From Craigslist to Subaru’s Historical Collection: The Legacy Of a 215K-Mile Subaru

There are a few things I enjoy doing in my spare time. One of them just so happens to be checking out used car ads. And every once in a while, I’m lucky enough to stumble upon an ad that not only features a neat car, but is also pretty cleverly crafted. That was the story for Jalopnik writer Mercedes Streeter, who just so happened to come across a used car ad for this 1990 Subaru Legacy.

1990 Subaru Legacy wagon parked in front of a plane
1990 Subaru Legacy | Subaru

For Sale: 1990 Subaru Legacy with 215,000-miles on the odometer

It all started with a Craigslist ad selling a 1990 AWD Legacy Wagon. The owner, Aaron Harvey of The Rad Report, had purchased the Legacy just a short 14 months ago and was ready to bid it adieu. In the ad, Harvey went into great detail about the vehicle, going so far as to describe it as a “beautiful golden tan cocoon.”

Harvey lamented the utility of his beloved Subaru Legacy. Explaining that, “The magic of this car was that something so elegant and low-key could also perform like a truck with an unbelievably compact footprint. The outside shell to interior volume ratio on this car is unmatched. As an urban everything-car, it is perfect.”

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And when it came to describing what driving this 1990 Subaru Legacy is like, Harvey said: “The experience of manually controlling the handling, gearing, and power delivery of a mid-power 90’s wagon allows one to understand and enjoy “performance” instead of just reading about it at the dealership before purchasing a car. This car is fun to drive.”

Clearly, this guy knows how to write about a used car. Which is actually pretty fortunate because the Craigslist ad caught the attention of Jalopnik writer Mercedes Streeter. After that, Harvey was presented with three offers for the 1990 Subaru Legacy. Harvey also got some hate mail, which, who does that? It’s a used car ad, guys.

Restoring the Legacy to its original condition was an expensive endeavor

But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves here. While Harvey is certainly a wordsmith, they’re also a diligent car owner. In the 14 months Harvey owned the 1990 Subaru Legacy, they invested $6k in “recreating the experience of buying it new-off-the-lot.” Harvey explains they wanted to “understand the designed intent of the car and enjoy it for precisely what it was intended to be: an AWD expression of practical luxury, an Accord killer.”

For Harvey, that meant equipping the 1990 Subaru legacy with new struts, brakes, clutch, timing belt, tires, shifter bushings, among other things. All in all, Harvey says, the goal was “create the experience of a new car.” Well, Harvey, consider a job very well done.

Upgrading from Craigslist to Subaru’s Historical Collection

Fortunately for Harvey, Streeter’s article resulted in a handful of offers. One of which turned out to be a pretty good one. So good, in fact, that the 215,000-mile Subaru Legacy is going to live out its days in a climate-controlled facility. 

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So where’s it off to? Well, Harvey actually sold it to Subaru of America, which plans to add the vehicle to its historical collection. And while the 1990 Subaru Legacy will remain garaged, Harvey hopes to see it again someday. Maybe even at a future RADwood event.