A Drive Down Memory Lane: The Subaru 1000

Back in 1966, Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), the parent company of Subaru, introduced the first front wheel drive Subaru, called the Subaru 1000. It went on sale on the 14th of May of that year. Previously, the Subaru models that were released all had been rear-wheel drive cars with rear engines.

The Subaru 1000 was FHI’s first compact passenger car powered by the boxer engine and had driving stability as well as a nice, comfortable interior. It featured inboard drum brakes up front, and a hybrid suspension system. This suspension system made use of torsion bars in conjunction with coil springs. To reduce the weight of the car, it featured a double offset constant velocity joint (DOJ), an independent four-wheel suspension system, and inboard brakes.

The car had a flat shape, which provided a low center of gravity, with a large space above the engine bay, where the spare tire and tool kit are located. Sixty percent of the car’s weight is over the front wheels. This same layout would be present for Subaru models in the future. Since its inception, different variations were released over the following years, and would later be renamed to the FF-1, or ‘the Star’ as it was called in the United States, but the car never made it big in the U.S. compared with its home country.


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