It's a fine looking car. Is your grandmother from Pasedena? If you had cleaned those tires the picture of the outside would look like a new car. Inside doesn't look bad either.
This is the first time I noticed there's a raised roof on those Outback's, like it bubbles up at the rails, after the initial front roofline. Saw them in person at the dealership when I got my '04 OBS but don't remember it being like that.
I think it's interesting Subaru doesn't put some sort of sleek, fashionably designed cover on these engines. Yours looks very much like mine, aside from the extra dirt, even though they are eight years apart. Checking on this I see the 2005 Outback with H6 does have a cover, not sure what else might too.
Yeah, that bubble has always been an interesting design feature to me. I can't really figure out why it's there, or what purpose it serves. Clearly from the inside it gives me a few more inches of headroom, especially for the front 2 seats, but other than that, it seems strange.
With that said, it is one of those "scooby designs" that I absolutely love. The 2nd Generation OB's had them too, the 3rd Gen. has minimized the bubble, but the roof-racks still seem to sit on a plane slightly higher than the actual roof.
I know of a 95 Legacy wagon that definitely doesn't have the bubble raised roof. I forget if 96 was the first official year for the Outback designation, & I'm not sure whether the bubble maybe differentiated the Legacy from the Outback at first?
FWIW, while shopping for my Outback last December my salesman & I discussed that very feature. I thought it looked a little odd, & it certainly had a profound effect on the design of the front sunroof. His explanation was that that little bit of raised height let the wagon achieve a maximum interior cargo capacity just a hair over that of a Ford Explorer, & that Subaru used that fact in advertising. I don't remember if he meant that was only true at the time (96 ish) or if that was still the case during the 3rd gen wagons.
Having recently inspected an 01 H6 Bean wagon, I can say that the "idiot cover" has been present on the H6 engine since its introduction... unsure about 3rd gen H4's.
Lowered with LGT struts, Eibach LGT springs, and stock LGT front upper spring seats. Only a day old. No real issues yet. Did it because the lifted springs were a little rough for a 1.5 hour commute each way.