Muscle Wagon: 1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser “Hurst/Olds”

I’ve always thought that the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser is one of the coolest of the classic station wagons. The distinctive extra glass adds a certain something to its appearance and makes it feel light and airy inside. The owner of this Vista Cruiser wanted the best of both worlds. He has a wonderful wagon with a touch of menace. If you have ever wondered what a 1969 Hurst/Olds Wagon would have been like, this could answer that question. It is a vehicle that is now looking for a new home, which is why it has been listed for sale here on eBay. It is located in O’Fallon, Illinois, and has a BIN of $31,500. There is the option available to make an offer.

The Oldsmobile is finished in Cameo White with Firefrost Gold stripes. This is by no means a subtle vehicle. It features the distinctive dual-snout hood scoop and the regular Hurst/Olds trunk spoiler mounted on the roof. There are some less than subtle Hurst/Olds decals on the rear quarter panels, along with matching badges on the fenders and tailgate. The panels appear to be extremely straight, and there are no signs of any rust problems. The paint shines beautifully, with no visible chips or scrapes. The trim and chrome appear to be faultless, while there are no apparent issues with the glass. The Olds rolls on a set of SSII wheels, and their condition is as good as the rest of the exterior.

The upgrades to the Vista Cruiser have not been confined to the vehicle’s appearance. The most potent offering available for 1969 buyers was the 400ci V8, but that has been consigned to the pages of history. What we find here is a 455ci V8, a 700R4 automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. The specifications of the engine aren’t clear, but both it and the transmission have accumulated 6,000 miles since they were rebuilt. If the engine has been built somewhere around Hurst/Olds specifications, then the driver should have approximately 380hp available under their right foot. Given that a standard Vista Cruiser can storm through the ¼ mile in 15.8 seconds, more power and a better transmission should see a few tenths shaved off that figure. It’s not surprising that the owner states that the Wagon is comfortable to drive.

I’m not sure if I’m overly critical, but I don’t find the interior presentation of the Vista Cruiser to be as nice as the rest of the vehicle. There is nothing radically wrong with it, but it lacks the attention to detail that we see elsewhere on the wagon. My biggest concern is the blue labels that we can see attached to the console. These tend to indicate that the Hurst shifter doesn’t align with the indicator on the console. This could be a problem, especially for anyone who isn’t familiar with this classic. The last thing that you want to do is select what you believe to be Drive in a tight location, press down on the gas, and launch backward into something…or someone. The upholstery on the seats looks to be in good condition, as does the dash.

The original gauges have made way for a custom white-faced gauge set. This looks neat and tidy and was probably necessary to match up with items like the upgraded transmission. The upholstery on the door trims is wrinkled, and some of the carpet is faded. It looks okay, but the interior leaves me feeling let down. However, comfort and convenience features include ice-cold air conditioning, third-row seating, a CD player, and a rear power window.

There’s a lot to like about this 1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser. Its exterior presentation is striking, and the drivetrain upgrades hold the promise of impressive performance. I find the interior to be a disappointment, but sorting that out could be a fantastic Winter project for the right person. So, if you want to move the whole tribe from A-to-B in a huge hurry, maybe this is the classic for you.

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Comments

  1. Ramone Member

    Other than the rear spoiler, I like it. Vista Cruisers are cool, and the mix with Hurst/Olds as a tribute is OK with me. Also, with that 455, you could get to the grocery store in good time.

    Like 39
    • smokeymotors

      You are right, sell the spoiler! the cars lines will return to a better looking wagon

      Like 10
  2. alphasud Member

    Sign me up! I also have a warm place in my heart for a Vista Cruiser. Like the paint, I can tolerate the hood scoop, but if the spoiler were to catch on the garage door on the way out I wouldn’t miss it. Would be really cool if it had a Tremek 5-sp.

    Like 24
  3. Cadmanls Member

    Spent all that money for the Hurst want to be and no trumpets in the rear bumper. I like Oldsmobiles and Vista cruiser wagons are cool this one well, every car guy has their likes.

    Like 4
  4. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Probably worth the money considering the upgrades and the work done. This is the exact opposite of a “sleeper,” a car for the guy who wants to stand out in the crowd. I like it, even though it’s a bit on the gaudy side. Looks like all it needs is a little attention to the interior but good to go as-is. I’d lose the rear spoiler, it looks kind of silly.

    Like 14
    • Michael Kunze

      Agree on the spoiler, it’s hideous and senseless!

      Like 5
  5. 1959buickman

    Cool and interesting, but definitely not a barn find.

