A funny thing happened the other day: Mrs Swade actually asked me to NOT sell one of my cars.
I’ve been thinking about selling my Subaru Brumby for a while now, primarily because I’ve got a little Italian project* in mind and in a perfect world, the Brumby would free up both the space and funds I need to make a start on it. It looks like that project might have to wait, however, and I have to say that I don’t mind that one little bit.
I have to correct this website’s record on the Brumby. I saw, just a few days ago, an entry on this site talking about all the problems I had with the car when I first got it. Yes, the water pump carked it. Yes, there were some starting issues in the cold weather when I first brought it home. But those are but distant memories now.
And yet many consider the Brumby to be a little less than manly. I had a mate have a quiet giggle at it compared to his Ranger (g’day Chris!). I don’t mind, though. To me, Brumbys are more like the farmers that buy them and keep them for years, sometimes decades – humble, unassuming, but surprisingly capable, Tonka tough and more reliable than death or taxes.
The Brumby has been 100% trouble-free since those early issues. It starts every morning and runs without fuss all day. Yes, the interior’s a bit spartan. A bit 80’s. But it’s got uber-rare power steering, air conditioning (that works!) and a recent ugly-as-a-bashed-crab stereo installation that not only plays the one CD I keep in the car (Dinosaur Jr), but will also drive my iPod if I tell it to. Everything works except for the driver’s door lock, which you have to fiddle with. That was source of frustration last year but is now considered a beauty spot rather than a blemish.
You know where you stand with a Brumby. It’s not a show pony. It has no pedigree. The Brumby is a mutt that’s been robbed, stoned, beat up and broken boned. The Brumby gives me the comfort of knowing that I can scrape a shovel blade in the rear tray as I’m scooping up my pine bark and the car won’t complain. It won’t lose any value. It might even gain value! The only type of wash it knows is from the rain and it rarely gets so much as a fresh drop of oil**.
And yet, it just keeps on going.
Six days a week I rarely ever think about the Brumby. On that one day I need it, however, it’s the greatest little car in the world. The little car that could. I’m no fan of boring automotive appliances but there IS something to be said for reliability. Combine it with utility and character and you’ve got a recipe for one hell of a good car.
* The little Italian project: an Alfasud Sprint combined with the running gear of a 16V Alfa 33. Mmmmmmmm.
** That situation will be rectified over the Christmas break, with some oil, plugs and filters coming the Brumby’s way. It’ll feel like a new car!