 model year.

The MSRP on this car with manual transmission and AWD was $14,899, or about $31,010 in 2023 dollars. The very cheapest front-wheel-drive Impreza sedan was $11,499 in 1993 ($23,933 today).

There’s rust, of course, and ineffective attempts to fix rust with body filler.

Like so many Subarus I find in Colorado boneyards, this one began its career at a Boulder dealership.

It’s just like punk, except it’s a car. Apparently, this ad caught the attention of Hollywood casting directors and resulted in Jeremy Davies getting some good movie roles during the following years, including as Corporal Upham in Saving Private Ryan.

Pretty much the same thing as a Porsche 911.

You buy your daughter a new Impreza to take to college, and she comes back accusing you of “employing revisionist history.”

In its homeland, the Impreza got Kyle MacLachlan as its spokesman.

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