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The Hunt For The Subaru ACX-II

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(This is a copy of whats in the above linky)

The Hunt For The Subaru ACX-II

August 24, 2009 by Justin Karow

7Tune.com gets some interesting requests sometimes, but none more interesting than to help with Clint Czarnecki’s bid to uncover the whereabouts of the famed Subaru ACX-II concept car shown at the 26th Tokyo Motor Show in 1985.


The Plan

In a multiple-part series, we hope to present what we already know about the ACX-II, find the whereabouts of the actual running concept car, and finally visit the location where it’s kept and if we can push our luck that far, do a full photo shoot with the car as it is now. Of course it goes without saying that we may not get that far, but if we don’t try we’ll never know! That’s the spirit we like to foster at 7Tune especially when it comes to obscure, long-forgotten Japanese cars. For now, Clint has sent me the actual 1985 Tokyo Motor Show brochure from Subaru to scan and present to you here at 7Tune (included in our next installment). Even if you’re only slightly interested in Subaru it’s well worth a look from a technological point of view and for a glimpse at the technological might of Japan in the mid-1980s. To say that the Japanese were confident of their automotive abilities in the 1980s is an understatement!

About Clint Czarnecki

Clint hails from the Midwest region of the USA, is a self described Subaru Alcyone fanatic and goes by the forum name of “Alcyone Lunacy”. His interest in this particular Subaru came about in the late 1990s after seeing a Subaru SVX driving around town a few times. After doing some research he found out about the SVX’s predecessor, the XT Coupe (Alcyone in Japan and Vortex in other regions), was a direct competitor to the then current Nissan Fairlady Z (a car Clint also had interest in) as described by Tamiya in the instructions for their 1/24 scale Subaru Alcyone kit. From there Clint actually tracked down the SVX he saw years earlier and purchased it, his first Subaru. After that a series of different cars came into his possession culminating in a 1987 Subaru Alcyone XT. He says from that point things got a little out of hand. Clint explains it well:

Anyway I love these cars. So much so that I have tried to unravel every mystery of the Alcyone. So I looked into its history and that of the SVX since its development started in 1985, the same year as the release of the Alcyone XT. During my findings I learned that the Alcyone XT was actually developed by Harvey Lamm president of SOA during the 1980s. The XT was actually developed by an American for the American market! Part of this is proven in 1985 during the ‘Avant garde’ release of the Alcyone in the States! Subaru actually released the Alcyone first Stateside to try something different and ground breaking to compliment the whole theme of their new vehicle. This car was shown at the 1985 Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place. I then researched the SVX and its journey from paper to production. As you know this car almost broke Subaru by the time they released it. They had poured so much money into development that they had little money to advertise with once the vehicle was released.

Well as I did this research I asked myself how is it that Subaru kept development going on the EG33 motor of the SVX in 1985 when all the XT had was the EA82T. It just didn’t add up to me since the XT6 (Alcyone VX) came out in 1988 with the first Subaru boxer 6 cylinder engine (I thought the SVX had been in development since 1985). There had to be a missing link. The photo that led me to this insight is seen in the Road and Track guide to the SVX, I call it the SVX family tree pic. (The first picture shown in my ACX-II thread)

Well this led me to the 1984 concept SUBARU ACX-II. This car was shown at the 26th Tokyo motor show in 1985. This car did bear the first Subaru 6 cylinder boxer engine, the ER27. Basically an EA82 with two more cylinders. I also found and fell in love with the F9-X that was also shown with the ACX-II at the TMS and TAS in 1985. Being an avid Alcyone enthusiast I have tried to dig up every bit of info on their history from development to production and everything in between. So I also unveiled the 1987 concept the ESTREMO and then the 1989 SVX concept. I have sourced every brochure and book with ANY mention of these vehicles. The showing of ACX-II in CONCEPT or CAR GRAPHIC is different from the one in the TMS brochure. Look closely at my thread to see the differences, slightly different paint and decals, etc

It’s great to see such dedication to a particular model and we at 7Tune can appreciate the time spent and sheer mountain of work involved to collect all the information and present it in a reader friendly format. For that reason we accepted Clint’s request to continue uncovering the story behind Subaru’s high-tech concepts, if at all possible we’ll venture to the rumored Subaru warehouse holding these vehicles in Japan.

Note: In what could turn out to be quite an expensive exercise, please help 7Tune by making a donation if you appreciate what you see. In return we will present this story (and many more), photo sets and information you won’t find anywhere else.

The 1985 Tokyo Motor Show Brochure From Subaru

We’re still in the process of editing the Subaru brochure but for the time being, have a look at the images of the ACX-II concept. Not only was the car boasting a flat-6 cylinder engine and full-time 4WD, it also included such gadgets that we take for granted today, a CRT monitor with navigation and road maps, “memory power seats”, tire pressure sensors, a keyless entry system and what would have to be incredibly futuristic in 1985, the variable color electronic gauge cluster! There’s even a printer(!) that gives you a hard copy of the trip computer’s data logging for your viewing pleasure. How many cars can boast having a printer?



Words: Justin Karow/Clint Czarnecki

Images: FHI

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