Subaru STi Gallery, Mitaka

September 1st, 2009 in Photos

Back when I arrived in July, I took some time to visit Subaru’s STi Gallery in Mitaka, Tokyo. The showroom itself is pretty sparse, but you do get a first hand view of one of Subaru’s debut rally cars, the 1993 Legacy RS driven by the late, great Colin McRae in Rally New Zealand.

So, the Legacy itself may not seem very special, but it’s driver and place in WRC history certainly are. On first glance you wouldn’t guess a car like this could put down 400ft/lbs. of torque… that’s nothing to scoff at. The basic elements of this drive-train paved the way for the Impreza based chassis in WRC. Also, it is important to note that the 93 Legacy introduced Subaru’s now legendary blue and yellow color scheme through a sponsorship deal with a cigarette brand “State Express 555”.

Some cool looking merch. On a side note: After I arrived in Kagoshima, I noticed employees at the local dealership wearing Subaru happi coats during a sale event. I asked to buy one but they politely declined.

I am always interested to see the older generations of Japanese cars, especially from the 60’s through the 90’s. There is a charm to these older designs that is lost on the newer models.

Point in case: The Subaru Leone 1600. This 4WD beast (note: not AWD… you pushed a button to active 4WD) cranked out 86hp and 89ft/lbs. of torque.

The gauge cluster actually looks very similar to early 90’s Impreza models.

Unrefined yet tasteful… A charming eye-sore…

The service bay offered a great glimpse at why this particular Subaru dealership is called one of, if not the best, in Japan.

An Engine rebuild in process.

Another random customer car.

So, this looks like an average STi, but we were told it is actually Petter Solberg’s personal car. I guess… for when he is staying in Japan? It was a bit confusing at the time, but the staff looked convincing.

Vital fluids: on tap from above.

Finally, two snapshots in the rain before running to catch the bus back to Shinjuku:

Some serious upgrades on this car despite its stock appearance. This customer surely doesn’t need the stopping power of AP Racing brakes on the public roads here…

So, this isn’t really a mecca for Subaru fans, but it was interesting just the same. I’d like to take a tour of the main factory in Ota, which is about two hours from Tokyo proper by train. If I’m in the area again when friends or family visit, it might be worth the trip.

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