HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1978 Subaru Brat 4x4

Pick of the Day: 1978 Subaru Brat 4×4

Two jump seats in the truck bed


As a young dude in the mid-1980s I could never figure out the Subaru Brat that was owned by one of my grandparent’s neighbors. It looked like a truck but the backward facing seats mounted in the bed gave it a funky appearance. Also, it was illegal to ride in the bed of truck in California and that made it even more confusing for me.

Subaru Brat, Pick of the Day: 1978 Subaru Brat 4×4, ClassicCars.com Journal
1978 Subaru Brat 4×4 with seating for two

In the ensuing three decades I still look at a Subaru Brat with a curiosity, intrigue and suspicion that should be reserved for the ending of an M. Night Shyamalan movie. My son had a lot of questions when I described the Brat to him. I guess being confused and somehow intrigued by the Brat runs in the family.

Subaru Brat, Pick of the Day: 1978 Subaru Brat 4×4, ClassicCars.com Journal
1978 Subaru Brat 4×4

Brat is an acronym for “Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter”, which under current standards sounds like an SUV, crossover, or a side-by-side. Subaru developed the Brat to compete in the American small-truck market and the addition of the two jump seats mounted in the truck bed led to the vehicle being classified as a passenger car, as opposed to a truck that would have higher import tariffs. This work around led to funky truck, ute or whatever genre you consider the Brat.

The Pick of the Day is a 1978 Subaru Brat 4×4. It’s listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Cadillac, Michigan. (Click the link to view the listing)

The listing indicates that the Brat’s interior and exterior received a restoration but there are some rough spots. It’s powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with a two-barrel carburetor and the engine is paired with a four-speed manual transmission. The front and rear brakes have been serviced and the factory stock wheels have new tires, including the spare.

The dealer is asking $12,995 for this Subaru Brat and it would be a conversation piece for those that looked at them with curiosity when they were new. Most importantly the rear jump seats look to be in good shape.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

David P. Castro
David P. Castro
David P. Castro is one of our lead writers. The Santa Rosa, California native is an experienced automotive and motorsports writer with a passion for American muscle cars. He is a credentialed automotive, NASCAR, and IndyCar reporter that graduated from the University of Nevada-Reno. A devoted F1 and NASCAR fan, he currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, son, Siberian Husky, Mini Cooper, and 1977 Chevrolet C10.



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