Subaru

My family has owned Subaru’s for a long time. In 1976, Canada got their first Subarus import by Subaru Auto Canada Limited. They were called the Leone. My parents moved to Sarnia around 1980 and shortly after, our family acquired their first Subaru. While I haven’t been able to figure out the exact year, it is something like a 1983 Subaru GL Wagon

My mum with our family cocker spaniel.
My sister getting her hair done out of the tailgate of the Subaru

Then, I met Glen Fenwick. Glen bought the Subaru dealer in Sarnia 2003 shortly after the launch of the WRX in Canada. The WRX had been billed as The Poor Man’s M3 and I certainly felt like a poor man. It was a few years until I could get my first Subaru and by 2004, Subaru Canada brought to market the 2004 Subaru WRX STI. After a couple of years of refinement, changing the bolt pattern, widening the fenders, changing the steering wheel, minor updates to the interior and exterior, and most notably adding the Hawk Eye headlights, the 2006 Subaru WRX STI hit the market. This was the first car I leased and is one of the funnest cars I’ve driven.

2006 Subaru WRX STI

Then as I was transitioning careers, I decided to downsize to the really poor man’s M3, a used, high mileage 2002 WRX. I had a lot of fun with this car and did a full Cobb Stage 2, put on an STI Wing with Perrin Wing Stiffy, Skunk2 Shifter, Subaru OEM Boost gauge, coilovers, and genome exhaust, Rota Subzeros, and Carbon marker covers.

2002 Subaru WRX

 

Once I had the need for speed out of my system, I settled into a high mileage 2003 Subaru Forester XS Manual, affectionately dubbed the Barbie Jeep due to it’s purple y-blue colour. This was a shorter term ownership after I misdiagnosed a transmission issue as a wheel bearing, but the car carried me faithfully home from Paul Coffey’s Toyota dealer in Bolton where I bought it. We took it on a couple of summer trips up to Gravenhurst and Dorset, and even to Cedar Point in Ohio.

2003 Subaru Forester XS

Since the Forester was a more basic XS model, I took the opportunity to trade up to a 2002 Subaru Outback H6 3.0 VDC model. This was one of the coolest cars because it had a McIntosh Stereo. It needed an exhaust when I got it so I found a Prodrive muffler on Ebay that was a perfect fit.

2002 Subaru Outback H6 3.0 VDC

 

After the next adventure with the old man styling of an Outback, the chance to own the next evolution of the Subaru STI came up that I couldn’t miss. This 2010 Subaru WRX STI was built by my friend Chris Videcak in London, and when he traded it in at my store, I couldn’t pass it up.

 

 

2005 Subaru Outback

My current Subaru is 2005 Outback Limited 3.0R. The car sits unmodified today. The condition is excellent with a few small blemishes on the plastic trim. The only thing I wish it had was a USB/Aux input, or a bluetooth system.

 

2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited – Sept 2017 – Time to upgrade.

 

Like all good love stories, the love affair evolves over time. My passion for Outback H6 has led me from 2002 to 2005, now to 2011. It does a number of things for me over the 2005. The first and most obvious is the comfort. I’m long legged, and there is at least an inch more legroom for the driver in the 2011 allowing a more comfortable leg extension. It’s also slightly higher so there is less drop into the seat. Secondly, the seat is wider, fatter, and has more cushion for the North American Market. Thirdly, it’s 10% more efficient on paper and runs on Regular 87 Octane, which is a further 10-20% savings at the pump. 4, It has both Bluetooth hands-free calling and USB input with Aux input as well for the Harmon Kardon Stereo. Five, with an all-new chassis it is much smoother to drive, and with door frames, its much quieter. In terms of upgrades, the only thing so far is the stiffer STI rear sway bar to cut back on the body roll, a change Subaru themselves implemented in the 2013 mid model refresh.

2011 Subaru Outback 3.6 Limited Sarnia Ontario Fenwick Subaru