Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser
|Successor||Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser|
|Body style||Station Wagon|
The Vista Cruiser is a station wagon manufactured and marketed by the Oldsmobile Division of General Motors from 1964 to 1977 and noted for its fixed-glass, roof-mounted skylight over its second-row seating with sun visors for the second row passengers, a raised roof behind the skylight and lateral glass panels over the rear cargo area along the raised roof.
Introduced on February 4, 1964, as a 1964 model, the Vista Cruiser was based on the Oldsmobile Cutlass/F-85 model but prior to the 1973 model year it utilized a wheelbase which was 5 inches (130 mm) longer than that of the Cutlass/F-85 sedan.
The raised-roof, skylight wagon body style was shared with the Buick Sport Wagon. Subsequent Oldsmobile mid-size wagons featured a skylight concept as did the 1991-92 full-size Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser wagon and the 1991-96 Buick Roadmaster wagon.
The Vista Cruiser featured a forward-facing third row seat which had been the norm until the late 50s but was unusual for car-based wagons, which more often favored rear or side-facing seats at the time. The 1971-76 full size GM clamshell models would also use a forward-facing third row, and employ a similar elevated roof over the cargo hold, though without the skylight.
|Engine||330 in³ Rocket V8|
|Wheelbase||120 in (3,048 mm)|
Buick Sport Wagon
Pontiac Grand Prix
The first-generation Vista Cruiser offered a split skylight over the second row of seats.
In 1964, the Vista Cruiser was one of three station wagons offered by Oldsmobile, the others being the F-85 built on the same wheelbase as other F-85/Cutlass intermediates and the full-sized Dynamic 88 Fiesta.
From 1965 to 1970, the Vista Cruiser became the division's largest wagon as Olds did not offer a station wagon in the full-sized 88 series and the intermediate F-85/Cutlass were also offered during each of those years on the shorter wheelbase.
Engine offerings in the Vista Cruiser paralleled other Olds intermediates with a 330 cubic-inch V8 offered from 1964 to 1967 with horsepower ratings from 210 to 320 depending on year and carburetion.
|Engine||350 cu in (5.7 L) Rocket V8
400 cu in (6.6 L) Rocket V8
455 cu in (7.5 L) Rocket V8
|Wheelbase||121 in (3,073 mm)|
|Length||218.2 in (5,542 mm)|
|Width||77.2 in (1,961 mm)|
|Height||58.6 in (1,488 mm)|
|Curb weight||4,064 lb (1,843 kg)|
|Related||Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Chevrolet El Camino
Pontiac Grand Prix
Buick Sport Wagon
A major restyling of the GM A-body car line for 1968 replaced the split skylight with a one-piece skylight, and stretched the wheelbase from 120" to 121".
Transmission offerings through the years included one of two automatics—the two-speed Jetaway (1968) or three-speed Turbo Hydramatic (1968–72), or very rarely, a standard three-speed manual with column shift or optional four-speed manual with floor-mounted Hurst shifter.
In 1969, the "Dual-Action" tailgate was first offered, as standard equipment on the three-row models and as optional equipment on the two-row models.
In 1970, a redesign reshaped much of the exterior sheet metal, making the edges and curves sharper. Although it closely resembled the 1968-69 models, and is essentially considered to be a second-generation car, many of the body parts were no longer interchangeable with the earlier second-generation cars. The dashboard was also completely redesigned. (The GM Skywagon Club recognizes the 1970-72 models as "Generation 2a")
For 1971, Olds brought back the full-sized Custom Cruiser wagon on the 98 chassis utilizing GM's disappearing clamshell tailgate, but the glass-roofed Vista Cruiser continued until 1972.
A small number of 1972 Vista Cruisers were modified by Hurst Performance, then based in Warminster Township, Pennsylvania for support car duties at the 1972 Indianapolis 500 and equipped with 455 cubic-inch Rocket V8s along with the official pace car, a 1972 Hurst/Olds, also powered by a 455 V8. Two are known to survive as of 2012, a press car and a medical director's car. As of 2012, the medical director's car is owned by a relative of Ray Harroun, the winner of the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911.
|Engine||350 in³ Rocket V8
403 in³ Rocket V8 (1977)
455 in³ Rocket V8 (1973–76)
|Wheelbase||116 in (2,946 mm)|
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Pontiac Grand Prix
Although the roof glass was substituted for an optional pop-up front-row sunroof and the wheelbase was shortened to the same 116-inch (2,946 mm) length as Cutlass sedans for the 1973 model year when the Cutlass and other GM intermediates were completely restyled, the Vista Cruiser name continued for five more model years as an elevated trim level of the Cutlass Supreme station wagon until the Cutlass Cruiser was introduced for the 1978 model year. Engine offerings during this period included a standard 350 cubic-inch Rocket V8 or optional 455 cubic-inch Rocket V8 through 1976, which was replaced by a 403 cubic-inch Rocket V8 in 1977. The three-speed Turbo Hydra-matic transmission, power steering and power front disc brakes were standard equipment on Vista Cruisers during the 1973-77 period.
Pop culture 
At the beginning of National Lampoon's Vacation the car that gets crushed is a 1971 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser.
A second-generation Vista Cruiser was prominently featured in the 2002 English film, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands.
A first-generation Vista Cruiser also featured prominently as Oliver and Emily's car in the 2005 film A Lot Like Love.
A first-generation Vista Cruiser appears in the 2011 movie Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.
Matchbox released a 1971 Vista Cruiser in their 2009 1-100 diecast vehicle range.
- Internet Movie Cars Database page on the Vista Cruiser used in "Fringe" Retrieved 2011-06-20
|Oldsmobile road car timeline, Post WW2–1970s — next »|
|Mid-size station wagon||Vista Cruiser||Vista Cruiser||Vista Cruiser||Cutlass Cruiser|
|Full-size station wagon||Custom Cruiser||Custom Cruiser|