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1 of 30 Made? 1970 Subaru 360 Yacht

When I think of muscle cars, my mind automatically goes to the Hemi Cuda. Maybe because my best friend in school had a ’73 Barracuda and the Hemi Cuda was always a car we wanted to own. Exotics? The Lamborghini Miura, of course. But, even above those cars is this 1970 Subaru 360 Yacht, no really. The seller has it posted here on craigslist in Youngstown, Ohio and they’re asking $14,000 “cash in hand.” Here is the original listing, and thanks to T.J. for the tip!

The machine has yet to be invented that can measure my desire to buy this car. It’s literally on top of my “realistic” car wish list, whereas a Lamborghini Miura and Hemi Cuda aren’t realistic at all and never will be. Apparently, I wasted my money on fun things rather than buying Apple and Amazon stock two decades ago, so it’s back to the grindstone for me. The boss, Jesse, showed us a really nice one back in 2012 here on Barn Finds, and I showed another one five years ago here. They almost look like the same car, but Jesse’s example was restored. Mecum sold a nice example for $22,000 a decade ago and this yellow car probably needs $20,000 worth of restoration to bring it to that level.

Several stories are bouncing around the internet (big shocker, eh?) regarding the Subaru 360 Yacht, the main one is concerning the number of them that were built. The seller says that this is one of 10 left, and that’s probably true, they are incredibly rare to see today. Most sources say that between 24 and 30 of them were built, not by Subaru, but by a California company after Malcolm Bricklin, the importer of the Subaru 360, saw how successful the VW-based dune buggies were in the late-60s.

The founder of the Subabu 360 Club, a recognized expert on the 360, writes that Bricklin contracted with a Brea, California company to build 30 of them. Sadly, by the time they were completed in 1971, his company, Subaru North America, was bankrupt and he defaulted on them. They were sold to a high school in Brea to be used in their driver training program. This is one of those cars as every surviving 360 Yacht would be, so that’s a cool story. The seller says this one was originally orange on orange, or at least when they got it.

All Subaru 360s, at least the Deluxe sedan version, came from the factory in white over a red vinyl interior. That’s it. The Subaru 360 S could be had also in yellow or red and these seats have clearly been reupholstered and the steering wheel has also been changed The S had a tach but the Deluxe just has a speedometer with a fuel gauge on the left and oil and charge warning lights on the right. There’s a lot of work to do on this car cosmetically but it appears to be mostly complete so that’s a great thing. The front trunk is missing the spare tire and appears to have been painted black (that must be a thing).

You can see some orange paint under the black-painted engine compartment, which houses a black-painted engine. These are little colorful jewels so I’m not sure why this one was painted black. It’s a Subaru EK31, a 359cc two-stroke air-cooled twin, which puts out 25 horsepower. It runs according to the seller, and it sends power to the rear wheels. As almost always with Subaru 360s, there will need to be work on the brakes in the next owner’s future. Sadly, I won’t be the next owner, as much as I wanted one a few years ago. Having $30,000 into a Subaru Yacht isn’t a good investment for me right now, not that it ever was. Have any of you seen a Subaru 360 Yacht?

Comments

  1. Avatar photo RayT

    Have to say you’d be underwater pretty quickly if you bought this Yacht, Scotty….

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ha! That’s gold, RayT! (touché)

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo gearhead1

        My lawnmower has more horsepower!

        Like 0
  2. Avatar photo That AMC Guy

    The aluminum wheel cylinders on these are very prone to corroding. Best thing to do is have them sleeved. There are 2 wheel cylinders in each front drum (dual leading shoe design). Front brake cylinders are unique but the rear cylinders interchange with Subaru Justy. Distributor cap and rotor for a Suzuki Samurai LJ-10 will fit the 360 as well.

    Whoever buys this, or any Subaru 360, will definitely want to join the club, which has amassed a lot of technical information and parts information over the decades.

    Like 10
  3. Avatar photo Harry

    Thank GOD they didn’t make 31.

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo Neil R Norris

      That about sums it up Harry. Nuff said.

      Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Big C

    For the guy that never outgrew his PlaySkool car.

    Like 5
  5. Avatar photo justpaul

    I am usually drawn to small cars, if only because of the interesting packaging choices the designers and engineers had to make to achieve such tiny sizes. But then I think about the world we live in, over-populated with over-sized SUVs being piloted by people more interested in what’s on their touch screen entertainment center or their StupidPhone, and I wonder what it would be like to be caught out in one of these.

    Forget about an Expedition or a Tahoe; I’m not sure a Ford Focus would slow down all that much when it hit this thing.

    Nonetheless, a very cool car safely far enough way to avoid temptation. Thanks for the tip!

    Like 3
  6. Avatar photo The Other Chris

    I would not be seen with YOU driving that thing.

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Robert

    I guess it’s a Subaru version of the Fiat Jollys. Open cars suitable for driving around the estate or at the beach but really not practical for the roads. It sort of reminds me of one of those plastic car shopping carts that parents put the kids in to push around the store. And I do like the actual 360s. This, not so much.

    Like 4
  8. Avatar photo BillA

    Kinda has that Baja Puddle Jumper look, okay, ok, k perhaps ‘jumping’, not so much, but has the flare of a dune runner… Although, it does kinda have a familiar look of a quarter slot rumble car ride outside Kmart 🤔

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Kevin Jones

    I have a few 360s. Young, Yacht, Cheeseburger and a couple deluxe 360s in various state of restoration. LOL. 360s are rare and among 360s this Yacht is also rare. If you can maintain a lawn tractor you can maintain one of these. If you have a big estate it’s likely your lawn tractor has more HP. But get one out on the road and It’s a blast. Well accept for the tunnel vision it causes in passing traffic, both from the other direction and those also PASSING you. I’ve nearly been hit head on while trailering my 360 with a Pontiac Montana. People just can’t look away and sometimes that makes them turn in your direction. It’s worse than riding a motorcycle. All that considered. I love a 5 min errand that turns into a 1 hour car show when I take mine out.

    Like 3
  10. Avatar photo Chris Cornetto

    Fantasy Island car week here at Barn Finds.

    Like 2
  11. Avatar photo Bunky

    Yep. Asian Jolly. Cool. 😎 A family friend bought a new ‘69 360 S off a motorcycle dealer lot in ‘71. $1200 if I remember correctly. He bought it for his wife wife to do her Avon route. Got 50+ mpg. He loved it. She hated it. Go figure. 😏

    Like 3
  12. Avatar photo Russell C

    “Yacht”? Dinghy maybe. Front is not pointy enough to be a skiff ….

    Like 1
  13. Avatar photo chrlsful

    “..isn’t a good investment for me right now, not that it ever was….” glad that sentence was complete. Its not a fiat jolly. W/wicker seats & dingle balls it would B an investment (not useful to me ).
    Nope no interest 4 me either beyond the usual (small, odd) so that’s Y
    I’m writing (sure, right, er good – Chad).

    Like 0
  14. Avatar photo PRA4SNW Member

    Scotty, when I saw the first photo, I thought that this must be another brainchild of Bricklin. Glad you mentioned it.

    Like 1
  15. Avatar photo scottymac

    Hey! The SV-1 was kinda cool!

    Like 0

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