Clean Family Hauler: 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Vista Cruiser

This 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Vista Cruiser is a meaty family hauler, with broad shoulders and the ever-dependable Olds 350 Rocket V8 mill under the hood. While wagons may conjure up images of slow-poke families on the way to the beach, this wagon at least looks like it could muscle other cars out of the passing lane if the situation demanded it. The Oldsmobile has had just one repaint since new and has otherwise not been restored. It’s listed here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $25,500 and the option to submit a best offer, and listed by a dealer in West Virginia.

To me, that’s strong money for a vehicle that has a limited following compared to its two-door siblings. Still, they don’t pop up often in this sort of condition, especially since so many wagons of any make and model were subjected to the daily rigors of hauling kids and gear without much concern for protecting the cosmetics. The body looks fantastic, and the distinctive hindquarters give the otherwise slab-sided wagon some personality where the fenders bow out. Lots of glass means lots of daylight, and all the windows look clean and crack-free – including the novel roof-mounted panes. Chrome bumpers and trims all look tidy as well.

The interior sports three rows of seating, and I seriously wish the three-row wagon would make a comeback. No more; the American consumer has unwittingly sold their souls (and taste) for jacked-up wagons with the handling characteristics of a marshmallow. That third seat option is unique, as most domestic (and European) makes would force the third-row passengers to stare at each other or the cars behind them; this face-forward seat really does make the Olds a seriously useful vehicle even in the modern age. All seating surfaces look mint and the seller notes the interior materials and fixtures are all original.

Beyond the third-row seat, other options from the factory include dual exhaust, power steering, power disc brakes, power rear tailgate window, air conditioning, tinted glass, front bumper guards, and Super Stock II wheels. New tires have been mounted and the seller notes that while the A/C system is complete, it does not blow cold. Under hood looks nicely preserved with the engine block paint holding up well, but no details are offered on any recent maintenance items or repairs. The Oldsmobile has been in storage for many years, and is said to be an excellent running and driving car. Wagons, to me, will always be in style, especially handsome domestic models like this Vista Cruiser.


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  1. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Nice looking wagon though a little stiff on the price.

    Like 22
  2. Classic Steel

    It looks nice but later olds steel wheels from around 78 in supremes and no offense but for this price fix the air conditioning on this beast as were not in Wisconsin but WV sweat 💦 area.

    I like it but lets see if the market will bear it 😎😮

    Like 19
    • Nick

      These look like 442 wheels from the correct era, later “little” Supremes look the same but probably had 14′, these are 15′.

      • JOHN Member

        The wheels on the car are whats called the SS ll wheels, and appear to be painted in the correct shade of gray called Argent. This color was standard from 68, when they were introduced until 1970. In 1971 and up, they were painted body color. I prefer the Argent like this car has, and I think some body color wheels compliment the car, others do not, at least in my opinion. It drives me crazy seeing a 68-70 with body colored wheels. Personally, I like the SS l wheels, which look like Magnum 500’s. They work on virtually any car of this time period. All the manufacturers used them, GM, Ford, Chrysler and even American motors.

  3. Coventrycat

    Those bumper guards are awful. Rest of it is great.

    Like 6
    • Darryl

      Easily removed! Many of those were simply bolt-ons by the manufacturers to meet the (then) upcoming 5mph standards.

      Like 1
      • Skippy

        Those bumper gaurds are not stock, not needed and not part of the 5mph standard. The 5 MPH stndard came a little later.

        Like 4
  4. PDXBryan

    Yes indeed Jeff, wagons are the best form of overland transportation!

    Like 6
  5. JOHN Member

    Ditch the front bumper guards, add a set of SS l wheels and a W-25 hood and you would have a really wicked but nice wagon. This appears to be a sweet Vista, except for the price.

    Like 5
  6. Tom

    I had one back in the 1970’s it was white with wood trim sides and a 350 super rocket. I think I paid $700 for it 😎

    Like 7
  7. local_sheriff

    The whole point with the Vista/ Sportwagon idea was indeed to allow seats to be installed in the ‘right’ direction as opposed to the typical rear-facing seats of the day. The raised roof with related windows gave the necessary headroom.

    What many people don’t realize is that these have a unique frame to them to also add leg room. At 121inch WB they’re 5inch longer than non-Vista wagons, which becomes very apparent on the profile pic of this Vista. Actually this Vista is LONGER than a GM mid60s fullsize wagon! I like this one, however I think these wagons deserve the faux wood panels to complete the package. Did the PO skimp on materials when it was redone?

    Like 12
    • Redwagon

      No, they just realized (like I do) that it looks so, so much better without the faux wood paneling! To each their own.

      Like 8
  8. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Beautiful wagon in exceptional shape that doesn’t seem to need much. I’m just wondering if the mechanicals were thoroughly checked out after it’s lengthy storage. Brake and fuel systems degrade over time as well as belts, hoses and seals. The new tires are a plus but the seller really should get the A/C repaired. The price does seem pretty high but assuming the mechanicals are good, maybe it’s fair for a very sharp turn-key car. I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody pulls the trigger, wagons are getting very popular with good ones bringing strong prices. It looks like a trend that will continue.

    Like 4
  9. Claudio

    I am canadian and the way i see it is

    Convertible for summer
    4×4 for winter
    Just no use for a carburated ,3 speed station wagon
    But i do livein a 4 season area
    Merry Christmas to all

    Like 6
  10. mainlymuscle

    I’m Canadian as well,which is relevant to ………………..absolutely nothing.Stylin’ is Stylin’,in any country,and any weather.I’m not even a true long roof fan,but Vista Cruisers are as cool a grocery getter as has ever been concieved.I mean it’s no 57 Nomad ,but nor is the price.Speaking of price ; try finding a lesser one and getting it to this level-the $25k will look real cheap ,real soon.Still,would have been nice to scoop it up at 15 before this dealer found it LOL.
    Merry Christmas to gearheads everywhere.

    Like 15
  11. JC

    “ You could literally cruise the vistas…”

  12. Mountainwoodie

    Consulting the envelope on my Carnac forehead below my turban……… the answer would be: “the engine was repainted along with everything else”.

    I’ve got it……….What appears to be highly unoriginal.

    OK enough of Johnny.

    Beautiful car for sure. The dealers location close to D.C is no doubt influencing the ask. Lots of disposable income. Some spend it on NDA’s with their mistresses………..other buys overpriced old wagons. It would be cheaper to buy the wagon.

    And a lot less headaches :)

    Like 4
    • Miguel

      I do remember the color of my 1967 Vista Cruisers’ engine being a darker shade of gold.

  13. Andrew Franks

    Right. Ditch the bumper guards and the price is too high. Don’t do this unless the Seller is flexible.


    For 25K, I would want the A/C to work!

    Like 8
    • MARK

      Yes,repair the AC and for sure using R12 refrigerant.No 134A conversion!

      Like 1
    • Dennis McGillis

      Amen! At $25k it should have nothing to apologize for. Everything should work.

  15. Rob S

    Besides all the afor mentioned. This is a really cool wagon! Right color and options! I would take this In a heartbeat!

    Like 1
  16. Denis Flaherty

    I have owned many OLDS wagons but that is a lotta dough….

    Like 1
  17. Kimberly James

    YUK…..I had to ride in one of these as a kid….will never look good to me.

  18. Dooger

    “the American consumer has unwittingly sold their souls (and taste) for jacked-up wagons with the handling characteristics of a marshmallow” Comment of the day!! LOL

    Like 2

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