1970 Oldsmobile 442 Vista Wagon Concept?!!

According to the seller, this 1970 Oldsmobile 2-door Vista Wagon was the only one produced! Well, we actually featured a 1966 Olds 2-door Wagon here on Barn Finds back in 2018. That one was advertised as a custom build though. The ad for this one says, “A Real Vista Cruiser 2 door car. Check the serial number…” I’m not an Oldsmobile VIN expert, so I don’t know exactly what numbers or letters would indicate a true 2-door wagon. The unique ride can be found here on Craigslist with an asking price of $29,500. Located in Live Oak, Florida, it seems like this car is mid-restoration. Thanks to Patrick S. for the tip on this wild wagon! Let’s take a closer look and you can decide if it is genuine or a custom.

The engine is a real 455 Olds. engine backed by a Muncie 4-speed transmission. Like the rest of the car, it looks like work has been done to the engine, but there is no indication in the ad if it runs or not. Hopefully, with the wiring cleaned up, hoses installed and other bits and pieces, it will run again. As you can see, the car also features air conditioning.

The seller mentions several times in the ad that this is a “442” car, or at least has 442 options. Some of those options include: bucket seats, steering wheel, gauges, seats, and outer door mirrors. The ad also says it has the W-30 suspension package. As you can see, the floors look pretty solid. Hopefully, when the car was disassembled, everything was organized and marked well.

Well, what do you think about this one? According to an autowise.com article from 2019, there were two 1970 442 W-30 station wagons produced. However, they were both 4-doors. Perhaps this is a real-deal one-off prototype? Perhaps it is a custom creation like the ’66 we featured here a couple years ago? I think the seller and any potential buyers would benefit from further research on the subject. After fifty years, it may be hard to come up with some real answers, but if this car is truly a one-of-a-kind, it certainly deserves to be restored and perhaps placed in a museum.

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Comments

  1. Bmac777 Member

    This is a cool looking car. I’m not sure what’s up with the upper cargo area windows, but other than that it seems like some nice craftsmanship was done to it.
    The question is, was that work done under orders from GM or just someone with an idea. Either way I would love to see this completed.
    If it’s legit , it would be an incredibly rare car.

    7
    • Mark McFadden

      i OWNED THIS CAR FOR MANY YEARS , IF ANYONE WANTS TO KNOW THE AVAILABLE HISTORY OF THIS CAR PLEASE CALL MARK AT 727-572-0354

      15
      • TimM

        Can you post some history of it here Mark!! I’m not a player for the car at this price but it is cool and I’m always willing to learn something new!!!

        10
      • Mark B. Morrow

        Was it built with body color bumpers like the Rallye 350?

        Any earlier pictures?

      • AF

        thank you mark. why are we yelling?

        8
      • Joe Padavano

        The car has a 4257 cowl tag, which says it’s a Cutlass Supreme two door hardtop, which is pretty obvious when you look at it. The grotesque mash-up of the VC tail to the Supreme lines make it look like it was styled by Stevie Wonder. The BS factory experimental story hasn’t found any buyers for over a decade that this car has been popping up on Craigslist. Lotsa luck with this…

        15
  2. alphasud Member

    While I’m a big fan of the Vista I’m glad they didn’t make a 2-door version. The proportions are all off.

    12
  3. Splt63

    Looks to be a put together car- almost positive it is not a factory prototype

    6
    • Poppy

      I would think the factory would have started with a real Vista Cruiser rather than scabbing a Vista roof onto a Cutlass Supreme hardtop.

      2
  4. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Nothing a little duct tape and chemical intake can’t fix to make this thing look like something a purist would want to drop 5 figures on. Nobody in their right mind would buy this with as many holes in the story as there are…GM would have done a much better job. Oh, and we’ve seen this one for sale before with little more than a lousy frontal + fuzzy rear photo shot directly from behind. I remember the white fiberglass hood. Beware! Caveat Emptor.

    13
  5. JohnD

    This one has been craigslisted a few times now, always with a promising but sketchy story . .. Oh, and now it has a little resale red lipstick . . . .

