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-   -   Subaru SVX: Awesome Spare Whip -or- Money Pit Lemon (http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=131282)

PartyWagon 02-17-2010 12:57 AM

Subaru SVX: Awesome Spare Whip -or- Money Pit Lemon
 
Please read the text below then vote on your recommended course of action. It's kind of like a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' book but I'm asking you guys & gals to weigh in first.

So it looks to me that I'll be getting a little extra cash in the near future (won't go into details) and I might afford to get a second car, as long as it's reasonably inexpensive. Let's say $4000 or less, for argument's sake.

I have been drooling over a roommate's friend's 1992 Subaru SVX Touring Edition for some time now, it's a car I've always wanted and I would love to have a Pearl White car. The contrast with the Vader wagon would be hot... This one is a beatiful Pearl White that was recently repainted, has something like 164,000 miles (actually low mileage for its age), tranny was rebuilt @ 110,000 miles, stereo upgraded to Alpine CD head unit a few years ago as well. One rear wheel bearing has been replaced (known trouble spot for these cars, warranted 2 recalls...)

It has some wear & tear issues but the body & paint are fitting of a car a third as old. Very clean lines, hardly any scuffing and all the light fixtures work & don't look out of sorts at all. Rear lenses have condensation issues but that's pretty common for most any car this old, especially Subies.

There are some issues:
  • door sill plate on driver's side is broken
    (owner has a spare is in the trunk to replace it)
  • sunroof doesn't open without a little help
  • brake rotors warp quickly on deceleration from slower highway speeds that manifests as a vigorously shaking steering wheel when the brakes are applied
    (this will appear for several minutes after and returns just as easily)
  • windshield is cracked on passenger side
    (due to special colored glass application the crack has a fade-out effect on the window coloration)
Other than that, just normal wear & tear for a well-kept car. Leather is definitely used but not destroyed, suede interior panels are pretty clean & even.

Owner is asking $3000 due to KBB value, I checked NADA and it quoted $2725 (dad's dealership used it for their pricing so we always had them around the house). The brakes are supposedly new, but if there is still such notable warping then something needs immediate attention. Replacement windshields are NOT easy to come by, and cheapest posted price listing I found was $796 for glass only, install is extra. And that's without the special color treatment found only in stock glass. The aftermarket replacement version is made of standard windshield glass but doesn't look terrible, just doesn't match the rest of the car.


KBB:
  • Fair (Private Sale)
    $2,875
  • Good (Private Sale)
    $3,350 (basis for asking price)
  • Excellent (Private Sale)
    $3,725
NADA:
  • Rough Trade-In

    $550
  • Average Trade-In
    $1,150
  • Clean Trade-In
    $1,650
  • Clean Retail
    $2,725 (offering this due to windshield & brake issues)

I'm also considering going across the water to get a similar model at a smaller dealership in Bremerton. $2888 but it has no mileage posted & they have an ugly blue striping applique around the lower trimline of the car.


GTride05 02-17-2010 01:26 AM

I voted buy from the friend but depending on the bremerton svx, if itits a better deal then obviously go with that.

P.S. keep in mind windsheilds, at that replacement price lean more towards the non cracked window of course. Good luck. Dump money onto and make it something people arent used to ;)

goneskiian 02-17-2010 01:53 AM

Love the SVX idea!

I voted for the friend of friend too but obviously need more info about the one in Bremerton.

Good luck!

SLLSubaru 02-17-2010 06:37 AM

I sold my 1992 SVX LS-L at 103,000 miles. I had replaced the windshield (about $950), the transmission, and some wheel bearings by then. It's a wonderful car, but costly now to maintain. If you pay $2775 or so, then put side a few thousand dollars for other repairs. The paint on the hood chips easily. The fuel injection system may need attention. Little parts, such as instrument panel lights, are ridiculously costly. Think of the SVX as a costly indulgence. By the way, some Subaru parts are no more than other manufacturers' parts in Subaru boxes at a several-fold markup.

RyanGT 02-17-2010 09:55 AM

Partywagon, before you go out to buy a 2nd car, have you asked yourself why you want to have a 2nd car? I was in the same position back in late 2007 after I had paid off my LGT wagon. I wanted a 2nd car mainly b/c I wanted something different - it was then I decided that I wanted a 2-door sports car that had a manual transmission and was RWD. I found a 1999 BMW M3. By the time I got the funds together to get it, it was sold! I was devastated and then I decided maybe I didn't want two fast cars. Turning 180 deg around, I got a Golf TDI. I had wanted a Jetta wagon TDI before the LGT wagon came to crash the party. :lol: I have no regrets with the TDI - I think both cars satisfy my motoring needs very well. I would get a new one to replace the current one if I have the means.

It's sounds like you want to get a SVX b/c you have always wanted one. I hope you realize at the end of the day, it's a 18 year old car. And with cars that age, the purchase price is NOT the only $$$ you would be spending on the car. The SVX is not a sports car... it's a GT. Comfortable and luxurious for its time. I sat in one when it first came one. I thought it was really cool. The ONLY thing that bothered me about that car is its "automated mouse" seat-belts. Don't know why Subaru did that b/c it came with airbags. Those seat belts could be a point of failure amongst other things.

