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I just made a ridiculous impulse purchase of a 1997 2.5L AWD Legacy. 

Good points:
The interior is lovely, black leather, good condition.
It has an aerial that goes up and down when you press a button and this works.
The sunroof works.
There is above legal minimum tread on the tyres.
It has a red kangaroo bottle opener key ring because the lady who drove it was an Australian.
Comical gear lever that says "POWER" and this looks to be original.
It's mine, I don't have to share.

Bad points:
Bit of rust on both back wheel arches I don't know how long the bumper will stay attached to the vehicle
Bit of paint damage on the rear bumper
I think I lost one of the keys between buying it and driving it home.
Is the boot supposed to be able to hold itself open? It's very very heavy.
Boot release broken.
The climate controls and the stereo are in the wrong place.
Front brakes binding needs pads immediately.
Weirdly the bolt at the front of the front seat is massively rusty.

So I thought I would join the forum to ask daft questions that have probably been asked before and to also let you laugh at my ridiculous money pit. Apparently less than 40 of these left on the roads of the UK. 

 

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Welcome! 

I’ll always have a soft spot for these, my first Subaru was a gen 2 legacy. I’m fairness they’re pretty rare, most of this age are wagons and seem to be less and less common. I imagine that colour will look great with a good clean and a polish too. 

No such thing as a daft question! 

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27 minutes ago, WideSam said:

Welcome! 

I’ll always have a soft spot for these, my first Subaru was a gen 2 legacy. I’m fairness they’re pretty rare, most of this age are wagons and seem to be less and less common. I imagine that colour will look great with a good clean and a polish too. 

No such thing as a daft question! 

Any idea which size brake pads it needs on the front? Apparently there are two sizes. Eurocarparts has one of their ridiculous sales on so I'm going to take advantage of that.

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OK SO I went out and looked at it in the cold light of day. Some observations.

  • There's a hole in the wheel well in the boot. A big rusty one, I just cleaned the surrounding area and brushed on Kurust. 
  • One of the front fog lights is smashed up and just hanging around inside the front bumper. 
  • Engine bay surprisingly clean. 
  • Mount for rear bumper on drivers side has rusted off so it's just hanging around. 

My three options as I see it are:

  1. Repair and restore spending time and money and enjoy it as a rare modern classic. 
  2. Repair it just enough to keep it usable, save money and enjoy it until it goes bang.
  3. Punt it/ Part it out. 

Would you rather have a car with a good engine and gearbox, with a quite tidy interior and apparently all the electrics working but with a lot of cosmetic and possibly structural work needing done, or a car with great chassis and bodywork that has gremlins and drive train issues?

I spent what I think is a very small amount of money on this. If I intend to drive it at all it needs front brakes sorting and the hole in the boot seeing to, but that's the decision, whether it's worth just patching up for now until I have the time and money to have welding and paint done. 

I'm thinking out loud, happy to hear any thoughts you may have on whether it's worth my time or not.

I'm not quite down the rabbit hole in love with it yet but there are bits that I'm really falling for. 

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but how does it drive ?...and do you have the budget to save it and enjoy it ?

it's possibly worth more in parts as it's rare.

look here for correct parts..  https://www.importcarparts.co.uk/

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It drives great but doesn't stop. Needs pads on the front and I think discs while we're at it. 

I don't have a big pile of money sitting aside (or even space to work on it) so it would be an ongoing restoration doing one piece at a time. As far as I can tell it's just rust issues on the rear arches and boot wheel well. There is also some wetness underneath but it's not yet dripping to the ground.  

As far as I can tell the engine might be worth about twice what I paid for the whole car. 

There's apparently 36 on the road and 66 on SORN so although parting it out would fund the next car purchase it might be a criminal act to take another one off the road for the sake of a bit of welding. Just had a rough guestimate based on photos for the welding and it's a lot less scary than I thought it would be. Welding is the thing that scared me most because it's way beyond my level of competence.

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