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65k Original Miles: 1972 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser

This 1972 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser would be the perfect vehicle for the family who is on the hunt for a practical classic wagon. With the 3rd row of seats, it would be the perfect vehicle for hauling the whole clan across the country. Barn Finder local_sheriff referred this great wagon to us, so thank you so much for that local_sheriff. Located in San Juan Capistrano, California, you can find the Oldsmobile listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding is currently sitting at $11,100, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

The wagon is said to wear virtually all of its original Bamboo paint, with only a previous repair to the tailgate that is damage worth noting. There is some rust that has begun to appear under the edge of some of the glass, including the Vista glass, but the owner claims that he has now owned the car for 17-years and that this rust hasn’t deteriorated in that time. The same is said to be true of the small spot of rust in the front fender on the driver’s side. The wood-grain appears to be in really nice condition, as does the majority of the external chrome and trim, and the factory tinted glass. There is a dent in the rear bumper, but I’ve seen good panel-beaters pull these back into shape, so that shouldn’t be a huge problem.

The good news continues when we climb inside the Oldsmobile, with very little to fault with the interior trim. With that 3rd row, this is a true 8-seater, although the rear seat is going to be a “children only” zone. It doesn’t appear as though there are any rips or tears in any of the upholstery, while the dash appears to be original, and close to perfect. Everything inside the car works as it should, although the owner does suggest that the factory air conditioning could do with being recharged to be working at its best. The factory radio also works, but the reception can be a little patchy at times.

Taking a peek under the hood, we find the Rocket 350 engine, which produces 160hp. Shifting duties are taken care of by a 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic transmission, while the Oldsmobile also comes with power brakes. The overall presentation certainly makes the owner’s claim that the Vista Cruiser only has an original 65,000 mile on the clock seem plausible. He says that the car runs and drives very well, and it has also been fitted with a new set of tires. Documentation included with the car extends to the Protect-O-Plate, original Build Sheet, the original title, and owner history.

While this Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser might not be perfect, it really doesn’t look like it would take a lot of money or effort to get it to that stage. It isn’t clear what the reserve might be on the car, but a really clean example with no rust issues will set you back around $25,000. The owner says that he has set the reserve at around what he refers to as a “market level price.” It will be interesting to see what that actually is, because if it is low enough to allow the few existing issues to be addressed without breaking through that $25,000 barrier, then it has the potential to be quite a good buy.


  1. Arthell64

    Wow this wagon is nice.

    Like 7
  2. Chebby Staff

    Bring a Trailer has seen some pretty ordinary wagons reach stupid prices…$47k and $36k just recently

    Like 3
  3. Oregon_Guy78

    I’ve never seen factory tint that dark…..

    Like 5
  4. Fred W

    “Rocket 350 output ranged from 160 to 325 HP….”- I’ll bet that engine would be pretty easy to “wake up”…

    Like 5
    • Will Fox

      Not so sure the 350 was available in `72 with 325HP; maybe back in `71? Sounds almost like the 455 HP rating that year.

      Like 2
  5. Robbie M.

    Clark Griswold is looking for this vehicle. The Family Truckster ain’t gettin’ it done.

    Like 5
    • John Oliveri

      That’s the one Clark traded in, and they crushed

      Like 4
      • PRA4SNW

        I was just going to post that – LOL!

        Like 0
  6. Will Fox

    Today’s Tuesday; I’ll be very surprised if it isn’t snatched already by Friday. Very nice; extra straight & original. What’s not to like about this baby, except it isn’t in MY garage?

    Like 4
  7. local_sheriff

    I’ve been hitting myself in the head several times for passing on a similarly nice 66 Sportwagon at 12k three years back. Both the SW and the Vista cousin from any year are of the most unique non-HT/’vert vehicles to look for and they finally gets the appreciation they deserve. Sadly (as expected) that also means lofty prices…
    With some help in the breathing department I’m sure it’ll easily become a ‘muscle wagon’. Love the fugly under-the-radar colors; best of luck to the next owner – I envy you!

