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Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser


Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser
A 1975 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser
A 1975 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser

Overview
Manufacturer : Oldsmobile, General Motors
Production : 1964 - 1977
Assembly: Lansing Car Assembly,
Lansing, Michigan
Body and chassis
Class : Mid size
Body style : Station Wagon
Layout: FR layout
Platform : A-body
Related car: Buick Sport Wagon
Chronology
Successor : Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser


The Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser is a station wagon that was produced and marketed by Oldsmobile from 1964 to 1977. The Vista Cruiser had 3 generations, the first and second generations featured fixed-glass, roof-mounted skylights over the 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 and three rows of forward-facing passenger seats.


A 1966 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser front guard badges
A 1966 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser front guard badges

The Vista Cruiser was introduced on 4 February 1964 as a 1964 model based on the Oldsmobile Cutlass/F-85 model. Before the 1973 model year the Vista Cruiser had a wheelbase which was 5 inches (127 mm) longer than that of the Oldsmobile Cutlass/F-85 sedan. The Vista Cruiser shared its body style with the Buick Sport Wagon.

Later Oldsmobile mid-size station wagons featured a skylight as did the 1991-1992 full-size Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser and the 1991-1996 Buick Roadmaster wagon.

The third generation of the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser 1973-1977 had also optional rear-facing third row seating and also incorporated a single flat venting moonroof over the front row seating.

General Motor's 1971 - 1976 full size clamshell wagons, including the Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser also had optional forward-facing third row and a slightly elevated roof over the cargo area and no skylight.











Versions



First generation
A 1965 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser
A 1965 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser

Overview
Model years: 1964 - 1967
Powertrain
Engine : 330 cu in (5.4 L) Rocket V8
Transmission: 2-speed automatic
3-speed automatic
4-speed manual
3-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase: 120 in (3,048 mm)


1964 - 1967



Rear view of a 1965 Vista Cruiser
Rear view of a 1965 Vista Cruiser

The first-generation Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser featured 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 Oldsmobile 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 (5,408 cc) V8 offered from 1964 to 1967 with ratings from 210 to 320 horsepower (160 to 240 kW) depending on year.

Transmission offerings included the two-speed Jetaway automatic transmission and two rarely equipped manual transmissions including a three-speed column shift and a four-speed floor shift.

Related cars: Buick Special, Buick Sport Wagon, Chevrolet Chevelle, Oldsmobile Cutlass, Pontiac Grand Prix, Pontiac Tempest













1968 - 1972



Second generation
A 1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser
A 1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser

Overview
Model years: 1968 - 1972
Powertrain
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
Transmission: 2-speed automatic
3-speed automatic
4-speed manual
3-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase: 121 in (3,073 mm)
Length: 218.2 in (5,542 mm)
Width: 77.2 in (1,961 mm)
Height: 58.5 in (1,488 mm)
Curb weight: 4,064 lb (1,843 kg)


This generation was a major restyling of the GM A-body car line for 1968 and replaced the split skylight with a one-piece skylight, while also stretched the wheelbase from 120 to 121 in (3,048 to 3,073 mm).

From 1968 to 1972, a 350-cubic-inch (5,700 cc; 5.7 L) V8 became standard with a larger 400-cubic-inch (6,600 cc; 6.6 L) V8 from the 442 muscle car optional in 1968-1969 and a 455-cubic-inch (7,460 cc; 7.46 L) V8 available from 1970 to 1972.


A 1972 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser
A 1972 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser


The transmission offerings for the Vista Cruiser 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 1968-1969 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 1970-1972 models as "Generation 2a")

For 1971, Oldsmobile 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 (7,460 cc; 7.46 L) 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.

Related cars: Buick Special, Buick Sport Wagon, Chevrolet El Camino, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, GMC Sprint, Oldsmobile Cutlass, Pontiac Grand Prix, Pontiac Tempest











1973 - 1977



Third generation
A 1976 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser
A 1976 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser

Overview
Model years: 1973 - 1977
Also called: Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
Body and chassis
Platform: GM A-Body
Powertrain
Engine : 350 cu in (5.7 L) Rocket V8
403 cu in (6.6 L) Rocket V8
455 cu in (7.5 L) Rocket V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase: 116 in (2,946 mm)
For 1973, the GM A-body intermediate platform was completely redesigned. Notably, the separate wheelbase used by the Vista Cruiser and Buick Sport Wagon was eliminated; all A-body wagons were now built on the 116-inch sedan wheelbase. While its Buick counterpart was discontinued, the Vista Cruiser was redesigned as a woodgrained version of the new Cutlass Supreme station wagon. Despite the shortened wheelbase, third-row seating made its return, although the seat now faced rearward.

"Colonnade" styling and frameless door glass increased side window area, which came at the expense of the model's distinctive skylights. In place of the skylights came an optional pop-up sunroof over the front seats.

Engine offerings during this period included a standard 350 cubic-inch Rocket V8 or optional 455 cubic-inch Rocket V8 through 1976. For 1977, the 455 was replaced by a 403 cubic-inch Rocket V8. 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.

Related cars: Buick Century, Chevrolet Chevelle, Chevrolet Malibu, Oldsmobile Cutlass, Pontiac Le Mans


  • Eric Forman on That 70's Show has a 1969 Vista Cruiser that is featured in many episodes of the series. When the show ended in 2006 the car was sold to Wilmer Valderrama - the actor who played Fez. He payed US$ 500 for the car.
  • In 2009 Matchbox released a 1971 Vista Cruiser in the 1-100 diecast vehicle range
  • At the beginning of National Lampoon's Vacation the car that gets crushed is a 1971 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser.
  • A first-generation Vista Cruiser was used as the mother's car in the 1992 film Radio Flyer. It bore a reproduction 1965 Pennsylvania license plate.
  • 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.
  • A second generation 1972 Vista Cruiser is driven by both Walter Bishop and Peter Bishop in the TV series Fringe

Further reading

Oldsmobile
General Motors
Station Wagon
List of automobile manufacturers of the United States
List of defunct automobile manufacturers
List of defunct automobile manufacturers of the United States









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