My experience with has forever turned me off to WRX’s, even though it’s completely irrational and not Subaru’s fault at all. Still, I will never buy a Subaru again (at least not a WRX) because of my WRX Wagon.

My plan was to put a sedan front end on it so it would look super badass with the box flares. Lo and behold, on my craigslist search I found just what I wanted: A 2005 WRX wagon, black, with a full sedan front end swap! And not just that, but a full STi front end swap! It had the sedan fenders, hood, bumper, with an STi lip and everything. It even had a front-mount intercooler, catless up-pipe, aftermarket downpipe, STi exhaust, Cobb Accessport.

I test drove it, and coming from my Miata the thing was stupid fast. I had never driven a turbo car before and it was addicting. I was stupid and didn’t look at any other cars because THIS WAS THE ONE! It had everything I wanted and more.

There was one wrinkle: The engine was rebuilt. Well, only the heads. Turned out there was valve trouble. The car had 110,000 miles on it, so a rebuild of a wacky Subaru flat-four at 100K wasn’t too surprising (I was spending too much time on the NASIOC forums where people blow their engines after 20K miles all the time). The owner told me that he rebuilt the heads himself, and when he brought me the car to test drive wearing a greasy mechanic’s jumpsuit, I figured that he knew what he was doing.

I bought the car, and the next day on my way to school, I noticed smoke billowing out from under my hood. Shit. Off to my mechanic, a Subie & Evo specialist. He immediately found that both valve cover gaskets were leaking profusely. He popped in new gaskets and off I went. The next week, more smoke coming out of my hood while I was at a stop light. Valve cover gaskets leaking AGAIN. This time, my mechanic put some RTV-type sealant all around another set of new gaskets in an effort to get a good seal. Side note: who the hell puts the valve covers directly above hot exhaust headers?

A month or two later, I’m having a lot of fun listening to the WOOOOOOSH of my cool turbo car. I bring my car to the mechanic for an early oil change because I notice my oil level is dropping. I figure I’m burning some oil, whatever. I wait in the shop, and my mechanic comes to the front office with a look of horror on his face. “Come here and see this,” he says.

He’s got my car up on a lift, I look underneath it, and there is oil EVERYWHERE. I mean EVERYWHERE! The entire bottom of the engine, radiator, etc is covered in a coating of oil. On top of that, my mechanic points out the oil filter— It says HONDA on it. After some more looking around, my mechanic finds that an oil channel in the re-built head was missing a plug, causing the engine to spew oil everywhere at every revolution. I was lucky that the car wasn’t completely fucked, but my mechanic begged me not to put any more money into the car (I just bought a set of winter tires!).

After the oil channel was properly plugged, I continue driving the WRX, driving it like my Grandma and constantly hoping that the engine wouldn’t pop.

Then, on Easter Sunday, I woke up and my car was gone. Stolen overnight while I slept. No broken glass on the street, the car was just gone. It was probably easy to get into without breaking the glass because of the frameless doors. I imagine the thieves got in and just rolled it onto a flatbed. No neighbors heard anything. The police came, I filled out a report, and got the old “we’ll keep an eye out for it.”

Three years later and it hasn’t turned up. Good riddance.