1979 Subaru DL 4WD Wagon – Sold?
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September 28, 2022, 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.
The Subaru Leone, better known simply as the DL in North America, proved to be a tough, fuel-efficient, four-wheel-drive alternative to the gas-guzzling SUVs of the period. Growing up in the snow belt of Western New York, one friend had a ’77 Subaru DL Wagon as his first car hand-me-down from his parents when he turned sixteen. He drove the car like he hated it. I mean really hated it. On road, off-road. It simply would not die. Like most Japanese cars of the period, the inferior steel used was no match for the heavily salted roads of Western New York. Consequently, you just see many of these 1970s vintage Subarus anymore.
Seeing this silver 1979 Subaru DL 5-Door wagon once listed in August 2022 on Craigslist in Longmont, Colorado (Boulder) brought back those memories. The seller reports their Subaru originally resided in the dry Arizona desert, which explains why the car appears to be very rust-free. In addition to a fresh set of tires, the seller reports that everything works on their DL wagon, including what was likely a dealer-installed optional A/C system.
Currently offered for $6,750, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is slightly below the five-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for all body styles of first-generation Subaru Leones produced between 1972 and 1981. By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the truck featured here:
Subaru produced its first generation of the compact Leone line between 1972 and 1981. The word leone is Italian for lion. Subaru released the Leone as a replacement for the Subaru 1000 and was the predecessor of the Subaru Impreza. All Leones were powered by the Subaru EA boxer engine. Most cars were equipped with optional four-wheel drive. At the time of its introduction, the Leone was Subaru’s top model until 1989, when the company introduced the larger Legacy.
Although released in Japan and some export markets such as Leone, this was the only vehicle sold internationally by Subaru for many years, where the brand’s smaller Kei cars (Rex, Vivio, R-2, 360, and Sambar) were not commonly sold. As a result, in major markets such as Australia, Europe, and North America, it was instead identified with a trim level designation, some of which included: DL, GL, GLF, GLF5, GL-10, and RX. The car is thus often referred to simply as the Subaru GL or the Subaru L series.
Subaru first introduced Leone to the United States in 1972. In 1976 the EA63 engine was replaced with the 1.6-liter EA71 engine. The EA71 engine was originally installed in cars equipped with automatic transmission but eventually supplanted the EA63 across the entire range of vehicles in the US and Australia. Using Subaru’s new SEEC-T technology meant that a catalytic converter was not necessary, lowering cost and enabling the use of leaded fuel. Power in 49-state (US) trim was 67 horsepower at 5200 rpm (two horsepower less in California), although drivability and gas mileage suffered distinctly from the emissions equipment. The Wagon was also available with four-wheel drive, beginning with the 1977 model year.
A print ad for the 1973 Subaru GL coupé referred to the engine as “quadrozontal” The large bumpers required in the United States sat on hydraulic units; these were not a part of the original design and thus intruded considerably into the luggage compartment.
Late in 1977 saw, the introduction of the Subaru BRAT as a 1978 model. This was a two-seater body with a pickup truck bed, with two seats welded into the bed to evade the so-called chicken tax on light commercial vehicles. It brought the U.S. lineup to eight models in three trim levels. Most were in the volume DL trim except a base two-door and the GF hardtop and 4WD models, which shared a higher specification. For 1979, a decontented DL 4WD wagon and Brat were added along with fancier GL four-door sedan and 2WD wagon models bringing the total to twelve, the original fully equipped 4WDs also getting the DL designation.
The Memory Museum YouTube Channel features this classic 1979 Subaru commercial when the company still used the tagline “Inexpensive. And Built to Stay That Way.”
With a solid body and sorted mechanicals, this 1977 Subaru Leone DL 5-Door wagon appears to be a solid contender for a vintage Japanese or Subaru enthusiast. The bonus is all of the rare spare parts the seller plans to include as part of the sale.
Here’s the seller’s description:
I have decided to lower the price and add all of the details on the car as I’ve had a lot of questions!
I am selling my 1979 Subaru DL 4WD Wagon.
The car is originally from AZ, so it’s dry, patina with minimal rust.
It runs, shifts, drives, and stops great!
Everything works, radio, lights, and even the A/C!
When I purchased the car, it has sat for a long time, so I have been through it and done all of the necessary work to get it to be running well and roadworthy once again.
– A new and genuine Weber 32/36 with Electric Choke.
– Belts and Hoses
– Radiator flush and Thermostat (oem)
– Cap, Rotor, Plugs, Wires and Battery
– Tires (Less than 1500 miles)
– A/C fix and recharge
– Rear shocks
– Fuel pump, regulator and filters
– New Muffler (Sounds great!)
The car comes with many rare parts, which are all included. (See pics)
The car has a rebuilt title due to a bump many moons ago.
There are a couple of dents and a small Transmission fluid leak.
I’m looking for $6750obo
On or Off-Road: What would you do with this sorted 1979 Subaru 4WD DL Wagon? Please comment below and let us know!