G-g-g-ghost, Scoob! – 1989 Subaru GL-10 Turbo Sedan

For your average car nut, it’s hard to not like the idea of a 1980s Subaru – turbo power, angular 1980s design, some restrained aero pieces, full-time four wheel drive, and some sweet graphics proclaiming the strengths of the car, in the hope that someone driving behind to you will get up really close and say to themselves “full-time 4wd Subaru GL-10 and two mudflaps with 4WD on them? where do I sign?” just before rear-ending you. Much like yesterday’s early 1980s Escort, attrition has claimed many of these, only it’s more exciting if you find a good one since, well, it’s not a 1980s Escort. Check out this 1989 Subaru Loyale GL-10 Sedan for sale for $2500 in Portland, OR.

1989 Subaru GL-10 Turbo sedan left front

Seeing one of these is kind of like seeing a ghost since most have died. Said to have only 116,000 miles, it was fastidiously maintained up to 90K by its first owner, who kept a log of every service. The paint is a little oxidized and has some scratches, but is still serviceable for a 25-year-old sedan. The seller has only owned the car for 7 weeks, and claims to have bought it for his girlfriend. However, things have mysteriously changed (ah, the ups and downs of a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship) and they now no longer need the car, although confusingly, it’s the seller’s daily driver and mileage is said to be going up every day.

1989 Subaru GL-10 Turbo sedan rear

Here’s the aforementioned, excessively wordy rear end. There’s a lot of information going on here, but beyond all that, you’ll be happy to know it comes with a 5-speed manual transmission, as quite a few of the survivors are lumbered with an automatic. The listing is written in a friendly, informative voice, and the car is also said to have a clean trunk, functional and leak-free sunroof, and newer tires, and no mechanical issues.

1989 Subaru GL-10 Turbo sedan interior

Because you popped for the top-of-the-line GL-10 Turbo, you get a sweet digital dash readout, what looks like cassette storage, and tufted fabric seats (totally in keeping with the sporty, modern styling, no?). The hideous steering wheel is nearly as wrong as the wheel on a Jensen Interceptor, and it looks like the seller didn’t have to cut the door panels to install the mentioned Kicker speakers. The only issues mentioned are a stereo deck, which the seller broke, and air conditioning which looks to have been disconnected for years, while heat and fans are said to work well. There is also some water inside the passenger corner light, and the rear passenger door has a weak window motor and won’t open from the inside.

1989 Subaru GL-10 Turbo sedan engine

Odd that there’s a VW wheel as the spare – perhaps a previous owner wanted a full-size in place of the stock mini-spare? Best to make sure the bolt circle is the same before you really need it. For that matter, you’ll probably want to replace the spare – based on the tread pattern, that’s an ancient tire and it’s right over the turbo, so it’s probably ready to fall apart as soon as you put some pressure on it. Everything else under the hood looks in clean driver condition, so if you’ve been looking for 115hp of turbo fury (you’d hope the torque would make up for it, so if you’re good with 134 lb.-ft., have at it), here’s your best bet!


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One Response to “G-g-g-ghost, Scoob! – 1989 Subaru GL-10 Turbo Sedan”

  1. tsquares21 Says:

    I had a GL10 T for four years and absolutely loved it. The suspension lowered or raised the car up to 4″. I took it up a snowy mountainside in Seven Springs, PA with three other guys and almost made it to the top. I drove that thing thru a foot of snow from south of Pgh to Monroeville only to be told they closed Pittsburgh (pre cell phones).
    I’ve owned a lot of cars, but this little turbo was my favorite.

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