Clean Classic: 1972 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser 68K – Sold?

by | Sep 2023 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Wagon Wednesday

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November 1, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “ClassiFIND” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

September 10, 2023 Update – The seller replaced their expiring original ad with a fresh Craigslist listing.  The description, pictures, and asking price all remain the same.

What iconic models come to mind when you think about classic station wagons?  A pre-World War II Ford Woodie? A Tri-Five Chevrolet Nomad?  As iconic as those Long Roofs are, the top of the classic station wagon pyramid for us is the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser produced from 1964 through 1972.  Spanning two generations, the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser was one of a select few station wagons to feature third-row seating that actually faced forward.  Add to that the space-age roof glass designed to bring light into the back of the extended cabin, and you have the makings for a classic station wagon.

The final model year of the roof-windowed, Cutlass-based Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser was 1972.  This tan over buckskin 1972 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser wagon for sale, first spotted on Craigslist in Escondido, California, in August 2023, is both a well-preserved and well-optioned example.  The seller proudly states the undercarriage is not detailed. However judging from the pictures provided, it would not take much to take the car’s underside to the next level, as the engine compartment appears already in that condition.  Adding to the car’s originality are the abnormally low 67,688 miles believed to be original based on the car’s outstanding survivor-quality condition.

Last offered for $34,500, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is well above the five-year average for 1972 Oldsmobile Vista Cruisers sold. However, we acknowledge sales data is very limited for this model year. By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for in the past rolling five years:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask lands well above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of only $21,600. As a third data point, the downloadable 2023 Old Cars Price Guide Big Book also confirms the seller’s asking price is $14,500 above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of only $20,000.  Unfortunately, the seller appears to be relying on the bloated Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool, as the asking price on this data source falls between the #3 “Good” estimate of $23,100 and its #2 “Excellent appraisal of $38,600.  Hagerty’s reliance on self-reported data as well as retail sales, is yet another example of that source being too optimistic for the average seller.

The 1972 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser is a classic American station wagon that captures the essence of a bygone era. It belongs to the third generation of Vista Cruisers produced by Oldsmobile, a division of General Motors. This vehicle model was known for its distinctive design, spaciousness, and versatility, making it a popular choice for families and those seeking a combination of comfort and utility.

The 1972 Vista Cruiser retained the iconic long-roof design that characterized its predecessors. It featured a squared-off front end with a prominent grille and quad headlamps, which were characteristic of the early 1970s styling trends. The large glass area on the sides and the expansive rear windows contributed to its name, “Vista Cruiser,” offering passengers a panoramic view of the surroundings.

The Vista Cruiser’s interior was designed with comfort and convenience in mind. It typically accommodated up to eight passengers, with both front and rear bench seats. The rear seats were reversible, allowing passengers to face either forward or backward, creating a sociable and unique seating arrangement.

The 1972 Vista Cruiser came equipped with a range of engine options to suit different preferences and performance needs. These options often included V8 engines in various displacements, offering a balance between power and fuel efficiency. Depending on the engine choice, transmission options included both automatic and manual transmissions.

While the primary focus of the Vista Cruiser was not necessarily high performance, its V8 engine options provided sufficient power for highway cruising and city driving. The car’s suspension was designed for a smooth ride, which was essential for accommodating families and their cargo comfortably.

One of the defining features of the Vista Cruiser was its versatility. The forward-facing third-row seat and spacious cargo area made it suitable for transporting both people and goods. This made it a popular choice for road trips, family vacations, and everyday errands.

The 1972 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser is fondly remembered as a symbol of the American automotive landscape of the 1970s. Its unique design, spaciousness, and versatility made it a distinctive choice in the station wagon segment. Over the years, its classic and nostalgic appeal has grown, leading to a dedicated fan base and continued interest in vintage car circles.

The 1972 model year marked the end of the third generation of Vista Cruisers. In subsequent years, changing market demands and the shift towards smaller vehicles contributed to the decline of traditional station wagons. However, the Vista Cruiser remains a cherished reminder of an era when spacious family-oriented vehicles were an integral part of American culture.

Overall, the 1972 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser is an iconic example of a classic American station wagon, celebrated for its distinctive design, comfortable interior, and practicality. It’s a reminder of a time when automotive design embraced both style and functionality in equal measure.

The VistaCruiser67 YouTube Channel a 1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser commercial hosted by famous author and pitchman George Plimpton:

What impresses us the most about this 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Vista Cruiser for sale is how clean this wagon is, inside and out, from the engine bay to the undercarriage.  More impressive is how well-optioned this Vista Cruiser is, as it even features working factory air conditioning.

If you are serious about buying this Vista Cruiser, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their Oldsmobile station wagon featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1972 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser station wagon

This is probably about the cleanest original unrestored vista cruiser of this era you are going to find. It is a Collector quality car.
The indicated mileage is 67,668 and is purported to be original which is supported by the overall condition and the driving characteristics of the car.
Equipment and options include: 350 olds rocket V8 PS PB factory AC roof rack, third seat, radio, two way tailgate with a power tailgate window. Factory superstock wheels with BF Goodrich tires with excellent tread.
The body and paint look great, and go well with the wood grain and the saddle interior. The car still has the original radio. An aftermarket Bluetooth capable stereo is under the dash. The aftermarket stereo plays thru the single speaker in the dash. No interior panels were cut to install aftermarket speakers.
The spare tire appears to be the original white wall, bias ply goodyear spare. Headliner looks extremely nice. So do the four sun visors. Two sun visors are for the window above the middle seats. Carpet looks near new, upholstery looks great, the dash also looks great, no cracks. Door panels are very nice too. Chassis has not been detailed; it is very clean, occasional minor surface rust.
Engine compartment is extremely clean, looks all original. Coolant is green. No noticeable leaks, the ground under the car is dry. The car drives well. The transmission shifts smoothly. No rattles or squeaks. The engine does not smoke and runs smoothly with good performance. The clock in the dash works. The car is very original, and is very well preserved.

Paperwork includes the car’s build sheet, like new owner’s manual, emissions information, new car warranty, Oldsmobile consumer information, protect-o-plate and the plastic pouch these items came in. There is also some owner history, sales paperwork and copies of old titles, and assorted invoices for parts and services.

I have clear title to the car. The car is located in north San Diego county in CA.

Show or go: what would you do with this 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Vista Cruiser for sale? Please comment below and let us know!

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