Hooniverse Wagon Wednesday – 1991 Subaru E12 Super Deluxe Wagon

It’s been a Subaru-filled couple days over here at Hooniverse. There’s been some bird content, there’s been a submerged Legacy, and then there’s this: a white, striped box with the Pleiades prominently featured on the front.

But it wouldn’t be postworthy were it not hoonworthy, and this thing is just like a shrunken Vanagon: a rear-engined, four-wheel-drive piece of beatability. Take a further look at this 1991 E12.

The E12 has about as many different names as there have been markets. In addition to the engine size-referencing nomenclature, it’s also been called the Sambar, the Sumo, the Libero, the Domingo, the Columbuss (ugh) and the Estratto. Over here, most were called by the Domingo name but for some reason not all of them. The 1200cc engine was shared with the Justy, and was an inline triple. In case this SUPER DELUXE –badged example is fuel-injected, which for a 1991 car is likely, it produced all of 74 horses new.

Still, a 1991 car should look slightly different as the series was facelifted in 1990 – so it’s entirely possible this very car was produced a couple years earlier and only registered new as late as 1991. There were only tens of these registered every year over here, and the number for 1989-registered cars was apparently three (3).

I think the stripe on the side is really cool, even if it does somehow bring to mind a Swedish winter olympics team.

By the way, various generations of of the Subaru van were used as the basis for the Finnish ELCAT CityVan project: engine out, battery packs in. Most were/are used as mail delivery vans.

The 4WD system isn’t full-time, but selectable with a button on the gearshift. The system was upgraded to a full-time setup by the mid-’90s.

I do wonder what the SUPER DELUXE trim meant. More openable windows? Better seat cloth? Sun visors?

The measurements for the car are 3425mm (length), 1870mm (height) and 1430mm (width). That does sound topply, and since the Suzuki Samurai for example was blamed for a number of rollover crashes some years earlier, it’s no wonder the little Subaru van never made it to the States. Would you want one?


[Images: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]

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