Home » I May Get To Leave The Hospital Today So Let’s Think About Old Subarus A Bit: Cold Start

I May Get To Leave The Hospital Today So Let’s Think About Old Subarus A Bit: Cold Start

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Doctors woke me up this morning to tell me that, hopefully, I may be able to go home today. I mean, I think they said other things, but that’s what stuck. Because holy shit do I want to get out of the hospital. I’ve been rigged with a more long-term IV line thing called a PICC line so I can get antibiotics shot right into my plumbing, there’s a plan for someone to show up at my house tomorrow evening to explain how it all works and I guess tell me not to connect it to the garden hose or maybe not to bother trying to rig up an HDMI adapter for it. They also said they may have grown a culture of whatever attacked my arterial graft so we can assassinate that in a focused way instead of just carpet-bombing all the bacteria inside me. I’m hopeful. So let’s talk about some late ’70s and early ’80s Subarus for luck.

I always liked this period of Subaru, which feels sort of like the brand’s awkward adolescence after its adorable childhood of the 360. With the introduction of the Subaru FF and its surprisingly Lloyd-inspired flat-four engine, Subaru I think began its journey to what we know it as today, and during the ’70s and ’80s, with their increasing focus on 4WD, they pushed even further.

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Like today, they sold a mix of FWD and 4WD cars, and I think it’s interesting to see how different the badging was for these variants:

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Front-wheel drive is all elegant script, like a wedding invitation or a menu at an old country club that has ignored design trends since 1982; the 4 Wheel Drive badge is far more bold and sporty, all italicized by speed and determination.

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I do love these early 4WD wagons, especially with the older face there, with the round headlamps and indicators. These somehow remind me of pack animals, like a well-groomed mule. Maybe it’s the way that rear haunch rises up?

I’m also a sucker for how much ’70s Subaru seemed to like two-door body styles. Look at these three subtle variations you could get on two-door Subarus, changes mostly limited to the roof design:

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There’s the rational two-door sedan, with the more modern face, complete with rational rectangular indicators and a less exuberant hood. The door pillar is unashamedly body-colored, standing tall and sturdy;

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… then there’s this lower-roofed, rakish coupé, with a more raked windshield and that B-pillar painted black, encouraging it to hide and not disturb the lines. And then we have the ultimate:

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A pillarless hardtop! I love these. No B-pillar at all! And look at that strange detail at the rear, presumably over the fresh-air exhaust vent, but oddly horizontal, suggesting the top is removable? Which it isn’t? Anyway, I like this one, and it has the old-school face, too.

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I also always liked these slightly later 2-door hatchback Subarus, too. This is a pretty much extinct body style today, but I always found them appealing. I especially liked how they tried to upsell the limitations of a two-door car:

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I love how they call the standard folding seat that every two-door car has a “passenger walk-in device” which is some dazzling hyperbole.

Finally, let’s look at one last fun thing:

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They devoted a whole page of color choices, a nice spectrum of nine colors, and then they decided to showcase all these colors by placing the color list over a big collage of Subarus in precisely…one color. Red. Way to show that full spectrum, Subaru, from glorious crimson to dazzling ruby to vivid scarlet!

I’m so ready to get out of here.

 

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Gubbin
Gubbin
2 months ago

Now I have this old gem from the Dr. Demento Show playing in my head

Making Love in a Subaru

That’s what I wanna do with you

We can always feel around the steering wheel

There seems to be so much that we can do

Data
Data
2 months ago

Well, the pictures on the color chart appear to be of the 2 door sedan. The small print says the sedan is only available in Plaza White and Brilliant Red. The photographer probably waited until the last day for the photo shoot and didn’t have any time to photograph the white one.

Which makes me think of Lilo and Stitch:
Alien: Confirmed! He’s taken a police cruiser.
Second Alien: Yeahhe took the red one.

Isis
Isis
2 months ago

I loved the 80’s hatchbacks with the adjustable rear suspension and white wagon wheels.

Hotdoughnutsnow
Hotdoughnutsnow
2 months ago

I had a 79 Brat in “Mild Yellow”… by the time I got it, it was worn out and needed some suspension refresh and a new clutch. Still, its 4 Wheel Drive served me well in the “Blizzard of 96” – lightweight with skinny tires that cut through the snow. 5 stars, would recommend to a friend.

AlfaWhiz
AlfaWhiz
2 months ago

Came in for simple maintenance and didn’t leave workshop for weeks. Just like my Alfa. Jason, you’re Alfisti at heart.