    If it is real, I’d do more than say the VIN proves it. Proves what?

    And nothing says quality work like painting bumpers and chrome tail light housings . . .

    Hard pass.

    13
  6. Maestro1 Member

    I’m very doubtful that this is GM authorized. And yes, the proportions are wrong. Surgery would be required to get this to where it would be 5 figures, and frankly I think that’s a stretch. I pass.

    8
  7. Will Fox

    To me, nothing says “Keep on lookin'” like a home-made back yard custom……..kind of like, Cadillac Fleetwoods with 4X4 chassis under them. You’re just asking for headaches & more trouble than a red-headed step-child.

    7
  8. Ralph

    This is totally factory, Elvis had one, we took Jimmy Hoffa Unicorn hunting in it…..on Mars…..

    25
  9. Classic Steel

    I keep hearing Mr Foreman going do you think I am a Dum_ _s with mu wallet empty.

    You need to find yourself someone named Kelso for this sale 😎

    It’s not a GM factory build and more of a bank yard mechanic performing surgery 👀

    Good luck with sale 👍

    7
  10. JSPajak

    It’s an old poorly done custom. Not a factory prototype or anything special. They have been trying to sell it for YEARS.

    5
  11. Morgan Winter

    Thought we were done with this “one-off concept”, but I guess not. https://barnfinds.com/1970-oldsmobile-442-experimental-wagon-1/ .

    7
    • flmikey

      …nice catch….

      1
  12. jerry z

    Too weird for me, factory or not!

    1
  13. PaulR

    The lines don’t work at all. I would say Bu! – ick!, but it’s an Olds. If it had a straight roof line and the dog leg disappeared into the bottom of the rear window to where the rear quarter was smooth, then maybe. But sorry, not this.

  14. Matt Murray

    On that rebuilt 455,the quadrajet looks like it was rebuilt with the same silver paint as the alternator

    1
    • Poppy

      Or they bead blasted all the gold colored plating off….

      1
  15. 19sixty5 Member

    There is no way General Motors would have signed off on anything like this. As far as a custom coach builder Mitchell-Bentley building this car, again, they would never have built anything as rudimentary as this. This is a backyard hack job, nothing more.

    2
    • Bill McCoskey

      Agreed, Mitchell-Bentley would NEVER have put their name on a car with the proportions so out of line.

      I’m also suspicious because there are NO photos of the inner rear quarter and inner roof areas to show the quality of the build, where the hardtop panels would be joined to the wagon panels. Plus, there are no pictures of the interior panels between the tailgate and the doors.

      If this had been built by M-B as a 2 passenger car, and based on my knowledge of M-B completed cars, this would have probably had a flat load floor from the tailgate up to near the backs of the front seats. If it was a 4 seat car, it would likely have had a folding back seat, much like a Mustang Mach 1. However I see no evidence of either situation in the rear seat area, I see only the standard fittings for a Cutlass rear seat.

      If GM Corporate ordered this car built, it would likely have sent M-B an incomplete 442, along with the Vista roof & wagon parts needed to create a finished product. When GM sent unfinished bodies to outside contractors, the stamped aluminum firewall plate would have a blank area for body style, and the body number would be 1 [or the number would reflect multiple bodies].

      For example: Years ago I worked on a M-B built car; a 1958 Buick LIMITED 4-door hardtop wagon [a wagon Buick never offered in production]. The body plate info said:
      Body Style ______, Body Number:__1___

      The Buick also had a M-B ID tag on the firewall.

      1
  16. Maverick

    Pos move on.

    2
  17. nlpnt

    I’m going for homebuilt. It looks really stubby; Vista-Cruisers and Buick Sportwagons used a special 121″ wheelbase shared with no other A-bodies, regular sedans and wagons (and the El Camino) were 116″ and coupes 112″. A 19″ wheelbase difference makes this almost look like one of those shorty vans.

