54k Genuine Miles: 1972 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser

When the Custom Cruiser was introduced in 1971, it marked a return by Oldsmobile to the production of a full-sized wagon, a segment that they hadn’t occupied since 1964 with the 88 Fiesta. This particular Custom Cruiser is a 1972 model and has covered a claimed 54,000 genuine miles. The car is located in Walnutport, Pennsylvania, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist. I have to thank Barn Finder Pat L for spotting the Oldsmobile for us.

The presentation of the Oldsmobile is extremely nice. The Baroque Gold Metallic paint has an extremely good shine to it, while the wood trim also looks to have held up well over the years. That wood trim is an interesting item in itself, as it actually adds 25lbs to the total weight of the car. This pushed the weight of the car to around 5,400lbs, making it the heaviest car ever built by Oldsmobile. The exterior trim, chrome, and glass also look to be really good. The car was given the Ziebart treatment from new, which should keep the worst of the rust at bay. The power clam-shell tailgate also works as it should.

The Oldsmobile is fitted with a 455ci V8 engine and a THM-400 automatic transmission. Also included are power steering, power brakes, and air conditioning. Under the hood looks really clean, and the car has recently received a new A/C compressor, new master cylinder, and new tires.

The party piece for this Oldsmobile is the fact that the owner claims that the Oldsmobile is a nine-seater. With a bench (power) front seat, combined with that third row, it should provide good transport for all but the largest tribe. Having said that, the three people sharing that third-row seat would need to be small children, because otherwise, it could get a bit squishy back there. The fact that the third-row seat is forward facing is also a huge plus because a lot of people do experience problems with motion sickness with the seats facing the other way. The interior is said to be in good condition, and what we can see of it seems to confirm this.

This Custom Cruiser is a nice example that has been titled as an antique. The presentation of the car is very good for its age, and it appears to have been cared for. The owner does state that it would be suitable for car shows, and the presentation of the vehicle certainly indicates that this would be possible. There aren’t a great number of ’72 models that come onto the market, and a search of what is currently available reveals a non-running example that needs some work on the market at present for $8,000. The owner of this Oldsmobile has priced it at $12,000 OBO. When you compare that to the opposition, it looks like quite a decent buy.


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  1. TimS

    Another example of a regular family transport from another era that looks like a coachbuilt custom compared to today’s “crossovers.” Somebody that grew up with one or always wanted one in this trim is going to go nuts over this. I’d have to take it to every local cruise-in.

    Like 18
  2. PhiljustPhil

    Whatta tank! I’d love to drive this around (as long as I could afford the gas)! I wonder how many pounds were added from the Zeibart?

    Like 9
  3. Miguel

    I would love to have this car but I can’t justify that price.

    Like 2
    • Andre

      I thought the price was pretty reasonable. Can’t find much out there this unique and clean — practicality aside — for that kind of money.

      Like 12
  4. Robert S

    I owned a ’72 olds 98 hard top with all the bells and whistles, I would love to park the wagon in my garage, good luck to seller and new owner, beautiful ride!

    Like 5
  5. Keith

    These tanks are great for demolition derby’s, they cause major carnage to other derby cars!

    Like 2
  6. KevinW La

    Had one of these in the early 80’s. Bought it for $500 bucks. It wasn’t a bad car but the gas millage sucked. On a good day 7 miles per gallon! Gave to my dad so he could tow his boat and did not have to worry about his new pick up sitting at the boat ramp.

    Like 2
  7. Keith

    This tank would be a perfect post apocalyptic mad max machine! Weld spikes all over it and cruise the POST NUKE waste lands!……LOL!

    Like 3
  8. Tony Primo

    Even pick up truck drivers will give you space when they see this 5,400 lb beast pass by!

    Like 5
  9. Keith

    A buddy of mine back in the days dad had the sedan version of this car with the 455 4bbl. We use to fry the “one tire fire” ruthlessly!!! (open differential).

    Like 2
  10. David

    No roof rack? Probably a $25 option back in the day. What a nice example.

    Like 4
  11. Dave

    Aunts and uncles up front, cousins in the back. Who wants to go to Fire Lake?

    Like 4
  12. Will Fox

    A zillion years ago, I rode from Omaha to Vegas in one of these! It was a `74, but same thing. Floated over the pavement like a cloud. That majestic beast could lull you to sleep in nothing flat–as long as you’re in the back, and not behind the wheel, anyway. Powerful, can haul anything, and room for the whole gang. Today’s SUV’s have nothing on a car like this. If I could afford to keep the tank filled I’d consider this; a major obstacle to overcome for any buyer!

    Like 3
  13. rustylink

    back in the early 80’s you could pick one of these thirsty guys up for about 5 bills.

    Like 2
  14. Mr. Bond

    Many people did, and drove them until they dropped. 3 guys I know did that. I grabbed the crank and rods out of a chevy kingswood wagon for a 383 I built back in 1995. Used to be tons of them at the wreckers. That clamshell tailgate was a really interesting feature.

    Like 2
  15. ACZ

    Who cares about fuel economy? Nobody would ever use this for a commuter car, anyway. It will run fine on the cheapest 87 octane you can find and love every minute of it.

    Like 5
  16. 433jeff

    I love these big 60s 70s wagons, but can afford only small ones, im not sure about the Ziebart.

  17. dyno dan

    2 bars of gold plated latinum and a trip to rigel 7!

  18. BOP_GUY Member

    What an awesome Brady Bunch-era cruiser! Has the venerable 455 and clamshell rear gate. Wish I was in the market!

    Like 2
  19. Karl

    This is a very nice vehicle, I had a non station wagon version of this exact car in college, it had 54k miles when I got it and it looked darned near brand new, the spare tire still had the original GM plastic bag on the spare. I got the car for 600.00 it was truly a great ride!!

    Like 5
  20. cyclemikey

    What a beautiful survivor. If I had a spot for it, I’d pay twelve grand without batting an eye.

    Like 3
  21. Roseland Pete

    Cars are now showing up with “genuine” instead of “original” miles.

    Like 2
  22. Wayne

    My first father in law had a header panel (grille shell) for one of these hanging in his garage. He was not a guy that worked on cars. So I asked about it. It was a test piece, as he was the one that made the mold for the production line.
    Cool car. I wonder what kind of fuel economy that you could get with one of these using the current aftermarket throttle body injection systems with the O2 sensors feeding the computer info. The Pontacs used to get 16 mpg all day long at 70 mph with a carb. (Don’t know about the Olds.) It would be interesting to find out. Use the lap top to dial in the perfect advance curve and fuel mapping. With no pollution gadgets to spoil your program parameters. It could be a very cool learning experience. Maybe I will see if I can do one.

    Like 1
  23. Roy L Fuchs

    Nice! Where have all these wagons been hiding?

    Like 1
  24. Tim

    I had this exact car as my first car in 1985. Bought it for $300. Gas tank had a hole so it only held about 5 gallons before it started to leak (a little over $4 worth). My dad thought that was perfect. With the gas mileage it got, i couldn’t go to far from home. He also said “If you get hit head-on by a semi, you have enough room to put the parts of the semi in the back and drive them home!” It took a while but we pegged the speedometer at 120mph !

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