Best of Show 1971 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser
This Classic Has Room with a View
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