It’s OK, Jethro. We know Lawing built some well-constructed cars. He was just inconsistent.
I saw your car several times when it lived in Rhode Island and admired how good it looked (and believe me, I looked all over it a couple of times). It had the usual SAS eccentricities, like the second dash in the frunk) and qI do not know how many things the original owner had to have fixed. I know of several but never kept close touch about it - It wasn’t my car, after all. I do know that he probably did not do the work, if any - He was not a hands on wrench, in my mind, and there were health issues involved, too, IIRC.
It seems, however, that Lawing began to rush them through his shop at some point in time and his product quality suffered. That may have happened pretty early, too, as I often heard of people arranging for a trip through Knoxville to get things fixed on their SAS cars on their way either to/from Carlisle or to/from home from somewhere. That included a number of visits over time for “Geraldine’s” car, but some of that could have been for semi-regular maintenance or upgrades or whatever, I don’t know. Again, not my car, so little interest, there.
Anyway, he was building all sorts of cars in his cluttered shop (I’ve been there), many of them customs or Hot Rods (and those clients have their own set of problems with Lawing). The owner of that Ivory coupe Wolfgang mentioned had had other cars built there over years but seemed to be a patient supporter of Lawing’s. I guess he had his own reasons - I surely would not have been that understanding, but that’s me and I’m not him.
If I were to own one of his gems, my only big concern would be (a.) understanding the design, where everything is in the car and its’ original source/placement and (b.) how to fix just about everything on the car, because nobody else is gonna understand it , either. AS I recall, no detailed service manual was included as it was thought that “you could just take it to a Subaru dealer for drivetrain service”. Sorta true, but even when they find something in the diagnostics, where that piece might be in the car compared to, say, an Impreza’s similar part, could be totally different. It might take a lot of work, at times, to simply find the source of a problem and THEN you have to figure out how to service it. It goes on and on.
So don’t be overly sensitive, J-Man. Sorted SAS cars are in a class by themselves, true, but so are Subaru-powered IM’s, like Peter Venuti’s and others, Suby-powered JPS cars and so on. All are custom cars at different levels of quality design and completion. I would say, though, that SAS cars are probably not cars for the oil and gas only type of owner, as sooner or later they will need some attention, just like all custom cars. It’s great that you have been able to maintain your car by yourself.