So I am going to vote no on this b/c the SVX doesn't offer a whole lot more than your LGT. It's a one generation run car so some parts are going to be tough to find. It's too big and heavy to be a sports car. The H6 engine is not special enough. It is not 911 flat-six special. If you are still paying on your LGT, I'd say use the money to pay it off or use it for more mods. Or save up the money and wait for the 2door sports car that Subaru and Toyota are collaborating on. Hopefully the Subaru version comes with brakes! :eek:

Now if you were considering an older air-cooled 911 or a used Miata for track use, then I would whole-heartedly say yes. ;)

ppettit2005 02-17-2010 10:00 AM

awesome spare whip or money pit lemon? is there a difference???

every awesome car that I have everowned has been completely customized by me, and has constantly needed more work done on it... except for the 06 LGT that I own now...

FocuS 02-17-2010 12:30 PM

SVXs' are fun and different but indeed costly to maintain. Great weight balance and driving experience but wouldn't you rather build something more useful....like a drag specific monster...?

PartyWagon 02-17-2010 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FocuS (Post 2833431)
SVXs' are fun and different but indeed costly to maintain. Great weight balance and driving experience but wouldn't you rather build something more useful....like a drag specific monster...?

I don't know, Ben...you've already proven to me that having a drag-specific monster is a very costly idea. Just the towing & impound fees alone would give me heartburn.
;)

I really just want a second car I can take around and appreciate for it's near-stock goodness. And if you haven't driven an SVX then I suggest you do, they're actually pretty fun. Low center of gravity, a flat 6 that gives you a good powerband to play with, and the unique look of a stylishly different car...and it's still a Subaru! It'd be my "I want to go incognito today" car, since my wagon is loud and only going to get louder at Stage 2. By leaving the SVX nearly stock all I have to do is worry about upkeep, not about mods & such like I have with the LGT. If one breaks down or is being repaired and I need to go somewhere the other car would be ready to go.

I'm not 100% sold on the SVX yet, just wish I could get my hands on a car that has a special misfit style (like myself) or some other fun second car (most likely another Subaru) without shelling out much green. Seeing as I can get an SVX for under $3k I'd be set for whatever it needed to get into shape for occasional driving.

An added bonus would be that I can go the wheel whore route like HLS and start swapping out wheels between my own cars. As long as they are both 5x100 & 5x114 fitments (offset is about the same) I'm good. And that's what I've been shopping for, wheels. :icon_mrgr

FocuS 02-17-2010 01:09 PM

....thanks for the dig! I was suggesting the drag car for the track...now that you have made your intentions for this second car clear, I would suggest a number of other cars which are fun, older, good power, and somewhat rare.

On my short list of 2 door fun cars:
Audi Coupe (Kinda rare and fun with a good turbo and Quattro)
VW Corrado - Both the engines have their problems but the VR6 has good power
Volvo Bertone coupe (840 I think) - Huge rare and heavy...
I'm sure there is more...but I'll stop there as I'm supposed to be doing homework....

PartyWagon 02-17-2010 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FocuS (Post 2833489)
....thanks for the dig! I was suggesting the drag car for the track...now that you have made your intentions for this second car clear, I would suggest a number of other cars which are fun, older, good power, and somewhat rare.

On my short list of 2 door fun cars:
Audi Coupe (Kinda rare and fun with a good turbo and Quattro)
VW Corrado - Both the engines have their problems but the VR6 has good power
Volvo Bertone coupe (840 I think) - Huge rare and heavy...
I'm sure there is more...but I'll stop there as I'm supposed to be doing homework....

- Audi - out, already spent too much time hunting down electrical issues on a 1990 200T this winter.
- VW - out, see above (same company, same problems IMO)
- Volvo - I had a 760 Turbo Wagon before my last Subie...and you thought the SVX could be expensive to fix, try replacing parts on an older Volvo. Bosch isn't cheap, and they made a lot of the parts that break after 10+ years. A single power window switch can run $80 or more! Getting a rare Volvo would be a nightmare without the fun of AWD. Would consider it again, but not sure since my friend's 850 R has seen a lot of Barrier's service bays this past year at a steep cost.

Let me add this requirement: must be AWD or 4WD capable...others considered:
- Late '90s LGT wagon or sedan
- Earlier Impreza RS
- Mid-80's Brat (forget which year was best, brother will tell me when he gets here in 30 min)
- Early 80's GL wagon (or even the rare 2 door wagon thing)
- Ford Bronco (white, so I can pretend I'm OJ and drive real slow)
- MB Turbo Diesel sedan or wagon (prefer a wagon)

Spoonwacker 02-17-2010 04:03 PM

I like the SVX, and if your heart's set on it, I'd say go for it. I like the roommate's friend idea since you're more likely to know what you're getting yourself into.

How about an E30 325ix (if you can find one)? Then you get awesome E30 lines, 6 cylinders of inline fury, and AWD... Of course, this is coming from somebody who really really really wants to get a beater/trackday E30 325i someday :)

FocuS 02-17-2010 04:34 PM

+1 to the 325ix idea.

Also, you didn't place AWD in the requirements...and Your last MB option isn't one anyways! We loved our '83 MB 300TD, it had 300K+ and never a major mechanical issue besides RSM. Not the best bet for in city driving or during the slippery months though....

FocuS 02-17-2010 04:35 PM

What about that Honda Civic turbo AWD/4WD wagon thing...? Might be hard to find but it is a Honda....

05lgt5spd 02-17-2010 08:54 PM

money pit, dont do it

Spoonwacker 02-17-2010 08:58 PM

Should rename to "Nice Price or Crack Pipe?" in homage to the Jalopnik feature http://jalopnik.com/tag/nicepriceorcrackpipe/


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