Live Auctions

One-Owner: 1970 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser

Vintage station wagons are gaining popularity with collectors and few may be more collectible than the Olds Vista Cruiser (Chevy Nomad, excluded). These stand out from ordinary wagons because of their raised roof with fixed-glass and roof-mounted skylights over the second-row seats. They also have lateral glass panels over the rear cargo area. This is a one-owner 1970 Vista Cruiser with a 350 V-8 that looks have been babied over the years. It calls Pasadena, California home for now and it’s available here on craigslist for $18,999. Thanks to rex miller of Barn Finds for bringing this one to our attention!

Oldsmobile built the Vista Cruiser over three generations from 1964-77. It’s the first two groups (1964-72) of the wagons that had the distinctive roof design; the 1973-77’s were Vista Cruisers in name only, built with regular station wagon features. The Vista Cruiser was based on the Oldsmobile Cutlass/F-85 models and shared the body style for several years with the Buick Sport Wagon. Second-generation Vista Cruisers (1968-72) came with a 350-cubic-inch V-8 as standard, with a high-output 400 from the 442-muscle car optional in 1968-69 and a 455 available from 1970-72.

The seller’s 1970 Vista Cruiser comes with few photos and few details, so we’ll work with what we have. The body is said to be good with “minor scratches and dents” which aren’t too obvious in what we can see. Rust may be starting at the bottom of the driver’s door and there appears to be a crease in the woodgrain back by the rear bumper on the same side. Both the paint and woodgrain look too good to be original, but the seller doesn’t make any reference there. At any rate, the black paint looks nice and shiny and the whole car presents well, even with the aftermarket wheels.

We can’t say much about the interior as only two shots are provided and they’re local. The dashboard looks good as does one door panel. If these are representative of the rest of the interior, then we’re guessing no work will be needed. Best as we can tell, this wagon only has two sets of bench seats, so that would make it model # 4855 which resulted in 10,758 copies made for 1970. If it had a third seat, it would be one of 23,336. Thanks to Hod Rod Harrys for the production data.

This Vista Cruiser has the standard 350-engine, but we don’t know if its 2 or 4-barrel carburetion. The sight of dual exhaust pipes suggests the latter. The one-owner seller mentions that the motor has been rebuilt, but we don’t know how miles since that refresh or on the entire car, for that matter. Hagerty thinks that Excellent to Concours for these wagons is $14,200 to $22,400. The seller has picked the mid-point for his price. If the wagon needs nothing other than a new home, that may be reasonable. An in-person inspection is advised for really interested parties.


  1. Fahrvergnugen Farhvergnugen Member

    Nice looking longroof, dash pad hides something. Needs more pictures though,

    Like 4
  2. Jonathan

    Cool car? Photos are terrible.

    “I want $19,000 for this old car and I can’t be bothered to provide at least one full vehicle wide shot.”


    Like 18
    • Greg

      For some reason old guys don’t know how to take a full picture of a car. You see this all the time. Useless photos.

      Like 1
  3. mainlymuscle

    Oh sure we’d all prefer more pictures,but the fact is there are 15 or 20 million people within a couple hours drive.It seems like 50 % of them are California Curbers.This will sell quickly.

    Like 5
  4. JimmyinTEXAS

    I would love to see this car with my tired old eyes. I love them and I don’t think I have ever seen a black one. The poor pictures certinally do not help sell the car but as pointed out the odds are it will sell local where many eyes will be able to see it if interested in purchase.

    Like 1
  5. ACZ

    Needs the O.A.I. hood

  6. Jimi

    Probably a Rochester quadrants.

  7. Gransedan

    Nice example. I don’t recall ever seeing a black one of this generation either.
    The car is missing it’s rear nomenclature. Unless it’s an anomaly, the car left the factory with a nameplate on the tailgate. Oldsmobile? Vista Cruiser?

  8. Doc

    Looks to be a repaint for sure. 350 in a Vista? Thing needs the 455. Heavy heavy beasts. Third row seat probably adds 300 pounds. Nice wagon but 20k? Good luck

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