Name That President

November 07, 2012

Thank you to everyone who commented on the “Name That Vehicle” photo on the HVA website and the HVA's Facebook page.

Ronald Reagan was the owner of this 1978 Subaru BRAT (Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter). The story of how this BRAT landed in Reagan’s hands is interesting: it actually started out as a test vehicle for Subaru. Richard V. Allen, Reagan’s friend and future National Security Advisor, used his connections with Subaru to rescue the vehicle from its desert testing grounds before it was driven to destruction. Ownership was transferred to Reagan, with the condition that he would file periodic reports with Subaru every six months so they could continue to monitor the BRAT's performance. Reagan reportedly loved driving the BRAT on his ranch in Santa Barbara, California, which was the perfect environment for this hardy vehicle. In 1998, the BRAT was sold to the Young America’s Foundation and changed hands several times over the next few years, until it finally returned to YAF in 2004 for a complete restoration arranged through Subaru of America. It is rare these days to see a fully restored BRAT, but this perfect specimen has returned home to Reagan’s former residence, Rancho del Cielo, and if you ever take a tour of the ranch you can check it out.

And the winner of the contest is...Art Biringer, from Orlando, Florida!

For guessing correctly, Art will receive a free HVA ballcap. 


  1. Mike Silverman Scottsdale, AZ

    Ronald Reagan

  2. Ash Good Wilmington NC

    President Ronald Reagan owned a 1978 Subaru Brat

  3. John Barber MN

    Bill Clinton

  4. Bonnie Bower Warrenton, Va.

    I believe that President Ronald Regan owned the Subaru Brat

  5. Mike Caughron Tennessee

    Ronald Regan

  6. Brent Gerity Maryland

    Ronald Reagan

  7. Steve Heiman Denver

    Gerald Ford

  8. Steve Carroll Bradenton, fl

    President Carter

  9. Jon Jaboolian Florida

    Ronald Reagan

  10. Jim fraulo Woodmont ,ct. 06460

    Think this car belonged to Jimmy Carter

  11. Dave Hart L A

    Ronald Reagan

  12. Art Biringer Orlando, Florida

    President Ronald Reagan owned a Subaru Brat.

  13. Jim Askegren Virginia

    The Gipper (Ronald Reagan) was the proud owner of a Brat.

  14. Mark Elwick Iowa

    Gerald Ford

  15. Mike

    FORMER PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN OWNED A 1978 SUBARU BRAT – THE PERFECT VEHICLE FOR WORKING ON HIS RANCH IN SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA In 1977, Subaru launched the first-generation BRAT (Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter). Its name comes from its full-time, front-wheel drive with on-the-fly, all-wheel-drive capability. With its 67-horsepower, horizontally opposed, four-cylinder engine, the vehicle was based on the 4WD wagon and was popular in rugged areas. The Subaru BRAT featured bolted-down jump seats in the bed and was designed for the American market. THE RONALD REAGAN BRAT Former President Reagan owned his 1978 BRAT until 1998. The versatile vehicle was perfect for working on his 688-acre ranch in Santa Barbara, California. In 1998, the Reagan family sold their ranch to the Young America’s Foundation and previously had gifted their ranch vehicles, including the BRAT, to friends. In 2004, this BRAT was sold on eBay®. Then, in 2005, it was bought back by the Young America’s Foundation. “When you’re interpreting history, you want to make sure you have the original as much as possible,” revealed Marilyn Fisher. She is the historic curator for the ranch who facilitated the purchase of this vehicle in 2005. BRAT RESTORATION Subaru of America, Inc. stepped forward along with former Reagan National Security Adviser Richard Allen and worked with the ranch, The Westside Group, and other individuals to restore this vehicle to its original state. The vehicle had sustained significant weather-related rust damage and had missing and broken parts that were no longer produced. Mike Escudero, owner and founder of The Westside Group, commented, “Underneath the wear and tear, we knew we would find great bones and classic engineering.” BRAT Engine The Westside Group completely restored the Reagan BRAT. Everything was removed from the vehicle and was either restored or replaced. Some of the new pieces were completely fabricated. According to Todd Peters, vintage Subaru enthusiast who supplied miscellaneous parts for the restoration: “They tore it down to nothing and put it back together. It was the best [rebuild] to this point.” The engine was rebuilt to original factory specs along with the red paint and body – including the original BRAT graphic on the B-pillar. Recalled Escudero, “We were pleasantly surprised at the overwhelming support of a devoted community of Subaru BRAT owners worldwide who generously provided us with information, resources, and original parts – some from their own vehicles.” After a year of work, this authentic restoration looked like it had just rolled off the assembly line. ***

  16. Steve Blizman Milford, CT

    Ronald Reagan owned a Subaru Brat.

