I've had 4 BRATS in my life, and I ran 3 of them into the ground in my 30 years as a farmer. I didn't need a large pickup, I need a
"mountain goat" which was easy to handle, carry light loads, and transport a couple of field hands in the back seat. Consider a horse and a lama. My BRAT was my lama. It could go where a horse couldn't.
So when I retired, I searched and searched and found my "keeper" on eBay! The guy was restoring it, did a fine job, then decided to sell it when he had money problems. He sure hated to part with it. I got it on eBay, and had it trucked out to Southern Cal from Colorado. I had it repainted and I had a custom-made decal made for it. Instead of the traditional BRAT decal, I had FERRET.
I used to have a ferret! That ferret would go into the tightest places! Subaru should have named this mini-truck the FERRET!
So I have the only Subaru FERRET in the whole world!
But like some of you, I have NO mechanical skills. When I had vibration problems, I took it to a Subaru dealer in Huntington Beach.
Two guys came out from the service department just to salivate over my car! They had seen photos of BRATs but had never actually seen one. The service guy told me, "That's a vintage car. Let me ask the mechanics if they could handle it." He came back and said, "We have a young mechanical staff. You better take it over to Timmons in Long Beach; they have master mechanics. So I drove my FERRET over there. A bunch of guys came over to oogle my car and one asked if I wanted to sell it.
As it turned out, one of the service guys said, "The vibrations...it's probably due to its age." I asked them if they could replace my headlight and they told me to go to the parts department. When I asked about a replacement headlight, the guy said, "Sorry, they don't make headlights for them anymore! Odd. You could get them on Amazon.com! WTF. I left. (I ordered a headlight from Amazon and got it in 3 days).
So I turned to RAFFI MOTOTRS in Hawthorne (near LAX). I had taken it there for the first time about 7 years ago, but it was kinda far and I thoughtI could get it fixed locally. Nope. It's a vintage vehicle. I needed a BRAT mechanic. When I say far, I mean 30 miles.
Check out RAFFI MOTORS on Yelp.com. 46 reviews, all 5-stars! Chris Hagopian, owner, has been in the Subaru fixing business since 1970. He used to own a Subaru dealership and he also worked on BRATS. That's his love...BRATs!!
When I brought my car in again, he was in love!!! He spent some time, going over everything. He sure was nostalgic. He rattled off parts numbers off the top of his head. He told me every little details about the BRAT.
Well, Chris fixed my car, readjusted the headlights I put in (did a real Mickey Mouse job and was misaligned), and gave me a good price. Some mechanics fix cars for a living. But Chris is a real craftsman, very proud of his ability to make BRATS run as good as new!
He has the perfect background: he sold Subaru BRATs and fixed them. He can get parts for them.