Travis Pastrana’s latest “Gymkhana” vehicle is a 1983 Subaru GL station wagon called the Family Huckster. It might not seem like an obvious choice for one of these builds, but the GL wagon made perfect sense for Pastrana and his team.
As explained on an episode of Subaru of America’s “Launch Control” YouTube show, Pastrana wanted to follow up with the Subaru WRX STI Airslayer, the one-off STI he drove in “Gymkhana 2020” and had Set a record climb on Mount Washington, retro style.
Travis Pastrana driving Subaru station wagon at Gymkhana 2022
The WRX was the obvious choice, but the Vermont SportsCar team that built the Airslayer wanted to create something different but still very Subaru. The automaker was known for building utilitarian wagons long before the WRX first broke the rally stage, so the 1983 Subaru GL fit the bill.
The GL wagon also offers the possibility of a unique livery. It comes with a red-white-blue graphics package as a tie-in for Subaru’s sponsorship of the USA Ski Team. This look was replicated on the Family Huckster.
The Family Huckster doesn’t have much in common with the regular GL van, though. It’s based on a custom tube-frame chassis and carbon fiber body panels, incorporating active aerodynamic elements. Under the hood sits the same 2.3-liter turbocharged flat-4 as the Airslayer STI, producing the same 862 horsepower. Meanwhile, Vermont SportsCar tried to keep the look as retro as possible, with details like ’80s-inspired digital gauge cluster graphics and a brake bias switch disguised as a cigarette lighter.
Pastrana takes the Family Huckster to Florida for “Gymkhana 2022,” part 11 of the series, where the station wagon shares the spotlight with a lifted pickup, a jet ski on wheels and a 3,000-horsepower Chevrolet El Camino belonging to YouTube personality Cleetus MacFa orchid. As in previous videos, there are epic stunts but also plenty of near misses and a horrific accident which, ironically, does not involve a car. The usual warning “don’t try this at home” definitely applies.
Check out the full video for a behind-the-scenes look.