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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me tell you a story about family, winter and a Subaru.

My grandfather was an avid outdoorsman and a Subaru aficionado at a time before Subarus were widely known, especially in our northern, isolated community. When all his hunting buddies would have had trucks, my grandpa had Subarus. He was cool like that. Everyone called him Happy, or 'Hap' to family. He was just that happy of a person. I wish I had been able to know him - but I digress.

He first had a 1978 GL and then a 1983 GL. Both were passed down to my parents and were the first cars I remember us having. The attached photo of me proudly snowshoeing was taken springtime in the mid-80s. That's the '78 GL in the background. I learned to drive on the '83. It, sadly, escaped being photographed.

I grew up in Timmins, Ontario, Canada. Winters were truly tough which suited my parents business as snowshoe makers. I must have been 13 or 14 when the '83 was removed from daily driving duties. We had 2 driveways and only maintained one in the winter. The '83 Subaru GL sat unmoved for months, accumulating a depth of snow upon its golden-beige surfaces. Temperatures regularly hit -25C for weeks on end and it could drop to the low -40s before wind-chill. Cold.

My brother and I had been playing in and around the Subie one evening when we had the idea to see if the old GL would turn over. Being the time and place it was, the key rested in the ignition year-round. In retrospect, it is surprising we had waited so long to try. To our amazement, it did turn over! But it didn't end there, it actually caught spark and started; a testament to not just the Subie but its trooper of a battery! That car had a will to live.

We then had the obvious idea to see how far through the snow we might be able to drive it. The driveway was about 15m (50ft) long, covered in just less than a meter (2 or 3ft) of snow and terminated at the rural road with a crusty, elevated snowbank. Being the good boys that we were, we ran inside to ask our dad's permission to drive the car north to the road. My older brother, 15 or 16 years old at the time, would be the one the take the wheel. My dad chuckled and replied "have at it" believing the effort would be short-travelled. My brother and I feverishly cleaned off the snow and scrapped the thin condensation-formed ice from inside the windows. My parents, entertained, watched from the warmth on the other side of the big living room window.

The Subie was an automatic. My brother selected '1' and clicked the orange button on the shift lever to engage the 4WD system. Powered by steady throttle and the excitement of teenage brothers, that Subaru ploughed through not only the deep snow but also straight through that crusty snowbank! It was a monumental moment in my childhood. My parents stood shocked in window, their old Subaru and young boys now perpendicular on the country road.

My dad quickly got dressed and met us at the car while its 1.8L boxer engine rumbled, eager for adventure. My dad took the driver's seat and we went for a short ride down our snow-packed road in the cold Subaru-cicle; each of us grinning, laughing and enjoying the moment. None of us could believe what had just happened. On the way back, my dad's skillful driving and the Subie's talent for snow got us again past that stiff snowbank, this time with a required turn, then along the fresh path back to its resting place near our white 1950s bungalow.

The car faced south the rest of winter, resting on its laurels.

That '83 Subaru GL kicked around the property for a couple more years. Long enough for my mom to be able to take extreme pleasure in proclaiming that we already had Subaru outback just as Subaru starting making the Subaru Outback. In our family, we had 'mom jokes' and this was one of her favorites.

When that old Subaru finally went to the big scrapyard in the sky, it went without its gauge cluster; that stayed with me, mounted to my bedroom wall for me to admire and be inspired by.

25 years later I have decided I need a Subaru in my very good life. I haven't gotten it yet, but it will be 2018 Crosstrek and it will get some fun upgrades. It will be my homage to that '83 GL which still has a very, very special place not outback, but in my heart. And I already have a nickname for it - 'Hap'.
 

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Wow, that's a great story!! Yeah, Subaru's are still the best in snow, and pretty respectable off-road, too.
 

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Nice story.
I too search out “Subaru” adventures like snow covered driving in a farmers field before dawn, (for work).
I know of an extremely large parking lot which is clear internally of parking ties.
I like to do large circular power slides and except in x mode I have tremendous difficulty getting the rear end to break loose. I have been testing the brake vectoring which the slippery conditions make obvious.
I also enjoy driving through the ditch to get around stuck VW jettas.

Regards
 

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Great story mate. The wife and I will be on Manitoulin Island in 2 weeks time. Then to Elliott Lake for a week. Might pay a visit to Timmins now also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great story mate. The wife and I will be on Manitoulin Island in 2 weeks time. Then to Elliott Lake for a week. Might pay a visit to Timmins now also.
Thanks, glad you liked it! Enjoy the north. My folks are actually in Elliot Lake now. I love visiting, it is such a nice little town and wonderful, diverse landscape. True great outdoors. Timmins is a bit of a trek. If you go, be cautious on 144 between Sudbury and Timmins. Plenty of logging trucks and fast changing weather, not to mention the remoteness. Be sure you have your emergency kit. But man, so beautiful. I really miss it up there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice story.
I too search out “Subaru” adventures like snow covered driving in a farmers field before dawn, (for work).
I know of an extremely large parking lot which is clear internally of parking ties.
I like to do large circular power slides and except in x mode I have tremendous difficulty getting the rear end to break loose. I have been testing the brake vectoring which the slippery conditions make obvious.
I also enjoy driving through the ditch to get around stuck VW jettas.

Regards
Thanks!

I am really looking forward to getting one and playing!
 
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