Days Gone By

I communicate pretty regularly with a number of veteran Subaru owners – guys who have been in the game for upwards of a decade. One thing we all seem to agree on is that the community is dead. It’s a harsh statement but one that’s undeniably true. I base my views primarily on the parts market or lack thereof. It’s become harder than ever to buy new parts for the various iterations of the Impreza, especially the GC and GD. If you’re trying to do the JDM thing, good luck.

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As more Japanese companies pull out of the US, it’s a grim reminder that people have moved into other cars or out of the community entirely. The BRZ was a nice blip on the radar, especially for those seeking more aggressive wheel options for the unrelenting 5×100 bolt pattern. However the BRZ has in no way captured the market or the interests of Subaru aficionados, quite the same way the FR-S has.

The Impreza has become dated and with Subaru out of the WRC, it’s tuned variants are becoming increasingly irrelevant in this new era of paddle-shifters and energy recovery systems. Someday we can only hope that the Impreza will share a similar affinity to classics like the Hakosuka and S30 Z. In the meantime, I only see the car’s popularity dwindling.

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It’s a grim outlook, but in many ways an optimistic one because I still love my WRX as much as I did the day I got it in 2005. It’s a car that’s gotten so far under my skin that I may never be able to part ways with it. In the meantime there are still exciting Imprezas out there – granted their harder to find, but they still exist. There’s also the exciting news of the WRX Concept and Subaru’s desire to continually produce AWD rally-inspired cars. Maybe someday we’ll see a return to the Impreza’s former glory in the WRC. For now we hold onto the memories.

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2 comments

  1. Quality builds were always the exception and never the norm with this platform. As for the scene being dead, it depends on your perspective. There are many people doing amazing things with the GC in particular. Parts are really no more or less difficult to come by than than my early Subaru days (1998-99), availability is scarce, some stuff no longer made, but its out there. The “scene” has a short attention span and many now want things handed to them vs spending the time to research, locate, understand. Those who take the longer road end up rewarded with a car that 5, 10, 15 years on is still putting a smile on their face and has a timeless look. So it’s not necessarily te scene being dead…it’s the herd being thinned

  2. I’m glad JDM is dead, it makes the market more competitive. There isn’t much coming from Japan that other countries can’t offer these days. Japan still does things better as a whole, but that gap is closing.

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