No Waste Time Each Other!! – 1988 Subaru GL 3-Door Coupe

Does it ever happen to you that you’ll see a car that would have been boring in the context of its contemporaries, but taken out of context, it’s nice to see it still on the road? Naturally-aspirated 1980s Subarus are such a car – not really that exciting to drive, or to look at, but seeing one of these relatively odd Japanese cars on the road, particularly in good condition, is enjoyable – it recalls the days when Subaru was still weird, and not cranking out flat-four powered versions of the same oversized, overweight crossovers and SUVs that everyone makes these days (well, and some fun rally-inspired cars). Check out this 1988 Subaru GL 3-Door Coupe for sale for $2500 in Torrance, CA.

1988 Subaru GL 3-door left front

Ugh, beigey-silver metallic is such a bland color, so to see it on a low-spec car really minimizes any visual interest. On the plus side, it’s a manually-shifted, 4wd version of the coupe, so you’ll have great traction in adverse conditions, and the stick will allow you to beat as much power as possible out of the little 90hp 1.8. What was this car up against back then? Mitsubishi Tredia, Isuzu Impulse, VW Scirocco, and perhaps the 4-cylinder Mustang? It has to have been one of the cheapest 4wd cars of its time.

1988 Subaru GL 3-door right rear

The hatch is definitely the most interesting part of this design – wrap-around glass, and with the folding rear seats this must have approached the utility of the wagon. This car is really in remarkable shape for its age and mileage, and the only noticeable issue is the knock-off Mazda Protege hubcaps from Pep Boys. The high stance might be well-complimented by a taller wheel and tire package, or the somewhat popular upgrade to Peugeot 505 turbo alloys.

1988 Subaru GL 3-door interior

The interior seems immaculate too. The only questionable upgrade is the dual-DIN Pioneer stereo – really a bit much for this humble little car, though if it has speakers to match, it’ll help cover up the rattles in all the 30-year-old plastic and the vibrations of the little flat four. And who doesn’t love the oh-so-80s control-pod setup of the switches around the instrument cluster and on the steering wheel?

1988 Subaru GL 3-door engrish

Since there’s no engine shot – it’s largely obscured by the spare anyways – we’ll finish off with some poorly-translated instructions. Did nobody at the US office of Subaru proofread this? Anyhow, if you’re looking for a slightly off-beat commuter, this might be an interesting solution. Keep it in good shape and you’d probably be welcomed at most Japanese classic car shows too.


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5 Responses to “No Waste Time Each Other!! – 1988 Subaru GL 3-Door Coupe”

  1. Pops Says:

    I can’t believe it! I just bought this car featured on this site one month ago! My son sent me this rustybutte link today, how funny.
    If you think the interior is perfect, which it is, you should see everything under the hood! It’s all perfect, and super lo miles too. Not a drop of dripping oil anywhere.
    It belonged to a Japanese auto mechanic – his personal car- he renewed Everything before selling; tires, brakes, all oils -engine, trans, differential, power steering, coolant, timing belt, drive belts.
    Crazy, he said, in his Japanese/English … “all is perfect for you”
    and it is. Such a cool ass car. It climbs STEEP loose gravely dirt roads with ease, and glides along white sandy beaches with the tire at 35psi NO PROBLEM! Ask me how I know!
    That real world 4Hi / 4Lo / FWD on the fly is awesome -1988! I clocked 26.5mpg city 34 Highway @ 75mph&3200rpm this month.
    And it has cruise, 5 speed manual. Subarus’s are fantastic. I’m a gearhead so i know cars….
    To bad I can’t post follow up pics…

  2. Pops Says:

    Oh, one last thing, Rust? not a spot to be found on my Subi!

  3. juan Says:

    im trying get the headlight for this kind of car but i cant find it no were

  4. juan Says:

    headlight fotr this car ?????

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