Aaron Berga
Aaron Berga
2 months ago

My first car was an 81 GL front wheel drive. I could do some crazy good reverse donuts in that thing. Had an 84 BRAT a few years after that. Rust was their downfall. Power train was dead reliable, even after beating on both of them hard.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
2 months ago
Reply to  Aaron Berga

You could flog them unmercifully because valve-float meant you couldn’t really hurt them. They made the DL hatchback at least until 86, and, even though OHV 4-speed 2wd, that’s one Subaru I rather miss. Light, unpretentious, and you just floored it all the time: good fun

Last edited 2 months ago by TOSSABL
Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
2 months ago

In honor of your anticipated emancipation from the krankenhuis, I am going to listen to Culture Club circa ‘83-‘84. “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” seems apropos. I’m so glad you’re improving I’ll forgive you for not including a 70s BRAT in your post.

Last edited 2 months ago by Canopysaurus
Chris D
Chris D
2 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

The answer to that question is, “Yes, yes I do!”

OSpazX
OSpazX
2 months ago

Good luck on going home. Hospitals have the slowest check out process!!

Careful with that PICC line. DO use the alcohol rubs… no, do not suck the alcohol off them. It’s not very yummy. Anyway, you do not want any thing to go into that PICC line that isn’t supposed to.

Hospitals are the worst… non stop beeps, bings, boops, bells, chimes and everything else that can stop a good night’s sleep.

They are also a great place to GET sick. The stuff that runs around hospitals… do NOT research it. You will not have happy dreams.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
2 months ago
Reply to  OSpazX

Last summer I had a chunk of kidney removed and the beeps, bings, boops, bells, and chimes had a pleasant Brian Eno thing happening. Or maybe it was just the drugs.

Janeane Garafolo
Janeane Garafolo
2 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

Positive mental framing is a big key to a happy life. Nice work 🙂

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
2 months ago

Jason, you dropped a Borgword mention and then nada. I know you have other things temporarily taking priority over the egregious lack of Borgword content here and am looking forward to it when you have recovered and are fully tubeless.

Get well!

Chronometric
Chronometric
2 months ago

piccs or it didn’t happen. on second thought we’ll take your word.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
2 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

I’ve had the, uh, luxury of seeing the first round of scars IRL. He was like “I owe it to you guys, do you wanna see them” and I don’t think anyone really said yes and then he hiked up his sweater and showed us anyway.

What a guy. I hope this loon stays alive and healthy for a long time yet.

Leon Muks
Leon Muks
2 months ago

The first Subaru dealer in Mobile, Alabama was the local Land Rover / Triumph dealer. He told me that the Subaru rep come in one day and told him that if he ordered four cars, he would be the dealer for the city. Order placed and the Subies took up residence with the Brits in the (admittedly small) showroom.

Flyingstitch
Flyingstitch
2 months ago

I finally figured out what bothers me about ’70s Subies. It’s the front overhang to rear overhang ratio. It’s like the car panic stopped, cartoonishly, in a hurricane-force tailwind, and the whole body shifted forward while the wheel arches somehow stayed put.

Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
2 months ago
Reply to  Flyingstitch

That might be a quirk of Subaru drivetrain packaging; the modern Impreza and Crosstrek bother me for exactly this same reason.

Cerberus
Cerberus
2 months ago

Yes, they’re longitudinal engines ahead of the axles and not packaged particularly tightly in regards to radiator proximity, either (on these old ones, at least).

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
2 months ago

Good luck Torch. Glad you are getting out on parole.

My old man started buying the Rubies back around 1972-3.
He beat the crap out of them all. Never a problem.

Thanks for the memories.

Jb996
Jb996
2 months ago

Now that you’re hooked up, you should do a full fluid flush “while you’re in there”.
And use online forums to argue about the right fluid to replace it with! Do you use A+, A-, O? Do you need HOAT or silicated? Should you go OEM or aftermarket? Summer is coming on, so you might want go with a thicker 40 weight.

/Don’t do this. Follow your doctor’s advice.

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
2 months ago

Best wishes Torch and family!

A. Barth
A. Barth
2 months ago

I guess tell me not to connect it to the garden hose

Seems like a great way to prevent dehydration – hmm.

I think the salient part of the “passenger walk-in device” is that the seat – in addition to folding forward – slides forward. This means the passenger doesn’t need to squeeze ankles through the two-inch gap between the bottom of the front seat and the door jamb in order to access the luxury of the rear seat.

Really hoping you get to go home today.

Last edited 2 months ago by A. Barth
Mechjaz
Mechjaz
2 months ago

I once almost got trapped in a snowstorm on top of a mountain. It was “almost” because the driver was driving a Justy.

Argentine Utop
Argentine Utop
2 months ago

Torch, you are wired now!
I hope you get wireless soon!

