Greetings Ultimate Subaru Board!
I recently sold my 2003 Impreza. It was a good car, but I was bored with it (it worked too well)
I've been bitten by the old car bug and put an ad on craigslist looking for a gen 1 or gen 2 subaru wagon or BRAT. I got a response from a guy with a '79 DL wagon over in Kansas. Seller claims the vehicle has only 43,000 miles! The interior is immaculate, so it leads me to believe that it really does have that much mileage on it. Seller claims car was parked under a lean to or car port for 20 years or so, and didn't run when he bought it. He ended up rebuilding the top end of the engine, and putting in new fuel lines and a fuel pump. Body looks faded, with some rust holes around the passenger rockers, and the seller says there is some rust in the wheel wells from mud sitting in there for a while. Tires are around 20 years old (will need to be replaced) but hold air and car runs and drives! Exhaust system on this car rusted out, so the seller put a straight pipe on it after the y pipe. Wheels are kinda rusty, so I'm either going to have to sandblast/paint them or get an entire new set of wheels for this car.
So, my question is, what am I in for? where I live they do safety inspections, so in order to get the thing road legal in my state I'm going to at least need to get some new wheels/tires and a new catalytic converter/muffler/entire exhaust system. I've read up a bit on these cars, and it seems like the wheels are pretty hard to find due to odd sizing. I'm not even sure about the exhaust! Seller still has the rusted out catalytic converter (the flanges rusted out on it). do they even sell these anywhere anymore? Would a muffler shop be able to fit some other catalytic converter on there to pass inspection? Seller wants $1700 for the car, which seems reasonable given the condition of the interior, the running engine and the fact that these cars are damn near impossible to find around here!
Long term, I'd like to re-paint the car and try to fix the rust. I ride old honda motorcycles most of the year, so this car would only get driven once a week, maybe to shows, and when it gets snowy out. I plan on getting some rust proofing done over the summer before it snows next winter.
So what are your thoughts? Should I pass on this one, or should I take the plunge?
Here's a link to some pictures the seller sent me: