1st Gen Greenhouse: 1965 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser

Before SUV’s were plugging up driveways around America and taking flack for global warming, there was another vehicle contributing to hydrocarbon depletion en masse. Enter the station wagon.  Considered the first design to transcend the standard family hauler, they came in multiple configurations depending on your needs.   Some even provided the ability to grow fresh veggies in the back if ever such a need arose.  Find this 1965 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser for sale in Phoenix, AZ for $7,900 via craigslist.

I know what your thinking…”dude, a wagon’s a wagon”…but wait!  This ain’t no ordinary grandma-trippin’, surfboard tote’n, homeless sleeping hauler.  No siree!  You see, Oldsmobile was using their brains with this one!  Apocalyptic times were upon us with the Cuban missile crisis and all, so in 1964 they named their newly released covert potting shed the “Vista Cruiser”.  Sly advertising on their part, you wouldn’t want to to tip off the enemy about equipping John & Jane Doe with the vehicle equivalent of a conservatory!

Yep…there it is…glass roof panels designed for maximum light entry and an extended growing season.  Once all hell broke loose, you could quickly load up your skivies, umpteen bags of sterilized potting soil, that secret stash of seeds you quietly amassed in a lead box, and head for the hills.  Park yourself near an artisan spring and voilà!  You have all the right equipment to grow your own food in practically any condition!

Oldsmobile even thought of building in swiveling sun shades for those noo-kyoo-ler hot days to prevent shriveling the tender leaves of your newly sprouted kale.  Oh…and if your wondering what to do when your soil needs a little boost, grab yourself a bowl of GMO popcorn and spend a few critical hours watching “The Martian”…absolutely mandatory viewing for doomsday preppers!

Oldsmobile managed to manufacture in excess of 250,000 of these self-preservation devices over a 9 year production run.  1972 saw the last true Vista Cruisers roll off the line as the world’s focus had now shifted to oil…a lack thereof that is.  With worldly tensions heating up again, these are still bountiful in various forms and can be called into duty at a moments notice.  This example seems almost too nice to pack full of muck, but it would be reassuring to have a cloaked arboretum when duty calls.           

See another people mover secretly built for ulterior purposes? email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com

When not receiving complaints of “distracted by cars…again” from his wife, Glenn can be found in the kitchen whipping up exotic cuisine and nourishing nosh.