Vista Cruiser Cousin: 1965 Buick Sport Wagon

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

As a fan of sporty cars and wagons, a car like this 1965 Buick Sport Wagon seems like the best of both worlds. It’s almost like the old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials, “You got sport on my wagon!” “You got wagon on my sport!” Ok, it’s nothing like that, but you know what I mean. This car is listed on eBay with a buy it now price of $8,750 or you can make an offer. It’s located in Pahrump, Nevada.

This one even has some nice mag wheels already mounted for sportin’ up the Sport Wagon even more. As long as the nice Buick Rally Wheels aren’t there these Torq Thrust mags would work for me. The Buick Sport Wagon was related to the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser and I have to say that I’m biased towards the Sport Wagon, personally. But it’s like pool or pond, anything would be good… (Caddyshack misquote there)

This Sport Wagon “is a true survivor and a dream to drive. Still wears its original paint so the patina look sure is there. Sadly, there are a few bumps and scrapes, but minor in nature.” It does look good overall but at this price I’m wondering how many people would spend the money on restoring it? It does have a somewhat unusual feature, at least for a Buick.

Is that a third pedal? Nice. A hairy-knuckle floor shifter is always cool but a three-on-the-tree manual seems so unusual to me to see in a Buick. When I think of Buicks I think of luxury not column-mounted manual transmissions, but that makes me like this car even more. A main feature of these cars is the roof and they say that the “sky lite glass is really nice, no breakdown or delamination, no leaks.”

This is Buick’s 300 cubic-inch V8 that would have had 210-250 hp. You can see power steering which is nice but I’m not sure what’s happening with the black firewall? It looks like a rattle-can-restoration but maybe I’m mistaken. It sounds like this car runs great, the seller says “Mechanically, this car is as good as it gets. Runs super smooth and quiet, transmission and clutch are very smooth and quiet. Car has newer exhaust, new brakes, new wheels and tires, new windshield”. This looks like a nice project for someone who likes their wagons to be on the sporty side.

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Comments

  1. Joe Howell

    I like it, cars I wouldn’t have given a second look years ago I’m drawn to now. Old wagons especially get my attention. Rusty bits have me wondering how solid it is overall. It looks like these has been standing water in the spare tire well and some of the interior metal is rusting so I’m guessing something leaked somewhere sometime in the past. Since it needs some body work and paint I’m thinking it’s overpriced a couple of grand IMHO.
    Back in the early 70’s there was a guy around town who took an Olds Vista cruiser top and grafted it to a short wheel base 68 Chevy van. It was finished off nicely and looked factory.

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  2. Troy s

    A set of torque thrust rims can transform any car into rolling eye candy, never fails. Even a mild mannered hauler like this wagon begins to look “hot” just from the wheels alone.

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    • Metoo

      I have to disagree. Mag wheels on this look as out of place as a rear spoiler wing added onto a old Honda Civic. Buy the car, sell the mags, go back to original. Use the money from selling the mags to help pay for repairing the minor dings, etc.

  3. redwagon

    well that’s really cool. not only a buick sport wagon but the fact that it’s a 3 spd. i dont care if its on the column a manual buick from the 60s is a rare beast.

    i am thinking that this must have been a special order – it certainly is a rare beast. from the rear i see it was purchased new from homstead buick in nampa, idaho. how it got from there to extreme southern nevada would be a story in itself.

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  4. Ken Carney

    My parents bought one used in ’67. Except for the mags (which look great)
    this one’s a twin of my parent’s wagon. Ours ran a 330 V-8 mated to an
    automatic. We got a lot of use out of it in the few years we had it. It seemed
    to me at the time that old wagon could haul just about anything you cared
    to put in the back of it. Recall going on a drive with my parents to the Kickapoo Creek rock fest in the spring of ’70 just to see what 30,000 unwashed hippies looked like. We traded it a few months later for a ’66
    Caddy Calais 4-door HT which I later bought from my dad so that my nitwit
    uncle wouldn’t destroy it. Dad and I were working a deal to get one for me in
    ’03 when he passed away. Still want one, still looking. Very nice car.

