I've only visited Subaru once, in their seedy head offices in a Tokyo high-rise by the Shinjuku station. An arm of Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru is an exceptionally individualistic automobile company. The reason for this is that it's descended from the Aircraft Research Laboratory established by Chikuhei Nakajima in 1917. Starting with his production of Bristol radials under license, Nakajima's company grew into Japan's largest producer of aircraft engines in the last years of World War II, employing a quarter-million people. One of its best engines was the 14-cylinder 28-litre Sakae, which powered the famous Zero fighter. The Sakae could be run lean enough for a Zero to be ferried over 1,000 miles.