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4-4-2 V8 Motor! 1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser

Oldsmobile introduced the Vista Cruiser in the middle of the 1964 model year. It was an upscale edition of the Cutlass Supreme wagon but with a raised roof and extra glass in the back to make for something of a panoramic view for passengers. GM’s A-body intermediates were redesigned in 1968 and – along with them – the Vista Cruiser (and its Buick counterpart, the Sport Wagon). This 1969 edition looks to have been baking for a time in the western sun, but the seller says it runs great. Located in Dublin, California, this Oldsmobile is available here on eBay where the bidding stands at $4,550.

The Vista Cruiser was around for three generations through 1977. When the A-bodies shifted to the new Colonnade styling, the raised roofline was discontinued. The second generation, which included the seller’s wagon had the unique fixed-glass, roof-mounted skylights over the second-row seating. These had sun visors for the second-row passengers along with the raised roof behind the skylight and lateral glass panels over the rear cargo area. Access to the optional third row of forward-facing passenger seating was handled by a second-row split bench seat that retracted forward.

When you pop the hood of the seller’s car, the first thing you see is a 442 sticker on the air cleaner. While the 350 “Rocket” V8 was standard in these wagons, you could order the non-Ram Air version of the 400 cubic inch motor used in the 442 (or 4-4-2) muscle car. While the seller doesn’t say whether the engine here is original to this Vista Cruiser, it would not be surprising to find out that it is. And likely paired with a 3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic transmission.

Since we’re told the car runs well and may only have 48,000 miles, the buyer could turn his attention to cosmetic issues. The lime green paint has done a good job of fading away in the sun, with the roof looking especially rough. The fake wood paneling is gone on the tailgate and there looks to be a bit of rust at the bottom of the right front fender. The upholstery is getting tired, and the front seat has a blanket over the bottom, so it may need redoing. The steering wheel is not stock, but the original is in the back along with some trim pieces. Also, a set of Chevrolet Rally Wheels adorn the wagon, with wider rims in the back. Oldsmobile built 33,387 Vista Cruisers in 1969, with two-thirds having the triple seat set-up.


  1. Avatar photo alphasud Member

    My all time favorite wagon. I guess that’s because my dad borrowed on from a neighbor to go on a family vacation because his Toyota Corona mark 2 wagon was down for repairs. I just remembered how cool it was sitting in the back seat with all the extra glass and how well the A/C worked in the Texas sun.

    Like 10
  2. Avatar photo Big_Fun Member

    Hello Wisconsin! Lose the Chevrolet rallys for a set of Oldsmobile ones.

    Like 18
  3. Avatar photo Steve

    I had one like this. The thing was a tank and drank gas like a drunken sailor.

    Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Poppy

    We had a similarly-equipped ’69 VC with the high compression 400 4bbl. I wish my dad hadn’t traded it in on a ’77 VC before I got my license. While it was a stump-pulling beast, I don’t believe it was the exact same engine they used in the 442. I’m sure Joe P. can fill us in on the differences (cams, heads etc.). Dad only traded it in because he couldn’t find leaded gas with high enough octane by the mid ’70s. in hindsight he just should have had the dealer detune it a bit so it wouldn’t knock. I really liked that car.

    Like 4
  5. Avatar photo James Quinn

    I had a 69 400 VC back around 1998. I loved racing the little imports. It would pull awesome. But, it would ping on anything other than premium gas.

    If you are interested in a 67 I have one for sale.

    Like 2
  6. Avatar photo CCFisher

    Previously featured on June 23. Sold for $10,900, but relisted soon after. The second auction was ended by the seller. Relisted again in August. All three eBay listings are by the same seller from the same location. Seems like a nice, solid, well-equipped example. It’s unfortunate the seller seems to be getting the run-around.

    Like 7
  7. Avatar photo Frank A.

    I just bought one a few months back as a Father/Son project with my 13 year old. When I told him the wagon may turn out too nice for a teenager’s daily driver, he was a little sad. I guess I’ve gotta bid on this one for him now. I’ve always thought the styling on these wagons were gorgeous. Much more character than the generic looking SUVs of today with enough room for not 7, but 8 passengers and still have the power to do a 300′ burnout fully loaded.

    Like 5
  8. Avatar photo Randy L Welch

    Yes I can say that I once owned one. But let’s not forget the most famous one with Clark Griswald trading it for the new and improved version in “Vacation”

    Like 3
  9. Avatar photo Martini ST

    1985, I was a junior in high school and the local car lots (I bought a great ’72 Corona MkII for $175) had this exact car except it had great paint and interior. It was up on a car display rack in the corner, for $99. It was up there for a couple of months and we looked at it. I do remember that it had a factory 350 Chev instead of an Olds engine. My and my car buddies pondered that, the resident GM data freak declared fitment entirely possible. It certainly looked factory, down to smog equipment. California emissions possibly. I had a job and a hundred bucks and wanted to buy it but my mom would have killed me. A friend from school bought it and drove it all through school and passed it down to his brothers. I think it’s still around.

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Claudio

    As much as i like the look of old cars , i did not put my kids in the driver’s seat of any of my vintage automobiles as their first cars
    Air bags and abs and the works until they gain proper experience

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Wayne

    My wife had a 1966 VC wagon (named AMY) She loved that car and it had very low miles on it when it was totaled by a drunk teenager on her way to school. (330 engine with the 2 speed Auto trans)

    Like 0

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