New car reveal: Subaru 360 in progress

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Yes it’s happening, I’m revealing the new upcoming car profile: the Subaru 360!

It has been a while since I launched the Carmashups website and since then I haven’t added new cars, so this is actually the first one to be added!

Choosing the Subaru 360

So why did I choose the Subaru 360 as the next car to be added? I do offer the next car to be chosen by the Carmashups Patreons, but at this moment of writing I simply have none! I do have a long list of cars that I wish to add to the website and decided it had to be one from the early era of Japanese cars. Due to the longevity of the car, the Subaru 360 turned out to be a very interesting. It has been built for 13 years between 1958 and 1971 and throughout its lifetime had many iterations and submodels.

Which Subaru 360 model to trace?

Choosing the submodel to trace became a bit of an issue: personally I found the Subaru 360 Custom van a very interesting car to add: it’s rare, it’s different than most car models in the catalogue of Carmashups and it really stands out! Just imagine this: a quirky kei car, featuring a 360cc engine and having an “enormous” cargo capability after you have flattened the rear bench. The 360 Custom is such a rare beast that it’s hard to find one if you want one. Of course all existing ones are cherished and you can run into one at some (Japanese) car shows. But since I was hesitating I reached out to Daniel O’Grady from Wasabi Cars to ask his opinion on the choice for the 360 Custom van.

Subaru 360 custom van
This is what the Subaru 360 Custom van looks like

Even though he personally prefers the van over the sedan, he advised me to go for the sedan for it’s recognizable features. The van would be an oddball that probably only 5% of the visitors would recognize as a 360, so the sedan is a much saner choice. I fully agree with him and happily chose for the sedan.

The sedan variants

The next issue is that the Subaru 360 sedan had many variants: the early 360 was a very basic car that required as little tooling as possible. This meant the panels on early models were all beaten by hand and only when the 360 reached larger production volumes it made sense to have the panels pressed. Due to this the early 360 had many incarnations and it’s difficult to find a matching blueprint and brochure photos. Therefore I chose to feature the later, more generic, 360 instead of the, in my opinion, more beautiful early version. You can see the difference in blueprints below: at the top the early model 360 with horizontal louvers on the engine bay cover and at the bottom the later 360 with the vertical slots.

Tedious tracing of the Subaru 360
Tedious tracing of the Subaru 360

I have no idea yet when you can expect the Subaru 360 to feature on the Carmashups lineup, but I’m currently aiming for somewhere next week.

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