Sweet Station Wagon: 1978 Olds Custom Cruiser

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If you are on the hunt for a classic station wagon with a bit of subtle “wow” to its appearance, then this Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser could be a car that is worth a look. It may not be perfect, but its overall condition is sure to turn heads wherever it goes. It is located in Elgin, Illinois, and is listed for sale here on eBay. At the time of writing, bidding has reached $3,251. The first bit of good news is the fact that this wagon has being listed in a No Reserve auction, so it will be going to a new home in a very short time.

The rest of the good news about this station wagon all revolves around its condition. I have to say that I’m really quite taken by this Oldsmobile. It is showing a little bit of wear around the edges, but it isn’t anything dramatic. Some of the wood-grain has been replaced, and while it isn’t a perfect match, it really isn’t too bad. If you were a perfectionist, then you could certainly have the whole lot refinished to match. The owner also says that there is no rust in the vehicle, and it sure does look clean. The Rallye Wheels and tires are new, and these are what gives the wagon that little bit of attitude that I like so much.

There’s a lot of red in there, but not only don’t I mind it, but I can’t help but notice how well the interior has held up over the years. The red leather upholstery on the seats looks good, as does the rest of the trim and carpet. If you have a reasonable-sized tribe to move around, don’t you fret. This baby has the 3rd row, making it a 9-seater. The wagon is fitted with air conditioning, but this currently doesn’t work. Otherwise, you get cruise control, a tilt wheel, power locks, and a cassette player as luxury appointments.

The Rocket 350 under the hood is backed by an automatic transmission, and both are said to work perfectly. You also get power steering, power brakes, and a pretty impressive list of recently completed work to make the Oldsmobile reliable. The car has received new plugs, along with a new distributor cap and rotor. There has also been a new exhaust, new brakes, new shocks, along with the previously mentioned new wheels and tires. The owner does state that the car has covered a genuine 84,000 miles, and the general condition and presentation of the whole car tend to make this claim quite plausible.

Station wagons tend to be vehicles that I can either take or leave, and it would take a pretty special one to really grab my attention, and to reach the stage where I would seriously like to park it in my driveway. This 1978 Custom Cruiser does that. I really am quite taken with it, and I have to say that whoever buys it looks like they will be landing themselves a very nice vehicle.

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  1. Ray Smith

    Certainly a nice car. Brings back a lot of nostalgia from a time long ago. I can’t help but to think 40 years ahead (I’ll be long gone) what cars today might carry that nostalgic feeling forward. Like the station wagon was the choice of families years ago today’s choice seems to the the SUV. I wonder if they will be sought after in the future? The Ford Explorer with an ecoboost runs pretty strong. A GMC Terrain with the 3.6 V6 is no slouch either. I know my kids currently are not interested in anything SUV just like I was mortified to be seen driving a wagon back in 1978. I wonder if that will change by 2059. Anybody have any guesses what might be the sought after nostalgic vehicle by then?

    Like 3
    • Tirefriar

      My guess will be current big muscle – Camaros, Mustangs, Challengers and even fortified Chargers. Why wait 40 years? Grab one today and enjoy.

      Like 7
    • Top Jimmy

      Gads!!! A Prius or Insight running on solar power?

      Like 1
    • Miguel

      I think the complicated computer systems will make sure the current cars will not be around for future generations.

      The repair costs will be prohibitive when the manufacturer stops making parts for it.

      You assuredly will not find a current car that has been sitting for 20 years and drive it out of wherever it was.

      Like 1
  2. Pat LMember

    Strange, the seller also has it listed on Craigslist for $3,850.

    Like 2
    • Ikey Heyman

      Yeah, bidding was not where he wanted so 24 hours ago he posted it on Craigslist, he wants to get it off his hands, obviously. Must be happy now that it’s at $4200 on Ebay with 3 days to go. He should cancel the Craigslist posting if he’s smart.

      Like 3
      • DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

        He did.
        So, I guess he is.


        Like 1
      • Bill

        The AC is gonna cost at least 1500 more dollars, sell it for parts <

        Like 0
      • Miguel

        Bill, that is definitely an American attitude.

        When a small part goes bad, you throw it away and get another one.

        Like 2
  3. scott

    But, the bad news is, he claims it’s a one owner Missouri car, then goes on to say he has been working on it for 2 weeks, and the title is not in his name…. Another flipper! And, the A/C is not working….

    Like 6
    • Andrew

      I hate that crap. I have nothing against flippers. But saying it’s a one owner when you are clearly flipping it is garbage.

      Like 4
  4. normadesmond

    and it’s vinyl, not leather.

    Like 11
  5. Tony Primo

    Yeah, but $3,800 bucks isn’t a whole bunch of money. You can’t expect everything will be perfect for that amount.

    Like 11
    • Mark

      I own 1987 Olds Custom Wagon Cruiser over 15 years. Purchased from North Carolina
      Sweet ride, roomy, perfect car.
      Never any problem – no recalls

      Like 3
  6. redwagon

    if it were mine …… i would not be saving this one for posterity i would be driving it. changes on the horizon would include removal of the faux wood siding and changing the carpet from red to black. i would leave the rest of the interior red but with a black carpet it would set off that interior nicely. similarly i would install redline tires. playing off of the exterior / interior colors that would look quite handsome.

    i’m drawn to this one. name checks out.

    Like 1
    • r s

      With all due respect, I hope you’re not the one who’s going to buy it.

      Like 0
  7. Bakyrdhero

    I like the rally’s on this wagon.

    Like 7
  8. Sam61

    Great looking wagon…like the slot wheels and beauty rings.

    One nit to pick…if the owner really cared about the environment he would have used bamboo vinyl instead of hardwood vinyl. Everyone knows bamboo is more renewable/shorter growing cycle than hardwood.

    Sorry for the bad joke…

    Like 6
  9. Poppy

    I didn’t realize how long they used this body style for the wagons. 1978-1990.

    Like 0
    • ACZ

      1977- 1990

      Like 0
      • Jetfire88

        The chassis under this was also used through 1996 under the Caprice/Roadmaster/Custom Cruiser wagons.
        Only minor changes, injected SBC v8 for all, metric wheel studs, ABS. Interior seating is also carried forward, the later bodies are wider the the box bodies, so there is larger gaps between the seats and the doors.

        Like 2
  10. George mattar

    We had one of these from 1987 to 1993. Bought it used. Funny part is I rustproofed it new with Rusty Jones while working at Rider Oldsmobile in State College while attending PSU. Great car for our three girls who are now in their early 30s. Never left us sit. The trans finally quit in 1993. I bought an 87 Caprice Estate wagon. Total POS. Stupid GM killed their name dumping Olds and Pontiac. No wonder people buy Jap

    Like 2
  11. John Oliveri

    At least it’s a 350, not that rotten 307 that was up next, wanna here my dream wagon? 1969 Bonneville loaded w power windows locks tilt A/C and factory 8 track on the floor, it mounted to the trans tunnel am/fm stereo, and oh, to blow all the other fathers doors off in the school parking lot, a nice 428, with a 4 barrel and duals, need that posi rear end for towing, and matching 20 foot bias ply tire marks, real smokey

    Like 5
  12. Bruce Fischer

    My 1987 Buick station wagon has the 3 row seating too.

    Like 2
  13. r s

    My mom owned a 1978 Olds 98 Regency with the 403 V8 and I have to say I bet it would blow the doors off any similar Olds with the 350. I was always very impressed by how much scoot it had.

    Like 0
  14. DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

    Lots of bids, finished out at $4950

    Like 0

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