Will the Failed Subaru Baja Turbo Have a 2nd Chance at Glory as a Collectible Classic Car?
Trying to predict a future collectible classic car is pretty tough. However, certain things tend to go into a car, becoming a collectible classic car. Simple things like production numbers, weird options, and just cool factor can go a long way toward future collectability. The Subaru Baja Turbo has all three in spades. Consider this my vote for the Subaru Baja Turbo to be added to future collectible classic cars list.
The Subaru Baja Turbo is way cooler than most people think
There has been a lot of buzz around the little Ford Maverick pickup truck making many of us remember our love of small trucks. And, what says “small truck” more than a Ute?
The Baja debuted in 2002. This bizarre creature is basically a Subaru Legacy or Outback (take your pick) with the back end hollowed out into a 4ft truck bed. According to CarScoops, even though the truck/car was clearly an experimental design first unveiled at the 2000 LA Auto Show, most people gave it no quarter. The Baja felt like more of a knock-off than something Subaru actually chose to make.
Over the years, tastes change, style moves and morphs without planning, and I think the Subaru Baja Turbo might break out of the ugly pen and into the cool kids’ circle.
Will this Subaru Baja Turbo make it to the collectible classic car club?
I don’t think it’s happening any time too soon, but the day is coming. Because these cars were such a colossal flop at the launch, those who love obscure cars and ugly ducklings might start taking a shine to the Baja.
One has recently been listed on Bring-a-Trailer. As of this writing, the sale will conclude in 4 hours, so you likely won’t have a shot at it. However, this may go to inform future Baja sales.
The car in question is a 2006 Subaru Baja Turbo with only 47,000 miles and has the much cooler turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer motor making 210 Horsepower. The standard model came with the same engine but sans the turbo, and it was painfully slow. Although there was a manual version of this car (very rare), this one has an automatic transmission.
This one is finished in a single-color Atlantic Pearl Blue instead of the more typical two-tone paint and plastic cladding colorway. This is clearly dealer’s choice on preference, but the single color might help some Baja haters look past the aggressive cladding.
Why would the Subaru Baja Turbo ever become collectible?
It’s tough to call, but the Baja Turbo seems to have all the necessary elements; rarity, obscurity, and performance potential. When the Baja launched, Subaru estimated that 24,000 Bajas could move every year. In reality, it took Subaru nearly four years to hit that many sales. The Baja was not loved. In the car’s short run, Subaru only managed to sell 30,000 Bajas. That isn’t exactly rare, but it has the potential to be.
The base model Baja is really nothing to drool over; it’s slow, ugly, more abundant, and nearly useless. However, the five-speed turbocharged Bajas are still a little ugly, but they have much more power, turbo noise, three pedals, and all that wraps together to make the ugly looks come full circle and become appealing to some people.
This reasoning, along with the history of being hated, will eventually make these turbocharged, manual shift Bajas something quite rare, indeed.
How much is a Subaru Baja Turbo worth?
The one ending soon on Bring-a-Trailer is sitting at $10,750 with four hours to go. While this isn’t a ton of money, it isn’t nothing considering the model’s history. Also, this is an automatic version meaning it still isn’t the rarest configuration.
It may require a little more time, but I believe the Subaru Baja Turbo will be a hot commodity in the near future. Whether it’s a collectible classic car or a tuner favorite, people’s eyes will eventually turn to the Subaru Baja Turbos.