Unusual UTE: 1985 Subaru BRAT – Sold?
August 16, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
At your next car show, ask a group of car and truck enthusiasts to name features automakers will never offer again. We’re willing to bet someone will name the bed-mounted plastic jump seats of the first-generation Subaru BRAT such as those in this 1985 example originally listed in July 2021 on Craigslist in Berlin, New Jersey. A nicely preserved driver quality example offered at $14,500, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their BRAT priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $11,100 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $18,200.
BRAT was short form for “Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter”, so you can see why Subaru stuck with the acronym. The story of the BRAT is as weird as it looks, with the bed-mounted bucket seats a clever way of side-stepping the silly and largely useless “Chicken Tax” that was applied to light trucks and remains enforced to this very day. Despite originating with the Johnson administration, the Chicken Tax continues to make the availability of light-duty pickup trucks limited at best, unless companies like Volkswagen and Isuzu all of the sudden decide to build their “forbidden” models in the United States. All of this, along with its charming demeanor, helps to explain why the BRAT remains a fan favorite among Radwood-era car enthusiasts.
It’s tough to find unmolested examples of these first-generation BRATs and if you can source a replacement dash pad you will really have one of the nicer examples to show and go with.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“Bi-drive Recreational All Terrain Transport. These are very hard to find, especially one in this good of condition. Runs great. Shifts great. Steers well and stops well. Everything works on the Brat. Lights , radio, horn. Wipers are a little slow, but i never drove this vehicle in the rain. Garage kept since I got it 5 years ago. There are a few cracks in the dash. I have a dash cover that hides them, but i don`t use it. I think it adds character. A lot of these Brats are missing the jump seats. These are in excellent shape. I have the original seat belts for the jump seats. I also have the original carpet and trim piece that goes in the bed. Looks better with out it. Fun little truck that turns heads. Recently installed a new water pump and had a tune up. Very low mileage for a 36 year old vehicle.
Text messages please. I will not answer my phone if i don`t recognize the number.“
Do you have a Subaru BRAT story to share? If so, comment below and let us know!