    3
    • 19sixty5 Member

      The Holiday coupe is also known as the Cutlas S, which is more of a slanted rear window treatment… all the 442’s are based off the Cutlass S body style. The Cutlass Supreme models had the notchback, or more formal roofline, which this is based off/from. Either way, the seller is out of his mind, $29,500. You could buy a decent real 442 for that kind of money.

    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Morgan, great photos of a car that looks far more put together. Let’s look at the differences. First, it has Vista Cruiser badging on the front fender. Second, it has a more robust support structure for the upper “vista” glass. Third, it does not appear to be a 442 based on the grilles and hood. Fourth the rear fender line and gas filler door seem more refined. Fifth, there are side marker lights on the front fenders. Sixth and foremost….this black one looks a helluva lot nicer. But, I could be wrong and it be the same car.

      2
    • Barry L Smith

      I found discussion of this car on the Classic Oldsmobile site. At some point in the thread, a guy going by Carole71 claims to be the owner and says that 2 were built, 1 black in posted link above and 1 white which is the one he owns, now red/primer. He claimed he was “told” the black one rusted out and was destroyed which contradicts 1 of 1 if it’s really 1 of 2. I call fake and most everyone on the Classic Oldsmobile site said same. When they started asking details about the car, he got mad and went away.

      1
      • Joe Padavano

        There are at least a half dozen threads about this car on ClassicOlds dating to at least 2008 (and threads on ROP before that). There’s apparently a law that someone has to start a new thread every time it erupts on Craigslist again.

        It’s exactly the same car – black, white, primer, red, whatever. It has a Cutlass Supreme 2dr HT VIN and cowl tag, which is what you would expect from the look of it. The BS story remains unsubstantiated by one molecule of proof.

        1
  18. Dan

    This is like the 8th time I’ve seen it for sale in Florida since 2008 when I bought my Vista and started researching them.. it’s been black… It’s been white.. it’s been in primer…… It had the ram air added few years back… Now it’s red… It shows up on the Oldsmobile groups on Facebook all the time.. each time with a higher price tagged on it.

    1
  19. Eric B.

    The Cutlass Supreme rear quarters don’t look right on a wagon.

    1
  20. Lawrence Pagel

    442 wagon? Only one produced? Haven’t we been through this before?

    1
  21. curt wichman

    first of all, Oldsmobile NEVER built a 442 on a Supreme body, they were only built on the fastback Cutlass S body. if they would have used a Cutlass S body, the proportions wouldn’t be so “off”.

  22. Philip Bregar

    Whatta POS. If I was a subscriber, I’d cancel my sub for listing fake cars like this. It isn’t the first time a “one-off” factory car has been debunked.

  23. Robert L

    442 convertibles are based on Supreme body 68-72

    • Joe Padavano

      What does that have to do with this turd? And that only applies to the 1970-72 model years.

  24. Paolo

    File this under “Florida Man…”

    2
    • Joe Padavano

      perfect!

  25. Barry L Smith

    I found the below link on the Classic Oldsmobile site. Has several photos. At some point in the thread, a guy going by Carole71 claims to be the owner and says that 2 were built, 1 black and 1 white which is the one he owns, now red/primer. He claimed he was “told” the black one rusted out and was destroyed which contradicts 1 of 1 if it’s really 1 of 2. I call fake and most everyone on the Classic Oldsmobile site said same.

    https://orlando.craigslist.org/cto/d/live-oak-1970-oldsmobile-442/7144867392.html

    • Barry L Smith

      Ignore the link, not the one I intended to post.

    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Still getting a chuckle out of the duct tape clearly shown to “mask” how poorly the upper side windows are held on…and…lo and behold we can see from the photos how poorly the bodywork was performed around the gas filler and B pillar/sail panel. Painted bumpers to me scream tight ass rebuilder can’t afford to re plate. Lets put this car to rest and not show it again on BF. Plenty of other potential fraud cars we can discuss ad nauseum.

      1
  26. Mark houseman

    Come on Barn Finds….stop posting this homemade imposter on your site. It’s been on it at least a half dozen times. This car’s owner is a fake and a fraud. After all the comments and no documents to prove what he says it is, it is a FAKE!

    3

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