Live Auctions

Load ‘Em Up! 1975 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser

The Vista Cruiser was Oldsmobile’s top mid-size station wagon built between 1964 and 77. For the versions produced through 1972, they were known for their raised roof and skylight glass panels over the back half of the vehicle. That gave way to frameless door glass when the “Colonnade” era of styling debuted in 1973. The seller’s ’75 wagon is from that the last generation of the nameplate (1973-77) and is in nice condition as a daily driver with 145,000 miles. Located in Audubon, North Dakota, this survivor-quality transport is available here on craigslist for $12,500. Thanks for the cool tip, Pat L.!

Oldsmobile introduced the Vista Cruiser as a mid-year model in 1964. It would soon be joined by Buick’s version of the same body style, the Sport Wagon (Skylark-based). Though the raised roof/skylight concept was dropped after 1972, it would re-emerge of sorts on the 1991–92 full-size Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser wagon and the 1991–96 Buick Roadmaster Estate. To help provide for more lighting, the Colonnade wagons gained a flat vented moonroof over the front seat area while a roof rack was over the rest.

The seller’s ’75 Vista Cruiser is one of about 11,000 built that year as 6-passenger wagons. Another 13,000 units would be built with a third bench seat. One difference between the Vista Cruiser and Cutlass Supreme wagons in 1975 was that the former came with vinyl woodgrain side paneling. Unless it was an option-delete, that material does not reside on the seller’s wagon and may have been removed. If so, a redo of the blue paint may have been done although no mention is made as such.

This wagon presents very well for its 47 years on Planet Earth. Although a 350 V8 was standard, this wagon has the big-block 455 cubic-inch power plant paired with a TH-400 automatic transmission. Since this has been a well-maintained daily driver, we assume its running condition is without question. The interior certainly looks fine, but the driver’s side of the front seat has been redone in cloth while the passenger side and the back seat look to be in the original vinyl material. All-in-all, this comes across as a turnkey wagon that’s ready for highway cruising.

Comments

  1. Brad460 Member

    I’m not too far from Audubon, nd if someone wants a closer look. Strange cause it has Minnesota collector plates on it. If it was driven in the Minnesota salt encrusted roads I would watch for rust.

    Like 3
  2. Bob-O

    I was getting kind of excited about this car until I saw the aftermarket sunroof. That’s a deal killer for me as I’ve had a bad experience with one of those a long time ago. Otherwise, it’s a pretty nice car that doesn’t appear to need much. The 455 is a bonus, too.

    Like 2
    • Poppy

      Not so sure that’s aftermarket. At least in ’73 they tried to evoke the same the vista roof feel by making that sunroof standard equipment.

      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/748442031807545303/

      The sunroof in this ad looks remarkably like the one in the listing. By ’75 i suspect that became an option rather than standard equipment. Our ’77 VC did not come with one.

      Like 3
      • Poppy

        I could be wrong about this ever being offered as standard equipment – even in ’73. But I’m pretty sure it was at least optional through most of the Colonnade VC run. Let’s see if Joe P. chimes in on this one. I’m curious.

        Like 2
      • Bob-O

        Wow, interesting! I never knew GM ever offered a pop-up style sunroof like that.

    • Duaney Member

      The “aftermarket” sunroof is a GM accessory which included the entire front roof section and the glass insert. This was available on many GM models including the H bodies. It’s called the “Vista Vent”

    • Toypartman

      I had a 75 442 with the factory “Vista Vent” sunroof. It never leaked and you could squeeze the hinge and take the glass out of the car. A rare option on the A bodies, I’ve only seen a couple since.

      Like 1
  3. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking car. I don’t get why Oldsmobile didn’t continue the raised windows style with the Colonnade Era cars. They seemed to continue to use the Vista Cruiser name, but not the look. I don’t get that.

    Like 2
    • Poppy

      By ’73 all A-body wagons shared the same wheelbase. There was no longer the special extended wagon with the vista roof. Not sure it would have worked as well visually on the new rounder body style. As I stated above, they made at least a half-a**ed attempt to maintain the Vista Cruiser feel with the pop up sunroof, but the VC name disappeared with the 1978 downsizing.

      Like 2
      • Car Nut Tacoma

        It’s possible. While the Colonnade car is good looking, given the name Vista Cruiser, I would’ve given it the same window roof treatment, and not just an opening sunroof. If that doesn’t work, I’d drop the “Vista Cruiser” name in favour of something more fitting, say “Custom Cruiser”.

        Like 1
    • Duaney Member

      Oldsmobile liked the “Vista Cruiser” name as it helped to sell the wagons, but the roof windows were dropped probably because of the great cost.

      Like 3
      • Car Nut Tacoma

        Anything is possible. I’ve heard some say that safety was also a concern.

  4. Woody Ahern

    Why would someone go to the trouble of redoing the driver’s seat and not use the original vinyl material instead of that seat cover-looking cloth?

    Like 2
    • Conrad A

      Back in the mid 80’s, I looked at an 81 Malibu Classic Estate that was for sale on a used car lot in Huntington NY. It had been brought up to Long Island from Florida. At that time, many dealers on Long Island would go to Florida, buy a few used cars there, and bring them up north on a car carrier to sell. The lure was that those cars wouldn’t have gone through any NY winters, weren’t rusted, and were popular with local buyers who were willing to pay a premium for a car with such a history. Anyway, this wagon had the split bench front seat, and while the interior was upholstered in vinyl, the driver’s portion of the front seat was done in velour. I recognized right away that whoever had bought the car new must have realized they’d made a mistake in getting vinyl upholstery for a car that was driven in the Florida sun and heat, and had at least the driver’s portion of the seat reupholstered in velour, to avoid getting a burned butt whenever they got into the car. Having visited Florida on and off in prior years, it wasn’t the first time I’d seen that done with a Florida car that wasn’t that old. So despite spending its life in the north, maybe something similar happened with this Vista Cruiser…

      Like 1
  5. Duaney Member

    To clear up Dixon’s misconceptions, the colonade wagons didn’t gain the “moonroof”, as 99% didn’t come with this GM option called the “Vista Vent” Also it’s clear that all of the wood grain stainless trim mouldings on the sides are still there that separated the vinyl wood trim from the blue paint, proving that originally the car was the woody style.

    Like 1
  6. Joakes

    My family had a blue 1975 vista cruiser with blue interior when I was 16, but it had the 350. Good cruising and family car, but back then I wanted something “cooler” so I bought a 1970 Cutlass S. Would love to have a Vista Cruiser now!
    Ours had the Vista Vent, never leaked. The main difference I see about this listed car is that the seats are perforated. Ours was not, but same basic vinyl pattern and very durable.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

WANT ADS

WANTED 1964-1972 Chevrolet Chevelle SS… Nova SS… Chevy II SS Looking for SS ONLY.. project car or needing work preferred but will look at all… NATIONWIDE Contact

WANTED 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix Looking for reasonable shape rust free car in the Midwest $14,000 to $16,000 Contact

WANTED Chevrolet Chevette Any year chevet Contact

Submit Your Want Ad