Turbo Roos: 1984 Subaru Brat & GL10 Turbos

Turbocharged Subarus are practically as common as apple pie these days, but it wasn’t always so. The turbocharged models were rare to find on the roads even when new, and today they are cherished by Subaru enthusiasts. There are two interesting vintage Subarus up for grabs right now, starting with this turbocharged Brat 4×4 here on craigslist (but go here if it disappears).

This is about as loaded as it gets, as this Brat is equipped with 4WD, an automatic and the aforementioned turbocharged mill. The classic jump seats in the bed are missing, which is unfortunate – those are a hallmark of the Brat design. The bumper trim is faded and there appear to be dings and dent to the rear tailgate; minor quibbles for a Brat that’s been in Colorado many years. The seller says it starts and run but still need extra work.

While the Brat is darn near impossible to find in turbocharged form, the GL-10 coupe seen here on craigslist is the proverbial needle in the haystack. Equipped with the 115 b.h.p. EA82T flat-four, this GL-10 is like so many other turbo Subies from this era and equipped with an automatic. I’m not sure if they were standard or manuals were in short supply, but it’s a shame the more powerful offering has a slushbox. If you’re hot for this GL-10 and the link above goes wonky, click here if it disappears.

The GL-1o benefits from a recent engine rebuild and a new turbo. However, the car isn’t running do to an unknown electrical issue – which makes the rebuild less important since we don’t know the health of the engine. When I owned my 1988 XT6, parts availability for such an unusual model made the project less than fun; both of these Turbo Roos should be far easier to find parts for. Which one would you choose?



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  1. On and On On and On Member

    Those wheels on the Brat make me dizzy.

  2. Rabbit

    Always wanted a BRAT. This one’s a 4×4 turbo? Nice. The gull wing sunroof is the icing on the cake. Looks like no rear jump seats, tho. Oh, well. Deleted listing, AND it’s 2000 miles away.

  3. Joseph Wayne Haddock

    Definitely the Brat. Had a roustabout oilfield company that used several of these so get to their leases in Oklahoma. Watched the boss run past my pipe yard one day at his usual 45 or 50 mph down the gravel road. He came back in about 30 minutes and was looking for his rear wheel. He didn’t even realize it was missing until he saw it gone at the next oil well. Tough little trucks. I have a 76 model with the stock jump seats and ski pole handles to hang on. Still have the shoulder harness stock seatbelts in it also.

  4. Jim Morris

    Bought a ’85 Sub GL Turbo wagon new. Worst car I ever owned. Terrible turbo lag, If I was going around a corner spirited when the turbo came on, it would rip the wheel out of my hand. 1st day I got it, I made a u-turn at the end of my block, locked up tight, I had to get out and push it backwards to clear it so I could go back home, 4-speed, no center diff. I got over 20mpg once, otherwise was usually 17-19. Spent more time at the dealer than my house.
    It had a tape player that the manual said would automatically eject when I shut the car off but it never did. After many complaints, dealer said it worked per the manual. When I checked they had replaced the manual with another one that didn’t say that! I pulled the radio and the part # was for ’83 model year.
    After 8 months rust bubbles were showing on the door bottoms (I bought it in June). I promised myself that if I owned it after 10k miles, I would weld a plow to the front and never wash it again.
    At 8k miles, I traded it even for an ’84 Olds 98 that consistently gave me 22mpg on trips.

  5. ATL_Jeff

    I’d take either one. The brat has always been just plain geeky cool, and the gl-10 was what I wished my regular 84 gl was. The gl was fine, but everything’s better with a turbo! And it’s blue. I would happily spend my days chasing the never ending early eighties subaru electrical gremlins to drive it.

  6. Curtis J Henshaw

    It has been removed. I knew it wouldn’t last long.

  7. Allan

    Wife had an ’82 Brat for a while. Now has an ’03 Baja. (See a pattern, here???)

    Would have enjoyed tinkering with a turbo’d version, but not interested if it came with an automatic trans.

  8. Nick

    I’m the owner of the 1984 GL-10 featured here. My ad expired. Email me at theindependent4@gmail.com if you are interested!

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