1967 Oldsmobile Vista-Cruiser
As this was the last year of the original design, changes to the 1967 Oldsmobile Vista-Cruiser and Buick Sportwagon were mostly cosmetic. Grilles and side-trim details were revised on both of the long-wheelbase station wagons.
The Sportwagon shed its hood ornament and the Vista-Cruiser got a revised front bumper because the parking lights were moved up to a spot between each pair of headlights. Power on the optional Cruiser engine was nudged up to 320 horsepower.
1967 would be the last year for the original design
of the Sportwagon (shown) and Vista-Cruiser.
The "big" news for 1967 was the availability of simulated wood trim on the sides of Custom models. Buick's treatment covered the entire lower body from a line roughly halfway down the bodysides. Oldsmobile confined its fake wood to below the sheetmetal crease that ran low on the body. A woodgrain appliqué extended across the tailgate on both marques.
A host of changes marked the '68s. All of GM's intermediates underwent a complete redesign, splitting off into a 112-inch-wheelbase platform for two-door models and 116 inches for four-doors and basic wagons.
The high-roof Buick and Oldsmobile station wagons not only shared the new styling, but got a wheelbase extension of their own to 121 inches. Overall lengths increased to 214.1 inches for the Sportwagon and 217.5 inches for the Vista-Cruiser.
Both now came standard with newly developed 350-cubic-inch V-8s, but all these engines had in common was displacement. The Buick engine had nearly square bore and stroke dimensions. With a two-barrel carb, it was good for 230 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, or, at extra cost, 280 horsepower and 375 pound-feet with a four-pot carb.
The Olds 350 was an oversquare design that started at 250 horsepower with a two-barrel carb, and stepped up to 310 horsepower with four-barrel induction. Then, too, both cars could be ordered with 400-cubic-inch four-barrel powerplants that likewise differed in dimensions and output.
The Buick engine, borrowed from the racy GS-400 pumped out 340 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque. The Oldsmobile mill, cribbed from the muscular 4-4-2, developed 325 horsepower and 440 pound-feet -- though a 290-horsepower "Turnpike Cruising" variant with a two-barrel carb and long-legged axle ratio was available.
A synchromesh three-speed transmission remained standard for all, but automatics -- Turbo Hydra-Matic in the Olds, Super Turbine in the Buick -- were available. The Vista-Cruiser also could still be ordered with a wide-ratio floor-shift four-speed manual. Tires were 8.25X14 on two-seat wagons, 8.55X14 on three-seaters.
All Sportwagons and Vista-Cruisers now were considered Customs -- though Buick did track separate production for its cars ordered with the faux woodgrain option. A flowing creaseline ran down from near the tops of the front fenders through the rear wheel openings on Sportwagons. When ordered, woodgraining was applied below this crease.
The softer contours of the new Vista-Cruiser no longer had a lower-body character line, but the premium Olds wagon continued to confine its simulated wood to low on the bodysides. Rear-quarter windows rose a little higher into the roof than before, and the forward-facing glass in the dome roof was now undivided.
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