Travis Pastrana’s latest “Gymkhana” car is a 1983 Subaru GL called the Family Huckster. It might not seem like an obvious choice for either of these builds, but the GL wagon made perfect sense for Pastrana and his team.
As explained in an episode of the Subaru of America YouTube show “Launch Control,” Pastrana wanted the Subaru WRX STI Airslayer, the one-off STI he drove in “Gymkhana 2020” and set a record on Mt. Washington. continue Hill Climb, with a little retro.
Travis Pastrana drives a Subaru at Gymkhana 2022
The WRX was the obvious choice, but the Vermont SportsCar team that built the Airslayer wanted to build something different that was still distinctively Subaru. The automaker was known for building useful station wagons long before the WRX first conquered a rally stage, so the 1983 Subaru GL fit right in.
The GL wagon also offered the option of striking paintwork. It was available with a red, white, and blue graphics package as a tie-in with Subaru’s sponsorship of the US Ski Team. This look was replicated on the Family Huckster.
However, the Family Huckster doesn’t have much in common with a stock GL station wagon. It is based on a custom tube frame chassis with carbon fiber body panels incorporating active aero elements. Under the hood sits the same 2.3-liter turbocharged flat-4 used in the Airslayer STI, producing the same 862 horsepower. At the same time, Vermont SportsCar tried to keep the look as retro as possible, with details like 1980s-style graphics for the digital instrument cluster and a brake-bias switch disguised as a cigarette lighter.
Pastrana brought the Family Huckster to Florida for “Gymkhana 2022,” the 11th installment in the series, where the car shared the spotlight with raised pickup trucks, a wheeled jet ski and a 3,000-horsepower Chevrolet El Camino owned by YouTube personality Cleetus belonged to McFarland. As with the previous videos, there are epic stunts, but also plenty of close encounters and a spooky accident that ironically didn’t involve a car. The usual “don’t try it at home” warning definitely applies.
Check out the full video for the behind-the-scenes action.