Rally Deluxe Edition? 1968 Subaru 360

Most of us have seen Subaru 360s before and some of us have even owned them. I consider myself an amateur scholar (is that an oxymoron) of the Subaru 360 and the seller has this 1968 Subaru 360 listed as a rare “Rally Deluxe” edition, which I have never heard of before. It can be found here on eBay in Bellingham, Massachusetts with a few bids bringing the price up to almost $3,000. There is no reserve so the winner of this one will have their very own ten-foot-long rally car.

I’m not quite sure if the seller is pulling our collective legs on the “Rally” part, but the “Deluxe” part of their description refers to the basic Subaru 360 which was available in the US starting in 1968, called the Deluxe Sedan. Malcolm Bricklin imported them to the US hoping to make a fortune but his dream didn’t last long as sales were slower than a two-stroke twin-powered car. They were pulled out of the US market a year or two later. You can see the seller’s “sponsor” names and other things on this 360 that make me believe that this is more of a tribute car than an actual, factory rally car, which I don’t believe the company ever offered. Thoughts?

There is no back window and there would also have been a top, of course. Young S models had an indented hardtop in order to carry a surfboard on top (no lie), and there would have been a soft-top or hardtop on the Deluxe. The seller has a full snap-on soft top that goes all the way down over the space where the back window would be so it would be a scary and possibly illegal drive with that in place, unless you’re actually on a rally course. Wait, that would be even scarier! You’ve already noticed the wing on the back – most definitely not a factory piece.

The interior is not made for those of us who are over six-feet tall, especially for those of us who are five inches over six feet tall. Even folks shorter than six feet could/would have trouble with legroom depending on your torso-to-leg ratio. I have long legs which is probably why I don’t fit behind the steering wheel enough to be able to operate the pedals. My knees hit on the dash, which is unfortunate because I really want a 360. The Deluxe had red vinyl bench seats so these have been redone – that isn’t original-type material but it looks nice – and the Young S models had front bucket seats. In that case, the driver’s seat could possibly be unbolted and relocated back 4-6″ or as far as it would go and I might be able to drive one.

Another tipoff that this may not be a “serious” rally car is that there is no tach. The Deluxe didn’t come with a tach, only the Young S and Young SS – the Young SS was never imported to the US and are all right-hand-drive – had tachs, and also bucket seats. So, if you come across one of those, you’re legally bound by Barn Finds rules to let me know… (kidding) (not really) I would never have anyone riding in the back seat so maybe I could just take the whole back seat out and move the front seat as far back as it will go, hmm…

Yes, they’re rear-wheel-drive and rear-engine cars, the trunk/boot is in the front. The engine would have been a 356cc two-stroke twin with around 25 hp. I say, with 25 hp. Tap, tap, tap, is this thing on? The seller doesn’t mention any modifications so I’m assuming that it’s stock, but the air-intake hose appears to be missing. They do say that it runs and the car drives but, as is more often than not the case, the brakes need work so the next owner can’t fly in and drive it home. Any thoughts on this “Rally” Subaru 360?

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Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    Maybe this is one of the “FasTrack” racers.
    When we went to Orange County International Raceway,
    in the Summer of 1970,there was a dirt racecourse set up
    just before the entrance to OCIR.
    They used 360’s,& had some kind of roll bar on the
    outside of the car ( so it would roll back onto it’s wheels –
    if it rolled).I think it was something like $1/lap.

    Like 4
  2. Poppapork

    So whats the 2 stroke twin the author mentioned? The only brands that come to mind are trabant and DKW

    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Pappa, Subaru had a two-stroke twin for their 360 series vehicles – car, truck, van.

      Like 5
  3. ken tillyUK

    My 360 couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding after a complete engine overhaul, so how this bucket could be expected to pull that horrible whale tail along I have no idea.

    Like 3
  4. Dave

    Anyone up for a hot lap around the Mountain Course?

    Like 1
  5. John

    I believe I will wait for the seldom seen Le Mans version. It was accidentally painted with clear coat and has not bee seen since.

    I drove one of these once. There was absolutely nothing to recommend it. But it was cute.

    Like 1

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