Word of the Day: Subaru 360

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Feb 21, 2020 | Subaru, Word of the Day, Subaru 360

Before the Impreza, before the WRX and before the STI, Subaru offered the 360. This is the car that launched Subaru of America.


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MadScientistMatt PowerDork
2/20/20 9:07 a.m.

And Malcom Bricklin has been trying to find another brand he could launch in the US to replicate that success ever since.

Jerry UberDork
2/20/20 1:10 p.m.

The dealer I bought my Crosstrek from last year has one in the showroom.  Somewhere on my phone is a photo of me in my stormtrooper costume trying to get into it.  (I was there for the "redelivery" a month later & they heard about my costume.)

nocones GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/20/20 1:23 p.m.

In reply to Jerry :

Did you happen to buy it a Subaru of Champaign?  They have a red one.  It doesn't have a motor.  I'm trying to find a cheap cheap electric golf cart to make it lot/parade drive for them.

kjrcace New Reader
2/21/20 7:55 a.m.

I've been a big subie fan since before I could drive.   I'm 53 now.  I've had a Subaru in the driveway or garage since I was around 12 or 14.  I've always appreciated their designs which were no more than they had to be but just enough to provide a long lasting dependable cheap car.   I forgot to mention they also are the next best thing to a snow mobile in snow.   I assume mud also but very little experience with that.   I happen to have bought 8 Subaru 360s.  4 of which are parts cars.  I have one on the road I take to local shows.  It's always fun to drive.  My mother is still concerned about me driving it out there with all the big vehicles but I tell her if I'm in an accident the first responders can handle it like unwrapping a baked potato.   I have one of the "Yacht" cars which is one of 24 or 30 ever made.  These were ordered by SOA at the time but funds were short and they didn't pay the contractor so he sued and took ownership then later auctioned them off.   So it was a "factory" conversion.  It just never was paid for.   I also have a prototype Dune Buggy that is probably one of 4 known to exist.   It was a joint venture between Penny's deptment store and Bill Cheseborough (sp) an Indianapolis race car driver and southwest stock car legend around AZ.  Penny's wanted to get into the late sixties dune buggy craze and Bill ran a dune buggy shop in AZ.  Many bodies were made and Bill ordered several Subaru 360 truck frames to mount the bodies on.   To my knowledge only a few were built.  Penny's pull out of the project and opted for a kids brigs and stratton dune buggy for their customers.   According to one gentleman I've been in contact with who lived near Bill's shop.  Several frames and bodies laquashed in the sun then one day just disappeared.   I've actually found pictures of two bodies used on different  frames thanks to the majic of the internet.  Anyone knowing anything about this please contribute.  I've also collected a 86 Brat, 2002 Outback Sedan and daily drive my 06 STI.    I bleed rally blue. 


Jerry UberDork
2/21/20 9:58 a.m.

In reply to nocones :

Nope, Wagner in Fairborn OH.  One of the oldest Subaru dealers in the US I've heard.  It's even a white one.

L5wolvesf Reader
2/21/20 10:37 a.m.

2 things:

1. I have a vague recollection of these being the big prize on TV game shows - yes I am THAT old.

2. I surprised, even shocked, that no one has posted about a proposed, or attempted, LS swap.

2/21/20 3:12 p.m.

No word on Charnel House Racing's Bike engine powered 360? Last I heard, one of the engine mounts is still made out of a lawnmower blade.

mtn MegaDork
2/21/20 3:34 p.m.

Nocones, does your Sambar still live in the sky?

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