    Like 8
  6. Jcs

    Consensus agreed — 86 the spoiler.

    Like 18
    • Michael Kunze

      Ya, it’s hideous and senseless!

      Like 2
  7. Bmac777 Member

    Definitely lose that spoiler. I agree with the interior lacking when compared to the outside. One thing that feels weird, is the speedo being off to the left instead of center

    Like 9
  8. Euromoto

    The exterior is over-done. Lighten up on all the stripes, ditch the big Hurst “H” decals. Agree with the author: Interior is a let-down. Cool concept needing more refined execution.

    Like 9
    • 370zpp

      Well put, Euro. I totally agree.
      No real debate here. (like last night)

      Like 2
  9. Howard A Member

    I’m VERY disappointed in all of you.( I’ll give Adam a break not being from around here) All that’s missing is one of the “Hurst” girls. ( Think there were 4) Very cool rendition of late 60’s fluff! It was a fun time to be a gear head. :)
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/193936327686471460/?nic_v2=1a2of2oqS

    Like 3
    • CCFisher

      Linda Vaughn is the Miss Hurst Golden Shifter that everybody remembers.

      Like 10
      • Camaro guy

        Yeah and the 44 double D’s

        Like 1
    • Mountainwoodie

      Um……perhaps an acquired taste.

      • scottymac

        If we’re still talking about Linda, yes, I would like to acquire a taste!

        Like 7
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Great work with the pinterest link Howard! Did I hear you sold your bike? Take care, Mike.

    • Michael Kunze
  10. Comet

    That spoiler…………….

    Like 7
    • Michael Kunze

      It’s senseless!

  11. Rick Rothermel

    Award winning expert A-body restorer Phil LaChapelle in California has at least one of the ‘real’ Indy 500 Hurst Vista Cruisers.
    This one is cool, needs detail updates to deliver big money

    Like 1
  12. The One Member

    I dunno, a bit over done, kinda gaudy. But that is just me. Right?

    Like 5
  13. Max

    Leave the spoiler. Take the cannoli.

  14. Al camino

    Filler up with kids

  15. Marko

    Change the wing spoiler to a more period correct chrome deflector, and I would drive it.

    Official vehicle of “The Soccer Moms that have come to kick butt and take names” club.

    Like 1
  16. martinsane

    I wonder whats scrawled on the glove box?
    I also wondered about the key fob and then in the Ebay link that mystery is solved in a nano second as the dealer is not shy about who they are.
    Pictures vary from the BF post and the ebay ad, where’d the BF pix come from?

    I like it but its a bit gawdy for me. Id prefer it dialed back quite bit and be a real sleeper.

  17. Dave Mathers

    I visited the Hurst facility just off Woodward Ave in Detroit several times when they were building the Hurst Oldsmobiles. I also sold these wagons brand new. Except for the rear wing this is a neat piece.

    Like 2
  18. David Murray

    I believe they had a similar one made for the medical director at the Indy 500.

  19. Jim Morris

    The concept works on later models also: http://www.jetfire.com
    ’92 Custom Cruiser, Olds 455 (dyno’d just under 400), TBI, ’73 442 interior, lotsa other stuff. (full disclosure: mine)

    I agree, the wing is overkill, a ’73 era wing raised a little from stock would work better. But, if you’re going for impact, it works!

    I agreed with the speedo being off center at first, but it looks like the car is running, and if that’s where the gauges point when all is normal, it’s perfect.

    If any function is off, that particular needle will not line up and hopefully catch your eye right away. Many car guys wailed when the mfr’s went to idiot lights but I believe many more engines were saved by a glowing red light than any amount of gauges. Think about the name of the light!

    Nice car, I wish my checkbook and I were better friends, this would make a great partner for my ’92.

    Like 1
  20. Howie

    Agree about the wing, take it away! Attention to detail is so important, I would liked to have seen pictures of the underside, that can usually tell quite a story. There is no rear anti-sway bar, and little attention, from what can be seen, was to tidy things up underside. Specs of the engine build, to what level, etc helps to know. Yes, an interior that old may have some wrinkles, but the lack of an O/E steering column (is the replacement energy absorbing?) relegating the ignition lock to the instrument panel is a letdown. As mentioned, some detailing and corrections would make this Vista Cruiser a head turner from every angle in, out and underneath.

    Like 1
  21. tom kriebel

    Linda has embellished her figure since then.

  22. 72ChevelleSS

    It’s definitely a fun car…. BUT the first thing your eyes are drawn to is THE WING!?!?! Its just too much.. The price is a lil North of the value.

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