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Best Original 1966 Olds Vista Cruiser Left?

The seller of this Vista Cruiser claims it is one of the best original ones left out there. That’s quite the bold claim and I’m not sure it’s something we can prove either way. One thing is definite, this really is one nice Cruiser! We’ve looked a quite a few of these old family haulers over the years and most of the time they are ratty and tired, but this one still is shiny and looks ready to go on another family road trip. It’s claimed to have just 37k documented miles, so it should have plenty of life left in it. You can find it here on eBay in Sarasota, Florida with a current bid of $12k.

I really would love to hear the story of how this wagon has survived all these years with so few miles. Did the family only use it for road trips? Perhaps it was just too big and unwieldy to drive, so they parked it and got something smaller? We may never know, but thankfully it was protected from the elements.

While the paint and exterior do look original to me, I’m not so sure about the paint on the engine and exhaust. It maybe that someone decided to freshen the engine’s appearance up at some point with some bold and silver paint or it could be that someone rebuilt the engine and painted it before reinstalling, we don’t know. The seller claims that it is the original engine and that it runs great, so that is hopeful.

I’m a bit nervous about what rust might be lurking underneath that shiny body, but hopefully there isn’t anything serious. If this really is a car you could fly in and drive home, I would hope that means there isn’t any nasty rust hiding in the floors or frame, but that is something I would want to check into before bidding or buying a one way ticket to Sarasota. If it turns out to really be all original and in solid shape, it sure would be a cool machine to have! So what do you think, is this really the nicest all original Vista Cruiser


  1. doug

    Maybe the best looking wagon ever built.

    • Rabbit

      I had a 70 as a winter beater in my youth, & can’t disagree.

    • George B Member

      It’s a great-looking wagon, but I’d still put the Chevy Nomad, the Volvo 1800 ES, and a Lancia Beta HPE ahead of it in the best looking wagon competition

    • boxdin

      My fav is the 1968 Olds Vista Cruiser w 455 etc.

      • Greg

        Did a 68 have a 455?

      • Mike

        No. 400 was as big as you could get in a ’68.

  2. irocrob

    Nice for yard sailing

  3. Paul B

    These were really cool American wagons, from the days when GM still ruled the scene. They actually drove well and were quiet and comfortable. A mid-sized car with up-market class. And that futuristic roof! Like a mini Greyhound Scenicruiser. I hope this one goes to a good home.

  4. rdc

    Had an 83 large Olds wagon. Wife loved it with 3-kids. At 100,000 mile somebody sneaked into the garage and loosened every bolt. Well, it seemed like it. :) What a rattle bucket.

  5. JW

    Love the looks of this one, much nicer looking than the one on the ” 70’s Show ” IMHO.

  6. glenn

    wow havent ever seen one this good looking in that year.

  7. Dovi65

    My very first car was mom’s hand-me-down 68 Vista. Always loved wagons; much classier than the giant impractical SUV’s, or smaller, useless, crossovers we have today.
    Nice ride, but $12k is outta my budget :-(

  8. Mark

    Nice looking but what’s the point if there isn’t a third row seat?

    • Steve S

      I thought that if the the only time the second row (bench) seat was split, which it is, it meant that these was a third row.
      I could be wrong.🤷

      • Sportwagon 400

        The 60/40 split second seat was an option an all 6 passenger ( 2 seat ) wagons until I bought my 65 Buick Special wagon I had also never seen one. So in looking through the GM parts book there is reference to this style of split seat It has to be very very rare because in 42 years ive never ever even one until I bought mine Feb 15,2017 very cool indeed

  9. PaulG

    WHY do people insist on making these claims? (and all caps?)
    Sure it’s nice, but looking close it’s an original car with quite a bit of surface rust and touch-up underhood.
    I agree it’s good, even great looking, but please unless there was a contest, and you won…

  10. Kurt S

    Having owned a ’70 model myself, I wish I could finance a winning bid for this beauty! And in answer to the comment in regards to the engine paint, The ebay photos show a shot of the engine. The color is Oldsmobile gold. At least in 1970 the 350’s were gold and the 455’s were Lt Metalic Blue. If I’m correct, the optional engine for ’66 was the 400ci which were DkMetalic red..

