Reader ride: David Grimshaw’s 1969 Subaru 360

In addition to being a plain interesting car, David Grimshaw’s erstwhile 1969 Subaru 360 also comes with an unusual – cautionary? – tale. We’ll let David tell the story:

Back in 2009, through a string of really unfortunate circumstances I ended up having to drive a 1969 Subaru 360 nearly 2000 miles across the United States— from Denver, Colorado, to Savannah, Georgia. I had bought the car when I was 14, and planned to restore it but life got in the way, and this trip was basically a mad act of desperation to save from having to sell the car. It had not been driven since the 1980s and I optimistically believed that I could get it roadworthy in about a week and then simply drive it home to Georgia.

Nearly every imaginable sort of problem cropped up: the fuel line clogged with rust so the car wouldn’t accelerate past 25mph; I got caught in a thunderstorm with desiccated wiper blades and had to pull over, buy a single modern blade, and cut it in half to fit the tiny wipers on the car; the charge wire from the alternator burned up several times; the distributor stuck in the retarded position; the exhaust cracked off and had to be welded up; the passenger side suicide door flung open while exiting an interstate, etc. etc.

I’ve included a few photos I took to document the trip. In the end I arrived in Georgia to find I no longer had a job, couldn’t afford school, was being evicted, and that my girlfriend was leaving me. I sold the car shortly after, and more or less put the whole ordeal out of my mind since.

Can anyone else top this story and/or vehicle? Leave a comment below or email us.

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~ by velofinds on January 3, 2014.

6 Responses to “Reader ride: David Grimshaw’s 1969 Subaru 360”

  1. The more appropriate question might be, “Does anyone else *want* to be able to top this story?”

    I’m sorry to hear about how things (didn’t) work out, Dave. It sounds like it was a valiant effort though!

    • Congrats on making it to your destination. That’s what life is about. Keep it moving in every area of your life. You diffently know how to succeed. Good luck young man. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Sounds like the car did its job….it helped you prove that you can endure anything! At the end of it all, you were given on of life’s “Do Over!” moments. Thanks for sharing and all the best to you!

  3. that’s a pretty insane road trip. some time the journey is better than the destination

  4. I hope the misfortunes ended there. I feel bad for David, but at least he has a seriously good story to go with his suffering. Hopefully he was able to sell it for what it was worth.

  5. Interesting.

    http://totalcarmagazine.com/classicandbeloved/2013/10/31/the_epic_story_of_a_tokyo-budapest_trip_in_a_360cc_subaru_made_in_1968/

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