That ’70s Beast! 455-Powered 1972 Olds Vista Cruiser

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Not only is California a great place to enjoy a classic car, it’s also a premium location to shop for one. Check out the original paint on this Vista Cruiser! It’s not perfect, but this it’s closer than any any station wagon has a right to be after more than 40 years of service. A life-long California resident, this 1972 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser Located in Tustin, California features a host of new parts and desirable options including air-conditioning and the 455 cid (7.4L) V8. Bidding here on eBay has surpassed $15,000, and why not?

Compared to a new SUV the Oldsmobile packs nearly 100% of the SUV’ s utility, weighs 1000 lb less, delivers comparable performance and handling, and looks about ten times cooler. Navigation? Stick your phone to the windshield and hit the road; it will work better than 80% of the factory Nav systems without blocking your climate or radio controls. All wheel drive? Try Snow Tires, buttercup. Plus, if you take care of this wagon it can accumulate miles while appreciating in value. Meanwhile your new SUV lost $5000 when you shifted into Drive at the dealer, and only goes down from there. However, in the area of Big Brother devices, the new SUV wins. If you’re texting when Grandma steps in front of your Vista Cruiser, she’s toast.

The listing includes the car’s original window sticker, showing options like the 455 engine for $193 , $245 Am-FM-Radio, $36 Power Tailgate, $418 Air Conditioning, $43 Superlift Rear Shocks, $45 anti-spin rear axle, and $65 Cruise Control for a total of $6156.26. Power Brakes and Steering were standard equipment on the Vista Cruiser. Parked since 1985, it’s been restored to driver condition with many new parts.

The L75 455 feature heavy-duty cooling and other upgrades. This one’s pretty close to the 1969 Vista Cruiser on That ’70s Show; maybe a rabid fan or two will bid. Any kid from the ’70s knew the Vista Cruiser’s tinted glass roof panel made it the coolest wagon around. Thanks to for some details. What’s your top bid for this stylish and practical retro-SUV?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

    WHAT!!?!? No moldering replica Schwinn Orange Crate Sting Ray in the foreground to enhance the originality!!!???! 😱🤣
    Nice to see an ad for a classy station wagon with no shtick, though one with a (four speed) stick would be very cool..

    Like 15
    • Glenn Schwass

      That is beautiful. Looks like it was in a museum.

      Like 1
  2. ChebbyMember

    I wonder what the Rocket Rally Pac included for $88.

    Like 4
    • Big_FunMember

      Rocket Rally pack included oil pressure and engine temperature gauges, tachometer and clock.

      Like 14
      • ChebbyMember

        Thanks Big_Fun! I had to blow the picture up huge to see it, there is a tick-tock tach in there. Never seen it on an Olds…wonder how many wagons got one?

        Like 2
      • Jim22

        My 67 VC has a tach/clock and tilt wheel which is weird since the interior is a base model. It also has the roof rack option. I guess back then you could mix and match anything.

        Like 2
    • MarkBMorrow

      The popular Tick-Tock-Tach shown in the dash photo. I had one in my ’69 442.

      Like 1
  3. NotSure

    I’ve been asked to bake cornbread for a breakfast potluck at work next week. The recipe that I use calls for milk. And fresher milk works best. The grocery store is over a mile away from my house. To accomplish this mission, it has become imperative that I have this Oldsmobile to pick up the milk! Probably I’ll be able to do other stuff in the future as well but I MUST have this wagon!!!!!

    Like 22
  4. leiniedude leiniedudeMember

    Another great write up Todd. Boy, 2 grand worth of options! At $17,600 now is more than I would pay though. It does need Hot Donna standing around holding a basketball. Both nice rides.

    Like 18
    • TimS

      It’s a bit high, yeah, but you also wouldn’t have to turn right around and sink 5 grand into it either.

      Like 2
  5. Pete's Taint

    LMAO! Todd ur a mess. Love ur description. Love Olds and this wagon.

    Like 2
  6. BTG88

    Funny that the engine upgrade cost less than the AM/FM radio upgrade!

