Looking at the Subaru 360, it's hard not to draw comparisons with a popular German-made mini-car. Although, to be perfectly honest, it was born out of an initiative by Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry calling for the production of a "People's Car". This was a time, you see, when passenger cars were far too expensive to be purchased by the everyman. All in all, the 360 succeeding in meeting the design specifications set out for itsmall, light frame, 360 cc engine, and affordable price tag. It was the first in a long line of mini-cars out of Japan in the 60s, and certainly the one with the largest following.
The engine for which the Subaru 360 was named for was an unconventional inline 2-stroke, 2-cylinder model. This engine, it turned out, was simpler, easier to maintain, cold-started faster, and produced twice the power for a lesser weightthey produce power every two piston strokes as opposed to four. Couple that with a very light frame, and you had a vehicle that could speed up to 60 mphmodest speed for its type of car. Comparisons to the VW Beetle and even Mini Cooper were common, but the truth was that this car was in a class of its own.
Part of the popularity of the Subaru 360 came from the fact that it was very customizable. In fact, it came in four iterations: a station wagon, a convertible, a sport model, and even a van. This characteristic made it extremely popular with collectors who, until today, still seek it out among the back roads and country garages of America. Though harder to find than most others, there are still a lot of Subaru 360 parts in the market today. Owing to the simplicity of it and its component's design, one will find that a lot of newer replacement parts do the job wellnow that's staying power.