It’s fair to say you won’t ever associate Fuji Heavy Industries with styling flair, but even so by the beginning of the Playstation generation in the Nineties, Subarus carved out a distinctive look of their own. Subaru design solved everything with a giant wing and boxed arches.
But then in 1999 the little Japanese manufacturer decided to cash in on the retro craze of the decade that gave us the ‘new new’ Beetle and kicked the whole thing off. Or so we thought, because in Japan the retro-mod craze went back further with quirky ‘classic’ cars like the Nissan Figaro launched in 1991.
Anyway, Subaru wanted some of the action and put a retro spin on an Impreza wagon. The result was fantastically ugly. Called the Impreza Casa Blanca, the rare 1999-2000 limited edition was sold in Japan only, thank goodness, and came out seemingly inspired by stuff like Bentleys, Rolls-Royces, and perhaps Mitsuokas, when seen in curved mirrors.
The retro front end was just grafted on and increased the front overhang to ridiculous proportions and the styling department simply put quad taillights out back with cursive script badging to really give you that Sixties vibe.
And that was it — they came with 1.5-litre engines and a pretty substantial 5,000 Casa Blancas were built, which means… travel advisory: be careful on the streets of Japan.