15k: Blue’s Cruiser: 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass Wagon w/ 455 Swap

What’s a 2nd-gen Vista Cruiser without the view? A Cutlass wagon, of course. Continuing the theme of slightly modified A-body Oldsmobiles from Wednesday, what if you found a low-spec wagon with “three on the tree,” kept it looking bone stock on the outside, but swapped in a stump pulling big block and chassis upgrades underneath? You’d get a stealth cruiser in a plain wrapper, that’s what. Find this 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass Wagon for sale in Vancouver, WA for $15,990 via craigslist. Tip from fueltruck.

This car would fool most passersby into thinking it was a nicely restored example or maybe a clean stock survivor car (which it does appear to be). It looks like the car your aunt Gladys used to shuttle her unappreciative kids to school in the ’70s, and then continued to drive well past the time that her hair became the same hue as the Nassau Blue paint.

After Gladys croaked, her greedy conniving offspring sold off all her worldly possesions – and the car went to a hot rodder with some taste. Of course this story is completely made up but the fact is that this car is a true sleeper, with some performance potential but a few curious details left to sort out. AHEM…3-speed column shifted trans and open diff, I’m looking at you. Those are fine I’m sure if one-wheel peels are your thing, and the immense torque generated by the 455 likely makes up for the lack of ratios in the gearbox. With a bit more sorting however this could be a really choice road trip car that could perform a sweet launch on command.

Four hundred and fifty-five cubic inches is almost 7.5 liters, which is how much fuel this thing will drink every time you start it up. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but this iron behemoth is otherworldly compared to today’s turbocharged 4-cylinders that can make as much power (the 455 was rated between 200 – 400 hp SAE gross, which would be considerably less as measured by today’s net standards, with accessories and stock manifolds, etc). The 455 was an option in the Cutlass, just not this particular wagon originally. GM even used it in the FWD GMC Motorhome – hey, all of that road-hugging weight was good for keeping traction over the driven tires.

Step inside the Cutlass and you are greeted by acres of blue vinyl and plastic lining the humongous interior, making smurfs and smurfettes feel right at home. We like poking fun, but it’s nice to see a muscle car without any gaudy monster tachs squatting on the dash or silly parts store accessories cluttering up the driver’s view. Just nice, clean, and stock – again contributing to the sleeper vibe.

See another Craigslist seller who looks like Mickey Rooney in the mirror? email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com