$5,900 Hauler: 1991 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser

Ahhh.. the good ol’ days when a car company would totally redesign a vehicle for a two-year production run. This 1991 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser looks like a jewel and it’s posted on Craigslist or here on the CL archive. It’s located in Bullhead City, Arizona right on the Nevada border. It sure looks like you could fly in and drive this one home. Thanks to Curt K. for submitting this beauty!

Most of us recognize this car as a doppelganger to the Buick Roadmaster and the Chevy Caprice wagons. Oldsmobile was always in that funny position, sort of like the 4th child where they’re always wondering how and where they fit in and how to categorize or distinguish themselves from the pack. Could you imagine if Pontiac would have gotten a wagon that looked like these cars?

These titanic wagons were the last of the rear-drive cars for Oldsmobile and GM only made them for two short years. They’re sure unique, no? This rear-3/4 angle is best shot from a distance and zoomed in. Sort of like not taking a photo of your uncle with his big schnozz from close up, it just emphasizes the bulbous nature of the thing, both the rear of this car and your uncle’s nose.

As with the exterior, the interior looks pretty much like new, front and rear. This car only has 86,800 miles on it which is nothing in my world. I know that a lot of people get a brand new vehicle every two or three years, or they lease a new vehicle every couple of years. We buy ours and hang onto them forever sometimes and drive the living heck out of them, this amount of miles doesn’t scare me in the least. The seller says that the “air blows ice cold, interior is perfect, just like driving the couch down the road.”

The only engine available in this car in 1991 was Chevy’s 305 cubic-inch V8 with 170 hp. I know, for a car that weighs almost 2.5 tons that isn’t a lot of power, so in 1992, the last year for this model, Chevy’s 350 V8 with 180 hp was offered. A measly 10 horsepower difference, why bother? I guess any little boost is appreciated. The seller says that it gets an amazing 24 mpg and that they (are you sitting down?) “bought this car to do an ls swap, it would make an awesome hot rod, but plans have changed.” To each his/her own. This car is priced a bit more than NADA’s high retail value but it looks like it may be one of the nicest in the country. Thoughts on this big Olds Custom Cruiser?

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Comments

  1. ccrvtt

    SAVE THE WHALES!

    Your contribution of only $5,900 entitles you to ownership of one of the last remaining Blue Whales!

    This whale is in remarkable condition for its age and will definitely make you feel better about yourself!

    Put your charitable money where it can do the most good. Sorry, donations are not tax-deductible.

  2. Eric M.

    Bullhead City is on the border of Nevada. On the Colorado river.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Thanks, I was on the other side.. dang. Thanks, Eric, and all – fixed.

  3. Coventrycat

    I didn’t like them when they were new, but I like them now. Cool car.

  4. dirtyharry

    Bullhead City is nowhere near the border. Think Colorado River between Lake Mohave and Lake Havasu, closer to Mohave near Laughlin, NV. If it has been a long term resident, it must have been garaged. The summer temps are 100 and above and will burn the paint off anything. The tin worm doesn’t live in the desert and that is a good thing.
    This wagon is just drop dead uber funky. You have to love that crazy ‘whale like’ design. You know it’s safe and comfortable, the biggest risk being falling asleep on the highway, because you are too comfortable. I think it very cool, just to have in a rising sea of economy cars. When we were younger we towed our boat to the Colorado River all the time using station wagons, so we could bring our friends. The big ones tow well, if properly equipped.

    • Tony

      Bullhead City is absolutely on the Nevada Border. Bullhead is Arizona, Laughlin is Nevada. They are a drive over the bridge apart.
      I am shocked heat has not destdoyed this car.

  5. FordGuy1972 Fordguy1972 Member

    Outstanding condition for a 26 year-old wagon, I’ll agree, but it is still 2-1/2 tons of ugly. The sedans were particularly homely, the wagons less so but not by much. I really like wagons but, to me, these offerings by GM had no style at all, unless too big is a style.

    Maybe the price is fair but I wouldn’t be caught dead in one.

  6. Poppy

    Sadly, Olds stopped making these after ’92, but Buick and Chevrolet kept producing their versions of this wagon until ’96. The later ones came with LT1 engines with 260hp. I see one running around locally with monochromatic paint and Impala SS trim and wheels on it. Neat haulers.

  7. Rock On

    Don’t fall for the 10 measly horsepower difference between the 305 and 350 small blocks. It is torque that gets this big wagon moving and you will definitely notice the difference with the 350.

  8. Bob C.

    Still an improvement with the chevy 305. The olds 307 (last year 1990) only had 140 horsepower.

