The Vista Cruiser is a station wagon manufactured and marketed by Oldsmobile over three generations from 1964 to 1977.
The first and second generation Vista Cruisers are noted for their 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 along the raised roof, and three rows of forward-facing passenger seating.
Sharing its bodystyle with the Buick Sport Wagon, the Vista Cruiser was introduced on February 4, 1964, as a 1964 model, based on the Oldsmobile Cutlass/F-85 model. Prior to the 1973 model year the Vista Cruiser utilized a wheelbase which was 5 inches (127 mm) longer than that of the Cutlass/F-85 sedan.
Subsequent Oldsmobile mid-size wagons featured a skylight as did the 1991–92 full-size Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser wagon and the 1991–96 Buick Roadmaster wagon.
Reminiscent of earlier models, the third generation Vista Cruiser (1973–1977) featured optional rear-facing third row seating, while incorporating a single flat venting moonroof over the front row seating.
GM's 1971–76 full-size clamshell wagons, including the Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, incorporated an optional forward-facing third row and a slightly elevated roof over the cargo area, though no skylight.
The first-generation Vista Cruiser pioneered a raised roof with split skylight that began over the second-row seating, with lateral glass panels over the rear cargo area. Sun visors for second row passengers, with a third row of forward-facing passenger seating available as an option.
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 Oldsmobile dropped the full-sized 88 wagon, making the Vista Cruiser the division's largest; the shorter-wheelbase F-85/Cutlass wagon remained the entry-level offering. A major restyling of the GM A-body car line for 1968 replaced the split skylight with a one-piece unit, and stretched the wheelbase 1" to 121 in (3,073 mm).From 1968 to 1972, a 350-cubic-inch (5,700 cc; 5.7 L) V8 became standard, with a high-output 400-cubic-inch (6,600 cc; 6.6 L) V8 from the 442 muscle car optional in 1968-69, and a 455-cubic-inch (7,460 cc; 7.46 L) V8 available from 1970 to 1972.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 introduced as an option on two-row models and standard equipment on three-row.
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