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Would you buy this early remarkable Subaru BRZ prototype?

Subaru introduced this ugly 360 Deluxe prototype in 1967. But it was a forerunner to the 2015 Subaru BRZ.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this image of the 1967 Subaru 360 Deluxe prototype says volumes. Just to have a little fun on a Friday, we thought we would look back at this Subaru prototype. We have to wonder what these Subaru engineers were thinking. This two-seat sports car has early makings of another sports car that we know as the BRZ. The new 2015 Subaru BRZ came from the same company that produced this early forerunner.

Of course they didn’t have any idea of what this prototype would lead to for Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the parent company of Subaru. The Japanese automaker has come a long way from this 360 Deluxe concept car to the new rear-drive 2015 Subaru BRZ with 200 hp. But this design team had to be thinking about a future sports car when they designed the 1967 Subaru 360 Deluxe prototype.

This could be the ugliest prototype ever produced

This 1967 Subaru 360 Deluxe prototype is likely the ugliest concept car ever produced by any automaker. By the looks of this talented group, they seem pretty proud of this ugly duckling. It’s a good thing this design team didn’t get their model into production. But the Subaru 360 car did make it to production and was sold in the U.S.

The 360 didn’t sell well

The first Subaru ever to be sold in the U.S. was the 360 on March 3, 1958. It was a very small rear wheel drive minicar that was powered by a 2-stroke, 25 horsepower 360 cc engine and is where it got its name 360. It weighed under 1000 pounds, got 66.3 mpg, slugged its way from 0-50 in 37 seconds and cost $1,297 plus prep fees. It came in a base 2 door sedan model, the "Young S" 2 door sedan, minivan, a truck version, and even a mini race car. The cars were imported to the U.S. through 1969 and weren’t very popular as you can imagine.

Dealers couldn’t give them away

Only 6,000 of the Subaru 360's were sold in the U.S., and a rumor reports one Subaru dealer was selling 6 cars for $2,000 just so they could get rid of them. Today, the 360 is a collectors car and some have sold for $10,000-$15,000. There is even a Subaru 360 Drivers Club so that members can find parts and swap ideas on how to keep their cars running.

If at first you don’t succeed....

The Subaru 360 lacked modern safety features and had horrible control and was as slow as a turtle. Subaru has come a long way since the Subaru 360 in terms of engineering, styling, safety and performance and is recognized as having the safest, most fuel-efficient AWD line-up in America. And for driving enthusiasts, the 2015 Subaru BRZ sports coupe delivers incredible performance and driving dynamics. It pays to keep going and not give up even if you make mistakes like the 1967 Subaru 360 Deluxe prototype. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

Other 2015 Subaru BRZ stories of interest.

Three things that make the 2015 Subaru BRZ a special sports car


Remco (not verified)    September 21, 2014 - 2:35AM

Please raise your journalistic standards. The article contains no information at all. "The Subaru 360 lacked modern safety features". Well yeah, it's from 1958.

Ralf Grosser (not verified)    February 3, 2015 - 2:54PM

This picture of the Subaru prototyp is from The japanese TV Series SRI.
THe epople in the picture are the actors frrom this spy series.