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    • Metoo

      I was at Woodstock. After a few days we were certainty a huge crowd of unwashed hippies. The pot helped mask the smell of being unwashed.

  5. BOP Guy Member

    I really like this one! With three-on-the-tree, somebody ordered this right. Scotty, I’m curious how you know it’s a 300ci engine (I hope this isn’t a dumb question!)? The item description says he wants $11.5 for it, but then priced at $8750 on the heading. Maybe second time around trying to sell it? The interior is in great shape, outside of the aforementioned surface rust. Great find!!

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  6. Bgblk66

    Just for reference Skylarks did have a black firewall. I have a 64 convertible and also a hardtop that have black firewalls.

  7. Johnny Joseph

    I live in Burbank, CA, so I can be in Pahrump in under 3 hours, which I would definitely do if I had an interest in the car. Like the three on the tree, and as noted above, Torque Thrust wheels can make an AMC Pacer with a straight six look cool! If it is the $8,500 ask, I just might get in touch with him, and take a ride to Nevada.

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  8. CaCarDude

    Nice Wagon in the Vista Cruiser style. The firewall is original as is with the flat black look. Power steering but non power brake, the 3 on the tree is a rare find on this Buick! The Buick road or Rallye type wheels really do look nice but I would be totally happy with the TT wheels on this. The factory small block would be the 300 v8 and most likely a 2bbl set up making it 210hp, add the rare carter 4bbl and you would be getting the 250hp. Good luck finding the original 4bbl setup manifold and all for this, when you do expect to pay some big $$, that is if the owner knows what he has. Nice find here!

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    • Metoo

      No power brakes? It must be like trying to slow down the Titanic. But at least the power steering would help miss the iceberg.

  9. ccrvtt

    My mom had a ’65 Vista Cruiser in white with a black cloth interior, 3 seats, 2-speed auto & a 330 V-8. I got my driver’s license the next year and I have to say that wagon was fast. Being from Lansing I always liked the Oldsmobiles better and as I recall Mom’s wagon was a little nicer looking than this one. I think the ask it a bit high on this car. They’re neat, but not that neat.

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  10. LAWRENCE

    Nice….prefer these over the Olds…..

  11. Maestro1

    I’m on the Left Coast and a reasonable run to Nevada for a look but I’ll pass. Why? A 3 Spd. It’s very unusual in a Buick, could be a mistake in ordering by the Dealer when new, who knows? I’m at a stage in life where if it’s not an all out sports car I need an automatic.

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  12. Metoo

    For starters, I would not let that as mid-60’s if I saw it on the street. The popularity of big older “family Trucksters” is good to see, they were long overlooked. But now even younger people know of them thanks to shows like That 70’s Show and the kids Vista Cruiser.

    Three on the tree? On that beast? Seems hard to imagine the original buyer wouldn’t have opted for an automatic. Still, easy to fix problems with those and certain cheaper than repairing any problems one can have with a automatic. At least it has power steering, and I assume power brakes. I like it.

  13. PatrickM

    Nice car. Wish I was in a position to…

  14. Frank McLaughlin

    I bought a new 1965 Buick Special 2 door V-6 with a 3 speed standard shift it cost $2,080.00 new. It was a left over in dealer stock and I always wondered if you could get a 3 speed with an 8 cyl. Also bought a used 1966 special with a 3 speed standard trans. V-6 four door sedan. The latest full size Buick standard shift I have seen is 1960 . These old Buick Specials are great looking cars . will go up in value . Frank

  15. chad

    i think that’s the yr they changed frm all alu to iron head/alu block? (Not a GM guy, here). No may B, yeah… I think this is it – they kept the alu head but changed the block to iron…
    They stopped the all alu’n – sold the pattern to Land Rover (not Rover). Here’n in GB I think it had a pretty hi CR – 11:1 or something…

  16. Blueovaldude Member

    When I was a kid in the late 60’s, a neighbor up the street had one of these with a factory floor shifter. Not sure if it was a 3 or 4 speed but was a really cool wagon.

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