9 November 2023

Canberra's festival of Subaru is back this Sunday (sort of)

| James Coleman
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Subaru Impreza WRX in a hill

Josh Lumsdon’s Subaru Impreza WRX. Photo: Wack0z, Instagram.

There’s Auto Italia, Terribly British Day, Shannon’s Wheels, and this Sunday, ‘Marques in the Park’ returns to the Deakin Football Stadium. But the Canberra region’s car shows were still missing something, according to Eligh Unwin.

Inspired by the Mazda 7’s day, hosted by local car club MazdACT in July to celebrate the rotary-powered Mazda RX-7 sports coupe, Eligh and his mate Joshua Lumsdon have set up Subaru Day.

“There’s no specific Subaru Day in Canberra, so why not make something up and make a day of it?” Eligh says.

The plan is for everything from the humble Brumby to the mighty WRX STI to take over Majura Park (outside Autobarn) from 9 am on Sunday, 11 November.

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Technically, this isn’t a first for Canberra. Between 2000 and 2003, we hosted a national festival expressly celebrating the WRX and coinciding with April’s Rally of Canberra.

Eligh and Josh originally wanted to hold their Subaru Day at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) to coincide with the return of the Rally of Canberra from 18 to 19 November, but this didn’t work out.

“Unfortunately, they couldn’t get the extra space to put the show and shine in there.”

They are both proud 2013 Impreza WRX owners: Eligh’s is a white sedan and Josh’s is a black hatchback.

“His is running and mine isn’t,” Eligh admits.

Subaru Impreza WRX

Eligh’s Subaru Impreza WRX. Photo: sug.studio, Instagram.

Not only is it a 2013 Impreza WRX, but Eligh also works as a mechanic in Queanbeyan, so needless to say, it isn’t stock.

“I’ve rebuilt the motor in it, bagged it, added engine mods and little bits and pieces here and there,” he says.

“There’s a bit too much money sucked into it.”

Both are drawn to Subaru’s famed boxer engine, rallying pedigree and the fact that “they’ve tried to be a bit out there with their design features”.

Independent Subaru specialist mechanics Techworkz Automotive and Capital Subaru in Fyshwick plan to bring several cars on the day.

“They’re going to bring out some of their workshop cars and some of their customers’ cars and set up a little stall at the front and put out their big tent,” Eligh says.

“There’s been a lot of community interest for sure.”

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The duo expect a turn-out of about 50 cars, not just the fancy ones. Standard Impreza, Liberty, Outback, Forester and XV models are also welcome.

“Whether it’s your family run-around or your weekender, we want to see your Subaru,” Eligh says.

“It’s a day to bring down your Subaru to meet new people, chat with like-minded individuals and show off your pride and joy.”

The hope is for Subaru Day to become an annual event, “growing bigger and bigger each year”.

Subaru Day will be held at Majura Park, outside Autobarn, from 10 am to 2 pm on Sunday, 12 November.

Marques in the Park, run by the Council of ACT Motor Clubs, will be held at Deakin Football Stadium from 8 am to 3 pm.

Entry to both events is free.

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Lowered cars just don’t do it for me

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