Groover
Groover
2 months ago

run your hands along my cashmere beige

Last edited 2 months ago by Groover
VanGuy
VanGuy
2 months ago
Reply to  Groover

I was supposed to read this in Mr. Regular’s Voice™, right?

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
2 months ago

They’ll probably have you sign a waiver/agreement letter before you leave that will cover everything you can and cannot do with your picc. Specifically it will state that you have agreed only to use it as instructed and for the medications prescribed. Yeah, I know, it’s boring. You don’t get to experiment with what happens if you pour coffee directly into your heart. The hospital where I work routinely keeps IV drug abusing patients with piccs admitted until they finish their meds because the risk of them going home and using the picc for narcotics is considered too high.

Janeane Garafolo
Janeane Garafolo
2 months ago

“Paperwork is the embalming fluid of bureaucracy, maintaining an appearance of life where none exists.”

Robert H. Meltzer

Jatkat
Jatkat
2 months ago

My family owned subarus from roughly 1973 till about 2020. The last one we had was a 2004. Our experience was pretty soured by our 99 outback blowing its headgasket on stevens pass, and then a few years later blowing the headgasket AGAIN in the same exact place on the replacement motor. I’m still quite fond of soobs, but I wouldn’t own a 2.5 car.

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
2 months ago

Get well soon friend.
Also I too love these little Sue Bar ooze.
I dig the old way they did 4wd. Exactly how its done now in most modern crossovers, but instead of a clutch pack telling your rear wheels when to party like some kind of 80’s movie college dean, its all levers and dog clutches with clonks and chunks like God intended.

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
2 months ago

I like how all the colors have fancy-pants names like “Cashmere Beige” and “Paramount Red”. Then, you have “Mild Yellow”, which is more fitting to a cheese than a car color.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
2 months ago

Ketchup
Ballpark Mustard
Dijon mustard
Whole grain mustard
Frank’s Red Hot
Onion
Purple onion
Vegemite

OSpazX
OSpazX
2 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

If you are using “Vegemite” than you should replace the “Ketchup” with “Tomato Sauce”

Data
Data
2 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

She just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich.

Isis
Isis
2 months ago

At least it’s not ‘disappointing yellow’ which is what I call the hue on my Iphone 15. . .

10001010
10001010
2 months ago

Back in HS my friend a Mild Yellow Subaru and since he got his license several months before the rest of us he used to drive us everywhere.

We all rode in a yellow Subaru.

Ham On Five
Ham On Five
2 months ago
Reply to  10001010

Was that in the town where you were born?

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
2 months ago
Reply to  10001010

“We all rode in a yellow Subaru.
Yellow Subaru.
Yellow Subaru.”

Last edited 2 months ago by StillNotATony
Janeane Garafolo
Janeane Garafolo
2 months ago

Picc lines are a great thing, as you don’t get “picked” every time you gotta mainline something. Quick heads up, though. When it gets removed, if it’s not pulled out perfectly, it can sting like a mofo! Basically, it’s scraping the insides of the vein. Think dragging a hoe across gravel with the pointy side down.

So, there is that to think about! 😉

Nic Periton
Nic Periton
2 months ago

Also do not hook up a bottle of grain spirit. I know this might seem obvious but then lead acid batteries and chainsaws?

Janeane Garafolo
Janeane Garafolo
2 months ago
Reply to  Nic Periton

I had a PEG tube (feeding tube that goes straight into the belly) at one point in life. I half-jokingly asked the Dr. what would happen if I poured a beer in it. In a very not-amused tone, he replied, “Technically you can, but don’t. Only a friggin’ moron would do that.” Either way, that’s life in the Bronx for ya.

Chris D
Chris D
2 months ago

Those friggin’ morons did that at my college, with a funnel and a bit of plastic tube. They could get an entire beer into their stomach in less than two seconds, which was impressive (to the other frat rats and underage hangers-on, perhaps), and incredibly stupid.
A few decades later and that seems very tame, with methamphetamines and fentanyl around to worry about.

Janeane Garafolo
Janeane Garafolo
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris D

Well, I wasn’t in a frat, but I shook hands with a beer bong or two back in those days.

But, having a PEG is a whole other ball of wax. It’s a tube that goes through an incision above and to the side of the belly button, just below the ribs, and directly through the muscles surrounding the stomach and the stomach’s lining. So, no “down the gullet” or the esophagus or anything. No swallowing or the sensation of drinking. Just pour it in and instantly feel the cold liquid in the belly and feeling full.

If the tube dislodges (or is removed) from the stomach before the separation of the stomach from the abdominal muscles heals/reattaches (this separation happens during the “installation” procedure), then typically the stomach will turn upside-down, causing all the bile and other stuff that lives in there to spill out. The result is that you promptly die of sepsis.

A tad different from a beer bong. 😉

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