1983 Subaru Sherpa Deluxe 655cc from Australia and New Zealand


A car that the oil company's hate


I bought the car with a broken down engine. The previous owner some how dropped a nut into the combustion chamber. So my uncle got another engine and gearbox and literally picked up the engine and gearbox and put it in.

The second problem was rust in the rain drain below the windscreen and water getting and on to the drivers feet.

The final problem is hubs they aren't strong enough I have replaced the front hubs about 4 times.

General Comments:

These little cars for the size of the engine go brilliant and are very very easy to work on. I read in a magazine that the Japanese Sherpa's also got a supercharger and fuel injection and produce 41kw. Anyone after one talk to an importer and order a gear box, CV joint's and hubs.

I had my Sherpa off the clock going down hill. It would have been doing about 145-150km/h. only 110km/h to slow.

The best L/100km I got was 3L/100km and that is awesome economy by using synthetic 10W/30 oil and running a performance air filter.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th March, 2003

9th Feb 2005, 23:08

I also own a Sherpa Super Deluxe. I have taken mine out on the Coopers Rally tracks where if it had a bit of work done to the engine, would make it a very good Rally car. Again as you said it isn't invincible as I busted my CV joint at the rally when I hit a rock. I am currently looking to import one of the Sherpa GT turbocharged engines. But as for finding someone with them it's near impossible.


13th May 2008, 03:37

I have Subaru Sherpa, it's pre' 1987 because of round head lights. It's a bush basher and is getting a bit rusty and needs work. It's a great little car. Does anyone have a supercharger out there? I'd love to put it on.


1984 Subaru Sherpa Deluxe 0.65 petrol 2 cylinder from Australia and New Zealand


An incredibly cheap, comfortable, reliable and cute car


The previous owner was the only one since new, and he put a new engine in 60,000 kms ago as it was cheaper than fixing the problem... so no engine woes.

Master brake cylinder developed a slow leak, took a while to diagnose ("hey the brakes are all mushy") and then cost $50 for a recondition.

Other than that the only costs have been petrol, oil and CDs to play on the stereo.

General Comments:

This car was my first, and I only bought it to get me to the train station and back each day. To this end it is remarkable. The 650cc engine means that although a kid on a BMX may be faster from the traffic lights, I get about 350k from 20 litres of petrol.

The 4 speed manual is a gem, better than my friend's Volvo 850R wagon.

Parts are dirt cheap, although with the service manual you could almost take this car apart like a Lego model.

Subaru have a deserved reputation for building well designed, quality if somewhat quirky cars and the Sherpa is no exception. It is tiny (two seats), has cute round headlights and mine is canary yellow so it really stands out. However it is surprisingly roomy inside, the seats are comfortable and as a 6'2" driver I fit very comfortably.

A car that is faultless mechanically, versatile if somewhat slow (never made it past 105km/hr) and costs $20 every 3 weeks to run??? Bargain!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th March, 2001

3rd Jul 2002, 18:43

105 kph? You're not trying. I have had mine over 110kph, but then it had done less than 80,000 km.

Glad to hear yours is going well at such a high number of km. I loved mine, but had to sell at 80,000km as I needed something larger. Never missed a beat and was running as good as new when I sold it.