  17. Dave Crown MSP

    This is the Brat that Reagan and was restored by Subaru.

  18. Bryan Bransky Barrington, Illinois

    Ronald Reagan owned that car.

  19. David Dressander Lexington,Tennessee

    This is Ronald Reagan's 1978 Subaru Brat. He used this vehicle on his horse ranch. It was sold on EBAY and then was bought back, restored and now a memorial show vehicle in honor of one of Americas best presidents...Ronald Reagan

  20. Lonnie Croft Laughlin NV

    Ronald Regan and it was a red and white shell

  21. Andy Barnett Price, Utah

    Ronald Reagan owned a 1978 Subaru Brat.

  22. JIM Davis IN

    President Ronald Regan proud owner of a Subaru Brat.

  23. max walker usa

    Jimmy Carter

  24. Dave Greco United States

    I believe Ronald Reagan owned that.

  25. Richard Hartman Fort Wayne, IN

    I believe this Subaru Brat was owned by the late President Ronald Reagan.

  26. C. Edward Grover Irvine, California

    That would be Reagan's Subaru Brat. Wasn't it up for sale a while back (or otherwise featured online)?

  27. Michael Kennedy Bay Area, CA

    The Gipper. Ronald Reagan

  28. Ben Breeden Advance, NC

    Bill Clinton

  29. Neil Shannon Daytona Beach Shores, FL

    I think it is Pres Reagans vehicle.

  30. Jim Ashley Tennessee

    Ronald Reagan

  31. Jim Blett Michigan

    President Ronald Reagan had the Suburu

  32. Steve Blizman Milford, CT

    Ronald Reagan owned a Subaru Brat.

  33. Bruce Grout Everett, Mass.

    Former President Ronald Reagan, great little car those Brats...

  34. Lee Christensen Polson, Montana 59860

    Ronald Reagan had a Subaru Brat for use on his ranch.

  35. charles anderson eastpointe michigan

    Jimmy Carter

  36. Kurt Dodge Spring Prairie, Wisconsin

    Ronald Reagan used a Subaru Brat on his ranch, described it as 'the perfect vehicle' for that purpose.

  37. Jeff Cushman Cincinnati

    Ronald Reagan

  38. Randy Nevada

    President Reagan

  39. Randy Nevada

    President Reagan

  40. Dan Weaverville, NC

    Ronald Reagan owned the Brat.

  41. Daniel Clemens Mt. Washington, Ky.

    The best president in my lifetime owned the Brat. Ronald Reagan

  42. Eddie Atkins Candler, North Carolina

    President Jimmy Carter

  43. Tommy Burniston Erie, PA

    Ronald Regan

  44. Allen Gentry North Carolina

    President Ronald Reagan

  45. larry bodnar lisle ny 13797

    i believe RON REAGAN owned a sabrau brat

  46. larry bodnar lisle ny 13797

    i believe RON REAGAN owned a sabrau brat

  47. Steve Hoover Bismarck, IL

    Jimmy Carter

  48. Jan Fox Waltham,Ma

    Ronald Reagan. to work on his ranch!

  49. Bob Elmers Stillwater, MN

    Yep, have to agree, "The Gipper", Ronald Reagan, owned a '78 Subaru Brat.

  50. Bob Elmers Stillwater, MN

    Yep, have to agree, "The Gipper", Ronald Reagan, owned a '78 Subaru Brat.

  51. Jennings Goforth San antonio

    Ronald Reagan

  52. Alan dwy Hyde park N.Y.

    Former President Ronald Reagan. He used it on his ranch in Santa Barbara California.

  53. Rod Harruff Fort Wayne, IN

    Ronald Reagan

  54. Jon Andersen Illinois

    Former President Ronald Reagan is correct. Quite a car enthusiast.

  55. Doug Baker Camano Island, WA

    Ron Regan and his '78 Subaru Brat.

