It feels like the Subaru Outback has existed in wagon-only form forever, but you could get a new Outback sedan until 2004. In fact, the Outback name was once used by Subaru USA for outdoorsy option packages on both the Legacy and (from 1995 through 2000) the Impreza. If you want to go back down the branches of the Subaru family tree to find the current Outback‘s direct ancestor, you’ll come to something like today’s Junkyard Find: a second-generation Legacy station wagon with the Outback package, found in a Silicon Valley self-serve yard in June.
Subaru didn’t go to all-wheel-drive on every car sold in the USA until the 1996 model year, so you’ll find plenty of badging on their cars and bragging in their advertising on the subject during the late 1990s. My research indicates that all 1994-1995 Outbacks had all-wheel-drive as standard equipment, but I cannot rule out the possibility of front-wheel-drive examples with all the cladding, fog lights, weather-band radios, and other non-powertrain Outback goodies from those years.
Speaking of weather-band radios, I’ve found that this feature actually comes in handy when driving in the mountains. And, really, who doesn’t enjoy listening to a robo-voice describing hailstorms two counties over during a drive?
I see a lot more of these cars in Colorado (where I live) than in California, and it turns out that this one started its American journey a few miles from my house (about 20 hours’ drive away from its final parking spot). Burt Subaru is now Groove Subaru, still at the same address on South Broadway.
This car racked up a respectable final mileage total during its 22 years on the road.
These cars often blow head gaskets, which is a very costly repair job due to the maddeningly tight clearance around the cylinder heads in the engine compartment, but it appears that this one ended up in this place due to a crash.
The leather interior still looks good, so I think we’re looking at a car that got meticulous care and maintenance throughout its life.
Paul Hogan did the ads for the early Legacy Outback wagons.
For the home market’s ads, Mel Gibson drove a right-hand-drive Legacy wagon in a snow-covered mashup of Stockholm and New York City while schmaltzy music played.
For links to more than 2,200 additional Junkyard Finds, be sure to visit the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.
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