  9. Adam T45 Staff

    Being from Down Under I’m seeing a lot of cars on this site that I find really interesting, and that I really like. Sadly, this is one car that doesn’t “float my boat” (excuse the pun, but it does look like a boat). This one just doesn’t appeal. For comparison, the attached picture is of an Australian (GM) Holden Commodore station wagon of the same era. It was available as either a five or a seven seater, and with a fuel injected 304ci engine driving through either a 5 speed manual or 4 speed auto. I think that my American friends would’ve really liked these.

    • M1008

      Absolutely, I would take a 5 speed version. We don’t get cool stuff like that here.

      • Adam T45 Staff

        Sadly M1008, we no longer get that sort of thing here in Australia either. In October 2017 (GM) Holden ceased all local development and manufacturing here in Australia. From October on all Holden vehicles will be imported, mostly from Asian manufacturing plants. They were the last of a proud breed and heritage here in Australia. Nissan, Toyota and Ford have also gone, so the motoring world has lost some amazing products that our little industry developed.

        The attached picture is of the last of the Holden Commodore Sports Wagons, produced last year. They could be had with the Chev 6.2l LSA or LS9 engine (minimum of 408bhp) and either a 6-speed auto or 6-speed manual transmission. They were a weapon, and our local car industry will be sadly missed.

        Like 1
    • Poppy

      Always thought GM should have imported the Commodore wagons and Utes to the states like they did the Commodore-based GTO. A wagon based on that size car with a fuel-injected V8, rear wheel drive and a 5 speed would have had a sizable following.

  10. aminfla

    Absolutely sold on my “BOAT!” My 1995 LT equipped Chevy Caprice has really impressed me. My dad always had Chevy wagons(1953/1960/1967) so naturally, I had a thing for them. My 1995 Caprice got us 29.9 mpg on the 6 week 13,000-mile trip we took right after getting it in August this year. This thing gets more attention than many “collector cars” I have owned.

    • Adam T45 Staff

      There you go. Yours is one that I quite like mate! The different colour and different wheels make a world of difference. Congratulations on a really nice car.

  11. chad

    import me a Holden 4X4 wagon (mid 70s – early ’90s?)
    Looks like a late 60s early 70s long WB che**y (as it kinda IS).

    • Adam T45 Staff

      Hey chad, are you thinking of something like the one in this picture? If so, it was called the Overlander, and was an after-market kit developed and fitted by a company located in Launceston, Tasmania. These were a modified (GM) Holden Kingswood powered by the Australian developed 308ci V8. They featured a full transfer case and came equipped with power steering, electric windows, air con, along with a host of other goodies. The modifications were performed so well by this little company that Holden had absolutely no qualms in honouring its factory warranty on every one that was built.

  12. Daved N.

    For anyone interested in one of these on the other side of the country….

    https://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/cto/d/1991-oldsmobile-caprice/6465057320.html

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      That’s a beauty, Daved! You should list it on the Barn Finds classified section.

    • John DeMarco

      I just acquired a 1991 Custom Cruiser with 74m miles. It was in my neighbor’s garage. they bought it new. It was unused last 4 yrs. It has zero rust, new tires and new exhaust from engine back.
      It started right up. Gas had been previously treated, engine runs smooth. A/c needs to be converted to R134. Body and interior are excellent. its Silver Blue. Are these desirable and sought after. Im new to the station wagon club. What would be market price.
      Thanks

  13. Bill Owens BillO Staff

    You might say that Oldsmobile had this wagon briefly to tie it to the Vista Cruisers of the 60s and 70s with the glass in the roof, but I think it was because of low sales they discontinued after two years. Oldsmobile only sold 7,663 of these in 1991 and 4,347 in 1992. Buick did a little worse in 1991, but came up strong in later years. It may be also because there was no parallel Oldsmobile sedan to it like there was at Buick and Chevrolet and buyers didn’t think of going to Oldsmobile dealers to buy a station wagon anymore. And while technically there was no 1991 Roadmaster sedan, the 1992 Roadmaster sedan was introduced in the spring of 1991.

  14. Steven Dacke

    I’ve got a white with blue interior 91 OCC, w/ 200k miles. Paid $300 for it and drove it home, the low oil pressure chime going off the whole time, 0 psi showing on the gauge. In the middle of a vortec 350 swap now.

  15. scotto

    heres my 92 with only 85,000mi. drove 4 hrs to get it. definitely worth the trip. rust free, everything works, and it didnt even cost as much as this one.

    Like 1
  16. BMW4RunninTundra

    I’ve got a Chevy Caprice Classic Wagon that looks like the Olds that is for sale. Mine does not have the darker lower two tone color. My lower color is silver. Minus a few other minor differences, they are the same. Up to and including the mileage! I always say it rides like my recliner would, if it had wheels! Gas mi is great, power is not that bad! It will move along just fine. It’s not a stop light to stop light vehicle. It’s not a tow vehicle either. It is an awesome, comfortable, attention getting ride. And yes, that cars rear end does make your a$$ look bigger!!! We call ours the “Blue Goose”!

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