Subaru Sumbar

Car Spot: Subaru Sambar

OK, another truck but a really cool one.

One of the cool things Mark and I love about going up to Road America is that chances are we are going to discover a really cool vehicle like this week’s spot, a Subaru Sambar.

This looks to be an early 90s example.

The Sumbar began production in the 1960s in Japan and was first based on the Subaru 360. Kie class vehicles in Japan are a maximum length of 134 inches, a maximum width of 58 in., and a maximum height of 79 in. The maximum displacement of engines is 660cc. These are essentially vehicles that spend a lot of their time in cities. This cabover truck was the first vehicle manufactured to be compliant in the Kei class in 1961. It’s now in its eighth generation.

Yep, right-hand drive for Japan!

In Japan, vehicles are usually cheaper to buy which makes them cheaper for the second-hand market. Because of that, these are brought into the US by the container load for sale at prices ranging from $1,000 to $12,000. These are used for just about everything throughout Asia such as agriculture, fisheries, construction, and even for firefighting. In the US they have found a second life used by hunters and farmers or in this case by race car teams. They offer a unique and more affordable alternative to UTVs. Plus, they’re so damn cute.

Thanks for stopping by, tell your friends, and be sure to check back next week for another one of my car/truck spots along with some of the history behind it. Have a great weekend.



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