  56. John Mangan Tacoma WA

    Ronald Reagan

  57. Kim Taylor Montrose, CO

    Former president Ronald Reagan

  58. Bob Harrell Michigan, USA

    Ronald Reagan owned this Subaru BRAT

  59. Bob Harrell Michigan, USA

    Ronald Reagan owned this Subaru BRAT

  60. dave chase puyallup wa.

    Ronald Reagan

  61. Paul morrongiello Nj

    Ronald Reagan a great president and Subaru enthusiast

  62. John Sawyer Suffield, CT

    Ronald Reagan

  63. Craig Conde McKinney, TX

    I choose President Jimmy Carter as the owner of the Subaru Brat.

  64. Ken kortas texas

    Former actor and president Ronald Reagan

  65. Art Sesselberg Fairfield, CT

    Ronald Regan used the Subaru on his ranch. This has long been lore with Subaru owners - this is the first time I've seen a photo of it. (Red/orange were reportadly his favorite colors too!)

  66. Tommy O'Dailey Orem, Utah

    Definitely President Ronald Reagan

  67. Denise Rawlings United States

    That would be our beloved president, Ronald Reagan!

  68. John Signaigo Missouri

    Ronald Reagan owned the Suburu Brat

  69. Robert Nichols Norfolk, Virginia

    Ronald Reagan

  70. Susan Lucas Michigan, USA

    Ronald Reagan was the president that owned the Subaru BRAT.

  71. Ken McGuire Michigan, USA

    It was Ronald Reagan who owned the Brat.

  72. Frederick Johnson 02908

    Ronald Reagan

  73. Frederick Johnson 02908

    Ronald Reagan

  74. Wilson Potier Gueydan,Louisiana

    Ronald Regan owned that Brat

  75. Jeff Pottstown, PA -USA

    Ronald Reagan

  76. Larry Perkins Rochester, Michigan

    Definitely Ronald Reagan.

  77. Howard Henry Kettle Point Ontario,Canada

    Ronald Reagon owned a subaru.

  78. Glenn Holderbach Connecticut

    Ronald Reagan

  79. Doug Taylor Hampstead NC

    Ronald Regan

  80. Lorraine Thome Wayland Michigan

    President Ronald Reagan

  81. Lorraine Thome Wayland Michigan

    President Ronald Reagan

  82. SueAnn Strickland Great Falls, MT

    Ronald Reagan, our teflon President, owned the Subaru Brat.

  83. Fred Reichwald Washington

    President Ronald Reagan owned a Subaru Brat.

  84. Fred Reichwald Washington

    President Ronald Reagan owned a Subaru Brat.

  85. Michael MacCartney Georgetown,Texas

    Ronald Reagan owned the "Brat" and like the cool little utility vehicle would be great to still have around...

  86. Larry Miller Charlotte, NC

    Ronald Reagan

  87. Pete rochester hills mi.

    Ronald Reagan, I wonder if Nancy rode in the rear-facing jump seats located in the bed, bad idea!

  88. Terry Steubenville,Oh.

    Ronald Regan

  89. Thomas Wheeler Binghamton, New York

    Ronald Reagan owned a 1978 Brat

  90. Sean W Princeton, MN

    The awesome President Ronald Regan. Wish we were still here and our President!

  91. Rick Lampasas, TX

    Ronald Reagan

  92. martin s. Atlantic Beach, FL


  93. martin s. Atlantic Beach, FL


  94. Ralph J Globeck Hubbard Ohio

    Ronald Reagan own the Brat pickup

  95. Allen Shaw Charlotte , N.C.

    Ronald W. Reagan ( Dutch)

  96. Jim S Baytown, TX

    Ronald Regan

  97. Christian Midland, MI

    Ronald Reagan

  98. Joseph Hebert VT

    President Ronald Reagan owned a BRAT!

  99. Robert smith Rockport, MA

    Ronald Regan owned a brat. Thank you.

  100. Joe Brevetti Edmond, OK

    Ronald Reagan

  101. Jim Viers DeLand, Florida

    I believe this would be Ronald Reagan's Brat

  102. Dave Terry Smiths Creek, Michigan

    Ronald Reagan had a Brat.

  103. Dave Terry Smiths Creek, Michigan

    Ronald Reagan had a Brat.

  104. edward guzman los angeles ca

    president Ronald Reagan used own a Subaru brat