When you work hard, you’re entitled to, in the immortal words of Parks and Rec, treat yo self. That’s what YouTuber Ludwig “Ludwig” Ahgren did in August 2022 when he imported a 1997 Subaru Sambar from Japan for roughly $7,000. It was his “dream car,” as he put it. A few days ago the prized mini truck was briefly stolen, but with the help of his eagle-eyed viewers, Ludwig got it back. You love to see it.
Ludwig was once a big name on Twitch, having started streaming in May 2018 and quickly becoming a rising star on the Amazon-owned platform. He even held the world record for having the most active Twitch subscribers in April 2021, which was only recently surpassed by Kai Cenat after that streamer’s month-long subathon. Ludwig’s Twitch career didn’t last long, though, as he switched to exclusively streaming on YouTube in November 2021, where he now operates two channels with millions of subscribers each, alongside a podcast and an esports organization. In short, Ludwig is doing very well for himself, which explains why he would use the bag he collects to buy himself something he’d long dreamed of.
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Stolen in the dead of night
Unfortunately, that dream was briefly crushed this past week when Ludwig discovered that his Subaru Sambar had been stolen. A tiny truck seen in anime like The Eden of Grisaia and, my personal fave, Initial D, the Subaru Sambar is a an old-school vehicle marketed in the ‘80s and ‘90s as a delivery car that is, after over 25 years, still in production by Japanese automobile maker Daihatsu. Its steering wheel is on the right side, it drives smooth, and it looks damn cute to boot. It may not be luxury, but it’s certainly got style. Ludwig recently left the truck in a warehouse to weather the recent storms that’ve battered Los Angeles. Sadly, on February 28 the warehouse lost power, rendering the gate security inoperable, and someone jacked the car like it was nothing.
Its disappearance turned out to be short-lived, though, after Ludwig asked viewers to keep an eye out for the little truck. Multiple folks in his subreddit made copious posts seeking information or appointing themselves as a point of contact if anyone knew anything. There were jokes, memes, helpful fans, and videos of where the Sambar could be. Ultimately, thanks to a member of Ludwig’s The Yard podcast, Super Smash Bros. Melee player Anthony “Slime” Bruno (whose Twitter name is “billy gibbons”), and the fans aiding in the search and rescue, the Subaru Sambar was found on the streets of Los Angeles on March 1. The weird part? Some random dude was chilling in the driver seat when Slime opened the door. The dude seemed baffled by the confrontation.
“Hey, bro, we gotta take it back,” someone can be heard saying.
“Take what back,” the dude in the Sambar asked.
“The car,” someone said.
“What do you mean,” the dude asked again before showing what appeared to be a key to the Sambar. It was a very strange interaction.
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The culprit got away...for now
In a March 1 YouTube video, Ludwig announced that not only was the truck back in his possession, but the jerk who took his Subaru Sambar allegedly found a spare key that Ludwig didn’t even know existed. According to Ludwig, the random dude claimed to have not been responsible for the theft. Instead, he was owed money by the larcenist who attempted to use the Sambar to pay off their debt. Weird. Weirder still, the dude asked for $10,000 to hand over the car, only to peel off after Ludwig’s team called the cops to handle the situation. It was later found parked at a Jin’s Massage in LA by Redditor sufferPNG.
“The police saved the day,” Ludwig said. “The moment they show, the guy who was, I think in the massage parlor who was, like, packing up the [Sambar getting] ready to leave right at the moment the cops come up, just runs down the street. He Scooby-Doos the hell out of there.”
Kotaku reached out to Ludwig and Slime for comment.
It was only thanks to Redditors scouring LA that Ludwig was able to recover his dream truck. Sometimes, Reddit can be used for good. Imagine that.
Correction, 03/02/23, 6:40 p.m. ET: This story was corrected to reflect that “billy gibbons” is Super Smash Bros. Melee player Anthony “Slime” Bruno.