Northwest Profit – 1980 Subaru 1600DL

There’s something to be said for sending cars to their most suited environment – their adoptive homes, where their strengths are appreciated, and their idiosyncrasies are overlooked, or even embraced as character. That’s why the Peugeot 504’s true home is somewhere on the African continent, biodiesel Mercedes sedans from the 1970s and 1980s are best off in Berkeley/San Francisco, and why, if you let go of the wheel on an older Subaru, it’ll naturally gravitate towards the Pacific Northwest. So here’s your formula: 1) Purchase low-mile classic Scoobie; 2) Drive to Portland or Seattle; 3) Sell for a profit! Check out this Subaru 1600 DL sedan for sale for $2800 in downtown San Jose, CA.

1980 Subaru 1600DL left front

Unlike some of the recent sales of ex-showroom Subarus of a similar vintage, this car is not outrageously priced. Perhaps that’s because it’s flesh-colored and lacking a turbo, unlike a recent Brat sale. But this is a rare roundie second generation car with only 63,000 miles – most survivors are the more expensive GL version, while this is the economical DL. While lacking such amenities as a digital clock and instrument panel backlit in red, the brochure still boasted about the power front disc brakes, 4-speed manual transmission and rear window defroster, and as if that wasn’t enough, there were also an AM radio, whitewall tires, and to top it off, carpeting. Who needs a GL when the DL already offers so much!!

1980 Subaru 1600DL interior

Nonetheless, look at the condition of the thing – original pattern (seller claims leather – ha!) seats are in excellent condition with no visible splits or tears, all trim appears to be present, and let’s hope that dash mat is just protecting the dash instead of hiding damage. Don’t be surprised if there is some, though – the tradeoff for a rust-free California car is sun-baked finishes. The only changes from stock are a column mounted tach and a recent stereo. Check out the little nubs that were intended to replace stalks on the column.

1980 Subaru 1600DL nose

Here’s that nose – when’s the last time you saw one of these on the road? While the ad doesn’t clearly say 2wd or 4wd, at this base level of spec you can assume the former. With only 68hp and 84 lb.-ft. from its 1600cc EA71 flat four, you might not expect any excitement. But don’t forget the 4-speed manual, skinny tires and 2050-lb. curb weight – you won’t win any drag races, but it might be fun as a commuter plus occasional flogging on back roads. And in the Pacific Northwest, no a/c is no problem!

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One Response to “Northwest Profit – 1980 Subaru 1600DL”

  1. bluetoes591 Says:

    The interior on that thing is pure gold.

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