  11. ccrvtt

    Don’t recognize the color, the front bumper has a sag on the passenger side something terrible, the passenger side rear door gap is way off, and that pretty engine doesn’t gibe with the rust-covered chassis parts surrounding it. On the other hand it sure looks nice and the interior looks real. I believe in 1966 the small block Olds was a 330, not a 350.

    • Kurt S

      The standard V8 was a 330..was also painted gold..350’s came out in ’68..Body color was I believe,65-67..A dark bronze forgot what factory name for it was..

    • Tom Member

      sorry, doubled up on your door gap comment…..didn’t see it until I posted my 2 cents below !!!!!

    • Tom Member

      The front bumper has some issues. Looks pushed in under the LF headlight/driver side, which makes that side look tighter than it should be. the RF corner seems a bit bent down/pulled out. Looks like the front of the fender is dented in in a couple spots and maybe a small filler piece is missing.

      Again, I am being picky. At the end of the day, cool car. what’s it worth? Someone’s nostalgia and memories will write a check and why not !! Where will you find another one that is pretty much original. Surprised, being and Oldsmobile, it is pretty stripped down. No power windows or locks. Probably had 7 kids and a limited budget back then!! Kid hauler. Don’t those fancy lek-tric do-dads!

  12. Rustytech Member

    This is one beautiful wagon. Many fine memories of laying in the back and looking up at the stars through those Astro roof Windows as dad drove home from the drive in theatre, or other night outing.

  13. Tom Member

    I am a huge Oldsmobile fan. Great car and original but it is pretty rough….again please don’t write hate mail…I am just saying it looks much better at a glance than a stare.

    My question is the RR door gap to the quarter….front gaps look right, fender to RF door to RR door but RR door to quarter, body side molding does not line up but …..again I am being picky. You have to ask if there was a hit on this thing with a bad repair once upon a time. no real good pictures of the left driver side but the gap on the LR door to quarter (where you can catch an angle on it) seems right and tight. Just pointing out what I see.

  14. Car Nut Seattle

    Lovely looking Vista Cruiser. I’ve always loved the 1964-67 Vista Cruiser.

  15. Budman

    The split rear seat may indicate a 6 passenger model. When I was growing up, my family had a 65 with the third seat. The split in ours was not as wide and was on the passenger side, not the driver side. I am pretty sure it pivoted the entire frame forward to ease access to the back. Another interesting note is that the third seat was forward facing,unlike the full sized wagons which had the rear facing seats. Fords in the era (and beyond) had the dual facing rear seats.

  16. Wayne

    I bought the same year for my first wife. (before we got married) She loved that car. It was tan with brown and tan interior. 330, 2 speed auto. Drove and handled well and quiet. We put many miles on “Amy” traveling and camping with our pop-up camp trailer. A week before we moved into out first “purchased” home a drunk high school on her way to school missed the corner and totaled the car. My wife never named another car.
    I still miss that car. (Or is it the good times that we had. God rest her soul.)

  17. Paul R

    Very nice!

  18. Tom Driscoll

    Looks like a nice car, I contacted the owner about a buy it now, she said “make me an offer I can’t refuse”. I was hoping she would make me an offer I couldn’t refuse….

  19. charlie Member

    Another car you can buy and drive at interstate speeds, and not worry about losing its future as a museum piece. A little more wear and tear won’t hurt the value. Look at the ’36 Ford on this list, the most mundane of all Fords, and not a museum piece, but still worth something although most of us who drove one are now dead, or almost dead. And as you observers of the scene will note, at some point, prices of ordinary old cars, drop, relatively speaking, when those who wanted them in their youth pass away. Anything pre 1949 is dropping, except for the rare, I expect the Tri-five Chevy’s, except for the Nomad wagons, will be next.

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