Bogus Buckets: 1969 Buick Sport Wagon – $11,500

by | Jan 2023 | Classifinds, Wagon Wednesday

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The 1960s-era Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser stands out as one of the most innovative station wagons of the era with its forward-facing three-row seating and tinted glass roof panels designed to make the rear seating area more open and airy.  Suppose you have your heart set on finding an Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser but are having trouble thus far. In that case, a comparable alternative is Buick’s Sportwagon, which offers all of the features of the Vista Cruiser in an arguably more attractive package.

The seller of this driver-quality white over red 1969 Buick Sportwagon, currently listed here on Craigslist in Inverness, Florida (Tampa), was well aware of this brand engineering nuance and thus called their Sportwagon a Vista Cruiser in the title of their car’s ad.  The seller also notes that they sourced their wagon out of New Mexico just one year ago.  Exposure to desert sun up until last year took its toll on the interior components.  Consequently, the seller replaced the original vinyl bench seat with cloth-covered buckets. While he replaced the middle row with similar cloth-covered units, the third row continues to feature its original red vinyl.

Currently offered for $11,500, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is slightly below the one-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for all Buick Sport Wagons produced between 1964 and 1972.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the Sport Wagon featured here:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 “Good” estimate of $10,300 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $16,300 before making adjustments for equipment and powertrain options.

Buick offered its mid-sized Sportwagon across three generations spanning 1964 through 1972.  The Buick Sportwagon shared its body and chassis with the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser, Pontiac Tempest Safari, and Chevrolet Chevelle Greenbrier. This model featured a raised roof and skylights over the cargo and second seat area, this model was an extended wheelbase version of the Buick Skylark station wagon. From 1964 through 1970, the Sport Wagon was the only luxury-level station wagon offered under the Buick until the full-size Buick Estate Wagon debuted that year.

A body redesign for all 1968 Buicks featured an updated “Sweepspear” side sculpturing that showed influences from the restyled Riviera. The wagon’s roof replaced the previously-used split main skylight with a one-piece skylight over the second-row seat, which carried over to 1969. The lengthwise skylights along the cargo area remained the same, and the simulated woodgrain paneling was offered optionally. The SportWagon was offered as either the Skylark Series 43400 or the Skylark Custom Series 44400 and included the woodgrain appearance, and was applied below the “Sweepspear” character line for 1968 and above for 1969.

The 1968–69 Sport Wagon models rode on a 121-inch wheelbase. This allowed for optional forward-facing third-row seats that were unavailable on the smaller 116-inch wheelbase Special and DeLuxe wagons. In 1969, the “Dual-Action” tailgate was introduced as an option on two-row models and standard equipment on three-row. The listed retail price for the 1968 nine-passenger Sport Wagon with Custom trim package was US$3,869 ($35,000 in 2021 dollars).

Engine choices offered the standard 250 cubic inch Chevrolet Straight-six engine, and included the 350 cubic inch Buick V8 shared with the Skylark line and a 400 cubic inch Buick V8 “big block” also available from the GS series.

The Brandon Thompson YouTube Channel features this 1969 Buick Skylark TV commercial providing a glimpse into how Buick pitched its cars to consumers that model year:

This 1969 Buick Sportwagon for sale is a nice entry-level classic car featuring a solid New Mexico body and a recent set of new tires. Based on the seller’s description, the car needs a few additional items sorted. While this Buick does not feature factory A/C, now that the interior has been swapped out, no one will fault you for grafting in an aftermarket Vintage Air system, should you choose to go that route.

If you are serious about buying this Sportwagon, you can start the conversation by emailing the seller.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their Buick longroof featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1969 Buick Vista Cruiser was purchased out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, just over a year ago. It is completely rust-free. The paint could be upgraded, but nice enough for cruise nights. It has the original 350 engine and transmission. It runs great, I just installed a new fuel pump and carburetor line. New tires last year. The original front and mid seats have been swapped out for cloth seats, and the rear third seat has vinyl.

 

The interior rear panels are baked from the sun and need restoration. I got the tailgate glass unseized, but it needs a new motor, and the tailgate may open. It swings like a door or drops down, new for 1969.  Unknown mileage, but the speedo works (reads 58,000.0???), as do all the gauges. The wipers work but need a new switch. Radio works. The car has P.S., P.B., and no A/C.

The price is $11,500 cash with no trades. Car is located in Inverness, Fl 34450, with a clean FL Title.

Driven weekly to shows and cruise-ins.​

Show or go: What would you do with this driver-quality 1968 Buick Sportwagon for sale?  Please comment below and let us know!

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