Junkyard Gem: 1992 Subaru SVX

Made back when Subaru was building craaaazy stuff.

  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
Subaru is doing quite well these days with its formula of selling a combination of sensible pavement-optional commuters and rally-inspired performance cars, but go back a quarter-century or so and many of the cars with the Pleiades badges were known more for futuristic jet-fighter-style cockpits and weird gadgetry. This philosophy reached its peak with the brilliant, bizarre Subaru SVX, sold in North America for the 1992 through 1995 model years. Here's a well-preserved purple SVX I spotted a few days ago in a Denver self-service yard.

Just look at the side glass! It's impossible to not love the way this car looks. The design of the SVX's exterior was the creation of Giorgetto Giugiaro.

The SVX had a DOHC flat-six displacing 3.3 liters, the largest street engine Subaru had built up to that point. It made 231 horsepower, which was respectable for the era.

Unfortunately, Subaru didn't have a manual transmission that could handle that kind of engine power, so every SVX came with a four-speed automatic... which (in addition to being way less fun than a manual) also couldn't handle the EG33's output. For this reason, you see SVXs in fairly decent condition at junkyards all the time; a good-running, clean example is worth good money, but one with a bad transmission is worth its weight in scrap.

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