Best of Show 1971 Oldsmo­bile Vista Cruiser

This Clas­sic Has Room with a View

Die Cast X - - 54 -

Sta­tion wag­ons are a guilty plea­sure for me. Un­like many kids grow­ing up in the ’ 70s, I didn’t ex­pe­ri­ence a wagon as a fam­ily car, so how I came to ad­mire them so much is some­thing of a mys­tery. Con­ven­tion dic­tates that they lack both styling and per­for­mance, but I say con­ven­tion be damned! I like wag­ons, and if you know where to look, you can find some prac­ti­cal fam­ily haulers with plenty of panache—and a few that can gen­uinely haul too. That brings me to Oldsmo­bile and the car you see on these pages: the 1971 Vista Cruiser. Olds had some of most so­phis­ti­cated styling of any Amer­i­can car brand in the 1960s and ’70s.

Olds stayed con­tem­po­rary with­out shame­lessly pan­der­ing to ev­ery fly-by-night fad, and con­se­quently, Olds cars have aged bet­ter than most. One of its most time­less de­signs is the ’68–’72 Cut­lass/F-85. Mus­cle­car fans know it for the 442 and Hurst H/O, but Oldsmo­bile’s A-body in­ter­me­di­ate plat­form served as the ba­sis for a wide range of coupes, con­vert­ibles, hard­tops, sedans, and—yes— wag­ons. There were wagon ver­sions of the base model F-85 and a midrange Cut­lass

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