Click above for a gallery of Ronald Reagan's Subaru BRAT
For reasons unbeknownst to this blogger, he receives Drive, the Subaru owners' magazine, in the mail. It's usually good for a 5-minute thumb-through, after which it lands in the circular file. The Winter issue, however, wound up providing a good read, thanks to the '78 BRAT shown above. You see, the little ute was purchased by Ronald Reagan for use at his Santa Barbara ranch, and it belonged to the former President until 1998.
In '98, the Young America's Foundation bought the Reagan ranch. The BRAT had given to a friend of the family, and was ultimately sold on eBay in 2004. A year later, however, the Young America's Foundation acquired the then-tired-looking trucklet, bringing it back to the ranch where it had spent most of its existence. Enter Subaru of America, former National Security Advisor Richard Allen, and a group of other supporters and Subaru enthusiasts. The BRAT was torn down and completely restored by The Westside Group to its original specs. Parts were donated; when necessary, they were fabricated. The end result of the project is what you see above: an essentially perfect specimen. It lives in a barn at the ranch, where we can imagine Reagan's ghost sitting in the driver's seat every now and then... with a smile on his face.