Hatchback Camper! 1975 Oldsmobile Omega

Oldsmobile expended minimal effort distinguishing its first and second-generation Omega from its General Motors siblings, most notably the popular Chevrolet Nova. The optional hatchback offered flexible cargo room and opened the door to this interesting camper tent option! Enthusiasts wishing to prepare for the day when Pebble Beach features a “Hatchback Camper” class can cast a bid on this 1975 Oldsmobile Omega with tent camper here on eBay, where you can make an offer or simply click Buy It Now for $7500. Thanks to Fred H. for spotting this clean-looking classic from Saint Louis, Missouri and its interesting optional equipment.

Forget the camper for a moment; this Omega is well-kept indeed! The idea of camping out in your ’70s GM hatchback seems altogether practical. I slept a few nights in the back of my even smaller ’76 Buick Skyhawk, and this slightly different camping tent option seems even more elaborate.

Look at that room! The factory tent option offers room for sleeping and an awning with just enough room to protect a standing couple (or a few more close friends) from a light rain, perhaps for a sporting “tailgate” party. Is that a speaker on the left?

The white knit vinyl upholstery looks almost new, and supports the claim of 69,000 original miles (thanks to lov2xlr8.no for some details). I can’t help thinking about living the vagabond life with this tidy-looking Olds serving as steed and lodging. In the 2003 movie “House of Sand and Fog” the homeless “Kathy” says she is “staying at the Bonneville,” referring to her 1984 Pontiac, so why not “I’m staying at the Omega?”

Check out the inverted air-cleaner lid! This poor-man’s performance modification freed up air-flow (albeit while bypassing the warm-up device in the air cleaner snorkel), purportedly adding up to 5 HP. Your results may vary. The little 260 V8 served as the middle engine option in ’75 between the 250 cid inline six cylinder and the 350 cid V8. This one has air-conditioning that works! What is this clean-looking hatchback and its tent camper worth to you?

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  1. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    A rare public OMG issued on this one, Todd (and, Fred H) – nice find! This would be a star attraction at any car show for sure. It’s a crying shame that it was painted in a different color and it wasn’t a full color change, so add 2-3-4 thousand to the to-do list.

    • Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

      Thanks Scotty. I’d never known about these so I join you in thanking Fred! I had at least three hatchbacks, one I still own, and they are tremendously practical if you only have one vehicle. I guess this one could be dangerous if the struts go weak and turn your awning into a guillotine.

  2. Jett

    AMC offered a very similar tenting package in the 70’s for the Hornet (and, presumably, the Concord) hatch. At one point in the last few years, my Dad looked into having one custom made for our ‘78 Concord until he found out how much it would cost(!). Finding an original would be next to impossible, so it turned out to be a bit of a car show pipe dream.

  3. gord

    i have a tent setup for the n.o.v.a.cars if interested

  4. Brad W

    Our family car was a 1977 omega hatchback with the same 260 cid v8. Ours was metallic brown with spoke wheels my dad added. It eventually became my car senior year of high school 1987. I used to sleep in the back of it on camping trips. I also spent most of prom night in it too, if you know what I mean. Dad traded it in on a 1979 camaro at my begging. I’ve regretted it ever since. I would see the omega around town for a couple of years after that and feel very sad that it wasn’t mine anymore. You never forget your first love .

  5. Brad

    Our family car was a 77 hatchback Omega in metallic brown with spoke wheels my dad added. It had that puny 260 cid engine which I thought was badass because it was a v8. It became my car senior year (87) of high school. I used to sleep in it on weekend outings. I also spent most of prom night there too! I begged my dad to trade it in for a 79 Camaro and regretted it ever since. I would see the omega around town for a couple years after we got rid of it. It felt like it still belonged to our family. You never forget your first love I guess.

  6. LAB3

    I’d buy it just to have a car with an air cleaner I could turn over! As to those who spent prom night in the rear end of a hatch back, I understand your pain and DO know what you mean. Someone close to me has horrible social anxiety but with the proper medication and DBT therapy seems to live a pretty ordinary life. Don’t give up!

    • Brad

      I think you missed the point of how I spent prom night. My date and I went to the dance , but then we had Omega romance!

  7. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    This thing makes the Aztec look good.

    • Doug

      NOTHING can make the Aztec look good ! It was obviously designed by a committee – This guy’s headlight, that guy’s grille, somebody else’s rear hatch….
      all mashed together. It kinda makes me think of what would happen if somebody took an 80’s Hyundai hatchback and added a section about a foot tall all the way around the body and another section vertically here and there.
      ” A camel is a horse that was designed by a committee.”
      ” The purpose of the Aztec was to make people stop insulting the Edsel.”

  8. Dick Johnson

    Put an open can of pork ‘n’ beans in the back and ‘viola’, an instant bear trap.

    Y’all know’d that there’s a story behind that one.

  9. Kenneth Carney

    Have seen this option on Novas as early
    as ’73. Sure didn’t know Olds made them
    too. Think there’s a camper edition Nova
    about 1/2 mile from my house. It’s sitting
    on four flat tires which says that it hasn’t
    been used in quite some time. Might just
    stop by there after I’m done running errands and check it over. Who knows,
    it might just follow me home!

  10. Wrong Way

    Very cool, I made a temporary camper out of my Dodge Dakota this summer with a tarp and leaving the back open! It worked out great! I did a whole bunch of fishing and camping this summer because I could go anywhere I wanted to fish and camp! I even have a 3000 wat inverter and had all the comfort of home without the expense of a motel!

  11. Comet

    A short lived car-tent-camper idea that went nowhere. Didn’t GM try a similar idea with the much loved Aztec? Off the subject, but does anyone remember those 70’s Blazers with a camper hung on the back that looked like a tumor? I worked at a Chevrolet dealer when a few rolled thru. They looked like they could tip over in a mild breeze. I believe they were called Chalet or Chateau. Worth real money nowadays. Sorry for the off topic rambling.

  12. ben

    I had a Pontiac Ventura hatchback, paid 50. bucks for it engine was not so hot so I put a 350. in it. Ran great but rattled like a dryer full of ball bearings.

  13. T C

    Confession… I used to turn over the air cleaner cover on the Chevy Caprice 9C1 cop cars I drove on patrol. Sounded good when I buried the gas pedal.

  14. chrlsful Member

    my ventura hatch was an excellent vehicle. Much different than my only other che**y – a short wb ’68 van w/ 6cyl. This pontiac had a 350 which proved too much for my led foot’n I ran it off the rd drivin over speed.

    i had station wagons B4’n after & this didn’t miss a beat used similarly!

  15. Mike

    I think I have a kid that was conceived in the back, of one of them…true story

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