We’re getting to a point in time when fewer and fewer people will have grown up around wagons like today’s Nice Price or No Dice Olds. Let’s see if this one is priced to bring that experience to a whole new generation.
Some difficult tasks are worth the effort. Shucking oysters, learning to tango, and giving new life to cars like yesterday’s clutch-needing 1978 Porsche 924 all have their rewards. Of course, each of those rewards comes at a cost. In the case of the Porsche that was a mere $1,500. Bad off as it was, 58 percent of you all deemed it a worthwhile cause, giving the 924 a Nice Price win.
Let’s say your needs extend far beyond what any Porsche sports car can offer. Perhaps what’s needed is something with more than just a little space as well as a clever air vent that offers wafting breezes to one’s crotch. If those are the specifics of what’s needed, then today’s 1989 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser might be just the ticket.
This big B-body wagon wasn’t the last word in the Custom Cruiser story, but it was the last to have the traditional and efficient boxy styling and a cool two-way tailgate that allows for both sideways and fold-down opening. You can also drive with the rear glass retracted on this one, something not possible with the later (and final) editions.
Missing here are the extra windows in the roof of the model’s earlier Vista Cruiser sibling, which was emulated in the later cars. But that’s okay when you consider just how much chrome and woodgrain you’re getting with this model.
Other notable features of this Custom Cruiser include an incredibly modest 71,874 miles on the clock and an interior that looks as lightly worn as a Sunday-go-to-meeting suit. Outside, the car does show some age in the fading of the clear coat on the acres-large hood and on the roof. The Light Beechwood Metallic paint underneath looks okay in most areas and is complemented by copious amounts of photo-finish vinyl passing itself off as woodgrain. According to the dealer offering the car, it is all rust-free underneath. Oddly on a car so neat and tidy, the rubber rub strip on the rear bumper is missing. Equally suspicious, the snood under the bumper is black rather than body color. Both imply something has happened back there.
Inside, there’s some lovely brocade cloth upholstery and a full three rows of bench seating, for a total of service for seven. Everything supposedly works, right down to the A/C, which the seller claims to be ICE COLD. Considering that, perhaps the best feature of the car is the pair of crotch cooler vents in the dash. Those send either that ice-cold air or some comforting heat to the nether regions of both driver and front-seat passenger. Why did GM stop offering such an amazing feature in its cars?
Mechanicals on the Custom Cruiser are fairly mundane, but then who wants exotica on their family hauler? Power here comes from a bone-stock 307 cubic inch displacement Oldsmobile V8. That managed 140 horsepower in the wagon, but more importantly, a heftier 255 lb-ft of torque. Mated to that is a four-speed THM200 automatic with column shift.
Per the ad, the drivetrain has been serviced with a fresh oil change and a new battery. Oddly, the seller says the car “runs as well as you would expect for a low mileage car” which seems to be damning it with faint praise.
The car is offered on Facebook Marketplace, a frustratingly poor and inconsistent venue. As such, the ad doesn’t state the title status, but let’s assume that it’s as clean as the car. The dealership offering the car advertises itself as a “Classic Car Dealer” and defends the car’s $11,995 price tag by claiming it will be worth “3-5K more” in a couple of years as wagon prices are taking off.
We’ll just have to see about both that assertion and that $11,995 price tag. In fact, why don’t we do that right now? What’s your take on this clean crotch-cooling Olds and that $11,995 price? Does that seem like a deal to live the big wagon lifestyle? Or, is that too much to cruise in this Custom Cruiser?
H/T to Don R. for the hookup!
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