    Like 18
    • Jim22

      I thought the same thing. I do remember back then, anyone I knew who bought a new car never bought the factory radio because of the the price. You could install a better aftermarket system thus there used to be a big market for that.

      Like 1
  7. Rock On

    Good looking 47 year old car. Hopefully Hot Donna will age as well when she reaches 47.

    Like 5
  8. mainlymuscle

    Dad had a new one in 74,I did not think it was cool,compared to the 69 Cutlass S coupe red on white ,that it replaced.You guys keep showing them,and now I want one.

    Like 3
    • r s

      Unfortunately the ’74 was nowhere near as cool looking and the 455 was a low compression motor saddled with hoses and limiters etc. so it could run no-lead through a cat converter. The 72 would blow its doors off!

      The body style changed in ’73 and I did like the 73’s also but the 72 is just better for me.

      Like 4
      • al8apex

        cats came in 75 …

        Like 2
      • Superdessucke

        And the ’72 engine was also low compression, though with fewer emissions controls than the ’74 motor.

        Like 2
  9. redwagon

    This is really nice and I desire it and I even hate brown.

    Note that the Turbo Hydra-matic transmission was a $249.22 option which means that some other transmission was optional with the beasty 455 ci motor. I cannot believe Oldsmobile offered this with a manual. Can anyone confirm yes or no?

    The wagon itself was roughly $4,100 and the option list was just shy of an additional $2,000. Imagine specing out an additional 50% more in options over the base price. That’s a lot of money.

    I would drive it. I would want to remove the faux wood paneling and change the color inside and out and then of course the current $18,020 bid is not worth it to me. I am glad it exists and I know someone will be quite happy to win that auction.

    Like 2
  10. Tom B.

    Todd, best article copy ever.
    But then, I’m a wagon lover to begin with.
    Bring on the mid-‘60s Country Squires…

    Like 1
    • Todd FitchAuthor

      Thanks Tom B.! I learned to drive on a Plymouth wagon my folks factory-ordered with a three-speed floor-shifted manual. How many of those do you think they made? Thanks for the comments and kind words!

      Like 2
  11. ccrvtt

    Over $18K now, way too much given the rust on the lower front fender. Every intermediate Olds from that era rusted there.

    That’s an impressive list of options but really, how many of these were built with a stick shift? At least half of the add-ons were on every unit. Just goofy pricing strategy from the ’60’s.

    I’m a fan of chintzy woodgrain trim, but not a fan of Vista Cruisers with only two seats. The whole point of the raised roof was to provide forward-facing third row seating. GM’s coil-sprung rear ends necessitated a higher seat bottom than Ford’s leaf springs.

    My Dad had a ’71 like this as his last company car with Diamond Reo. It was light green in & out and really an elegant looking car.

    Like 1
  12. emsea

    I would love to have this,no place to keep it.Ouch its getting high priced
    If that’s a small tear in the drivers seat,what would a large tear look like?

    Like 2
  13. MarkBMorrow

    The dad of a kid I knew in high school had a red ’70 decked out with a 442 ram air hood and black stripes. That was a really cool wagon.

    Like 2
  14. leiniedude leiniedudeMember

    Ended: Mar 22, 2019 , 10:05AM
    Winning bid:US $18,020.00
    [ 15 bids ]

    Like 2
  15. Tom

    My first car was a ’69 VC, which had the optional chrome “mirrored” vista glass as this one does…I’ve only seen a few with this option since. Surprised they didn’t go all the way with power windows…

    Like 0
  16. Will Irby

    I would like to have an old Vista Cruiser. Plenty of room for whatever you need!

    Like 0
    • Terry R Melvin

      Plenty of room for makin’ babies in the drive-in theater!

      Like 0
  17. Terry R Melvin

    There used to be a time where you couldn’t go a day without seeing one of these, they were so common. Not any more, and look at the price!

    Like 0
  18. Terry R Melvin

    Plenty of room for makin’ babies in the drive-in theater!

    Like 0

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