1994 Subaru Sambar
Available for: $10,995
Space is at a premium on the little island of Japan, and with limited parking and skinny city roads, it's easy to see why this Subaru Sambar is so useful. Finished in a classic Blue over White two-tone, the body is in good shape aside from a few dings, chips, scratches, and some notable loss of clearcoat on the roof. There's certainly no shortage of visibility either, as a broad array of glass spans the exterior. Fresh off a recent service, this rear-drive example is offered with a mere 73k verified and documented miles. Rocking a couple of neat factory options and cosmetic updates, this quirky van would be ideal for running errands about the city, hauling junk on the homestead, or rolling out to a Cars and Coffee get-together. Affordable, eye-catching, and cute as a button this 1994 hauler is a special Japanese Classic that we just can't get enough of!
The small exterior dimensions might lead you to believe the cabin is akin to a sardine can, but that couldn't be any farther from the truth. With the wheels pushed out far to the corners and a cab over design, the Sambar actually seats four adults quite comfortably. The view of the road ahead is about as clear and unobstructed as any singular vehicle we sell. The dash lacks any cracking and features a climate control system with heat and A/C. A small glovebox is on hand for extra storage and the driver and passenger have ample shoulder room. The seats are in good nick overall, and lack any major rips, holes, or tears. Above the front occupants is a manual sunroof that tilts up, to let in a slight breeze and a bit of natural light. The front and rear side windows can be rolled down for additional ventilation. The rear occupants can enjoy a view of the heavens above thanks to a massive glass sunroof. While like almost all Sambars we see, the electric panoramic roof has given up the ghost, however, the natural light let in the cabin makes the space feel much larger. The middle row folds forward to accommodate more cargo and the rear has plenty of space, too. The headliner is in good shape, as are the door cards, and the carpets do have some light staining of note. On the positive side, we do have the OEM floor mats on hand to protect against future spills and stains and overall the van appears to be cared for in a prior life overseas. It even has an expensive Royal Clover key!
The mechanicals are simple, and as 40% of JDM sales were Kei vehicles, parts are relatively easy to find, even here stateside. Tucked away in the rear is a 660cc Clover engine that is fresh off an oil and filter service and benefits from a new 12v battery. The tiny four-banger idles seamlessly thanks to a new engine mount and its sounds good, too. The EN07 is linked to a CVT gearbox that shifts about as well as any Subaru auto we have seen roll through our doors. While we don't recommend these for freeway use, it's peppy around town thanks to its minimal curb weight. A new engine air filter and filter have been installed. To improve the ride a couple of new rear shocks were installed. We didn't stop there as a front left lower ball joint was replaced, as well. The brakes are tight and tidy and the steering is precise and direct. The little van can maneuver in and out of traffic with ease and parking will never be a problem for the next owner. We can promise that! The refinished steel wheels are an inch larger than stock and are wrapped in brand new rubber. The new all-season tires quiet down the road noise noticeably and will last for tens of thousands of miles to come.
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB compliant first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.