    Like 3
  8. Jeff

    Hmmmmmm, rust hasn’t grown in 17 years? Highly skeptical of that. What’s troubling is the rust you CAN’T see around the windows. BTDT.

    Like 3
    • Poppy

      I agree if this becomes a daily driver, but keep it dry and rust slows to a crawl. I have some rust (lower fender heel bondo repair done by the previous owner) on my ’70 convertible that I’ve owned for 30 years. No worse now than when I bought it in ’89.

      Like 0
  9. Don Page

    My concern would be the rust that’s lurking under the chrome where it’s appearing. Could be some expensive rust repair bills for the new owner unless he owns a body shop.

    Like 1
  10. Too Late

    I was watching a cable show called TRANS AM on the Motortrend channel. And a customer brought one of these low mileage original Oldsmobile station wagons into their shop to “restore” . The owner said he wanted to keep as original as possible. The TransAm shop installed a Chevy LSX engine in it. I believe the owner of the Oldsmobile informed them ” they could just keep the car” after finding out what they had done. Funny thing about rust after watching their show when you remove all of the paint the story changes with how bad an accident it has had in the past.

    Like 1
    • local_sheriff

      I clearly remember that episode – while I’ll admit that Vista ended up as an outstanding restomod it was NOT what the customer ordered. The shop could’ve easily built it with 442 upgrades while still keeping a somehow OE look to it. Would cost way less and not involve any irreversible mods

      Like 5
  11. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Might be a good buy if the rust doesn’t turn into an expensive issue. The way wagons have been appreciating over the last few years, I’ll bet in a few more years you couldn’t buy a wagon this nice for $25,000.

    Like 0
  12. JOHN Member

    Always liked the Vista Cruisers. The local jeweler in the town I grew up in had a light metallic blue1966 Vista Cruiser loaded with power everything, and it also had factory installed buckets, console with the tach, and a 4 speed. Thin stripe white wall tires and small hubcaps. Just a beautiful car.

    Like 5
  13. Gord

    My grandma had a ’68 version of this…purple in colour. Not sure of the engine size, but she had a lead foot, and this thing rocketed all over the Prairies

    Like 1
  14. Roy

    My sister in law and her husband had one of these from new for some years. It was identical year, paint, and trim, and looked quite sharp. The only difference from this one is it had the 455! I drove it a few times and it moved (and sounded great too)! It did suck down the gas pretty well though. Still, all Vista Cruisers are great.

    Like 1
  15. Jeff T.

    neil young sings RUST NEVER SLEEPS the surface bubbles around windows needs addressing ,what a beautiful sw once done.

    Like 1
  16. TimM

    The nice thing about a car like this is there’s enough room that the whole family can enjoy riding in it!! Does the hobby need a restomod station wagon!! Not really and if the original car runs and drives why bother!! The rust does concern me though!! It would have to be looked over closely before I’d drop the coin on it!!!

    Like 0
  17. Del

    I fail to see the attraction of these.

    Gimme a Plymouth Wagon with a 440.

    Blow this GM junk into the ditch😎

    Like 1
    • 427Turbojet 427Turbojet Member

      You can have your Plymouth wagon, listen to it rattle all the way down the road. I should hope a 440 would beat this 350, but a Vista Cruiser would be a much nicer ride.

      Like 5
    • W9BAG

      Del, if you have a penchant for Plymouth wagons, this is THE one you want:


      Nicest Plymouth wagon ever built. 1 of 1.

      Like 0
  18. James Piontkowski

    Oh yeah…nice wagon..I remember driving in the back seats from Wisconsin to Arkansas several times in one a lot like it when I was 10 yrs.old..my sisters and I drove my parents crazy.. really wish I could buy this one..

    Like 0
  19. Roger

    We had a 67 Pontiac Catalina wagon when growing up. I appreciate more now then I did then. It was a nice looking car.
    If you like station wagons that is.

    Like 0

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