Skylight Wagon: 1966 Oldsmoble Vista Cruiser

1966-oldsmobile-vista-cruiser

If you grew up riding around in big American station wagons, you likely have fond memories of these big classics. One of the more iconic of these wagons is the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser, with it’s raise rear roof and panoramic skylights. I really love the looks of these beasts, but finding solid examples is getting hard. This one has some rust spots, but I actually don’t see anything too serious. It needs interior work and the engine currently isn’t running. It’s been in the same family’s garage for the past 25 years or so, so plan on going through the brakes as well. It can be found here on eBay in Ellicott City, Maryland with bidding to $3,100 and no reserve!

1966-oldsmobile-vista-cruiser-skylights

It’s amazing how desirable these wagons have become over the past few years, but it makes sense. If you grew up riding in the back of one of these and have fond memories of family road trips in one, having one can be a fun trip down memory lane that you can share with whole family. And let’s be honest, these things are down right cool!

1966-olds-vista-cruiser-rust-spots

This one needs work, that’s for sure. But I’ve seen ones in worse shape go for more than the current bid. If it really is solid, it will make someone a fun project. I would want to have a look at the floors just to make sure it isn’t rusted out and check the engine to see if it turns over. Engine and drivetrain parts are readily available though, so it shouldn’t be hard to get it driving again. The seller claims the transmission was rebuilt 5k miles ago.

1966-oldsmobile-vista-cruiser-interior

Restoring the interior is my biggest concern with this one. While there is a growing community of wagon fans, there aren’t many companies building new plastic parts for these. The upholstery actually looks to be in good shape, as does the dash. As long as the interior trim is still all here, it could turn out to be a simple project to fix back up. If anything is missing though, it could get a lot more challenging. Let’s just hope everything is here and nice enough to be reused! So do you have any fond memories of the Vista Cruiser?

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Comments

  1. Nate Member

    Grandpa had one of these back in the day, black with the 330 Rocket. My dad stole it to get home once when he was 13 and grandpa was too drunk to drive home from the bar. :/ Swears he had it up to a buck-10 scraping guard rails on every curve.

  2. Mark S Member

    The interior shouldn’t be that bad to do now that pastic parts can be reproduced using a 3D printer I know there not that expensive and can be amazingly accurate. As for the car these are very cool I remember when I was about 10 we were camping with a group of other families in the Radium hot springs area in BC Canada. There was reports of a near by forest fire so my dad and another dad got this idea that we should Waite till dark and go have a look so the other dad did the driving and it was in a car just like this. There are three things I remember from that ride, the car was very cool great view out the windows, the fire was big and quit amazing looking in the dark, and the police officer giving the two dads $h!t for hauling a car load of kids out to a forest fire. Good times.

    • Tony S

      But wouldn’t the 3D printer need CAD input to generate the part? Those files don’t exist.

  3. grant

    Sold for $6100

  4. Vegas Vic

    Adore these big beasts! Our family was Buick buyers…. With faux wood grain, big V8 and long in length. Wow! Such memories of us all stuffed in on the way to Florida, parents chain smoking as we searched for a Howard Johnsons.
    Fun times!
    “Mom…. Vic’s smelly feet are on my side!”🗽🗽

  5. kieran.M

    cool station wagon i would turn it into a drag wagon since the parts are getting harder for it.
    But that is my opinion.
    ps nice find

    • mike d

      it IS a cool wagon! I agree, would drop a 400 in it, this one probably has the 330 , it is sold though!! with the 442 grille work, this would be a cool looking car! I do like the newer ones better ( 68-75) but would not turn this one down !

  6. Ck

    So here is a perfect example of a reasonably priced wagon in pretty good shape .Not like that overpriced non running 59 chevy from the other day.The deals are out there people ,ya just gotta find em.

  7. Rustytech Member

    Some of the better 3D printers use a lazer scanner, so if you have an old part that’s broken you can assemble it with glue and reproduce it. These printers are expensive, so unless your doing alott of parts it may not make sense. I like this car, my dad had 2 of them 1965 and a 1970, both red with wood grain trim, fond memories. I’d want some history and a hands on inspection. Elliott City Md had some major flooding earlier this year, was this effected?

  8. GRAY WOLF

    Great Nostalgia Drag push car! There was a shortage of these at Famosa Dragstrip nostalgia race. They were announcing for people to help out to push the dragsters, wish I brought mine!

  9. Tom Driscoll

    Make mine a ’72 w/455 please….

  10. Skip

    I think I’ve mentioned it before. I had a 1965 VistaCruiser wagon that had been built as an ambulance for an ambulance service in Corpus Christi. The main rear seat was removed, leaving the original jump seat on the right; and platform was built for the cot to roll in on. It had ended up with a funeral home in Muleshoe, TX, and when the tranny went, the owner parked the car and stripped the lights and siren, which went on a ’69 Pontiac Consort ambulance he had put into service. That was around 1973 and I bought the car for a whopping $250 in 1974 for our standby ambulance operation, and then spent $150 for a transmission repair. We had just retired our ’62 International TravelAll ambulance, so the lights and siren and other equipment from it went on to and into the VistaCruiser. Since it was equipped with a big Federal “Q” siren (which used a lot of ‘juice’), I added twin DieHard batteries along with the existing 100-amp. alternator. With the beefed up electrical system we could turn on all the warning lights plus the GE two-way radio that used a considerable amount of electricity and let loose on the Q, and none of the red lights or headlights would dim! Early in 1975 I drove from Lubbock to Odessa to see a friend who worked at the city’s radio shop to look at an electronic siren we had that was on the fritz. It was quickly repaired. While there he showed me that they were putting special flashers on the fire dept’s ambulances that wig-wagged the high beams, and he fixed us up with one. That was soooo cool because no one up around Lubbock had seen those things, and when we had to run on emergency, it really got the attention. The engine went in 1977 or ’78, so we removed the emergency equipment, etc. A well-known rock band loved Vista Cruisers, so we sold it to them worth the money and once the 455 engine was rebuilt, it made them a neat band wagon. Still miss that fast running beast!

  11. Philip

    Sorry I missed this one. It’s about a half hour from me. Though these days I’m all over Corvette C3’s, my first car was an Oldsmobile. When the motor blew,, I got a 70 Vista Cruiser for parts and ended up doing driving it for a year. The 455 and towing gears with posi track was WAYYY faster that the 70 Cutlass I had the blown up 350 Rocket in. The Vista was rusting a bit ( for back then, today that little bit of pinholes in the rear quarter is nothing)

    and a wagon, the Cutlass was a two door coupe, so the 455 and rear were transferred. The trans was too long and didn’t fit which was a shame since it was a 400 turbo. The 350 turbo wasn’t as tough and had to be rebuilt. Then I slid on Wet roads with big Wide O Oval bias ply’s in the rain and wrecked it. Had better luck with the next A body, a “69 T37 with 400 4 bbl. and Super T-10 4 speed.

    But that wagon was fast comfortable and had all the options with polar cold AC. I’d like another one someday, but am focused on finishing up a C3 stoker car, so I can get another C3, a ’72-73 LT-1 4 speed coupe.. maybe a wagon after that..lol.

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