1991 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser 5.0 from North America

Summary:

This car is a pleasure, and will have collectors value in the future

Faults:

The usual with a high mileage car. The alternator, battery, brake pads.

I also replaced the transmission after pulling a boat for two years. If you tow with these vehicles, I highly recommend a transmission cooler first. It was an expensive and, well, dirty and painful lesson.

Right now the car has been sitting in my garage for three years. I think it has a blown head gasket, but I was so sad when it happened that I'm just now looking into repairing it.

The head gasket was also my fault. It was -25F (MN haha) and the heater control valve cracked. I was five miles from home, it was cold out, so I pushed it. The car made it, but after I replaced the heater control it was blowing white smoke.

General Comments:

I LOVE this car, but hate being seen in it if you know what I mean. Station wagons are making a comeback, but they are still viewed as an out of date mommy-mobile (and I'm a guy).

The comfort level is outstanding. The seats are a little worn by now, but still a pleasure. Its roomy as heck, the kids love it, and you cannot beat this car for a road trip. It absolutely glides down the highway.

Power/acceleration/economy is just the right balance with the miserly tuned 5 litre engine. The aerodynamics are good, so 23-26 on the highway is easily obtained with a well tuned engine. In town it drops to 18 or so.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th September, 2006

21st Sep 2006, 12:29

The nicest thing about these is you can buy them dirt cheap right now, usually for well under two grand for a good one.

The 1991 and newer Chevy Caprice wagons, which are basically the same thing, are more sought out, especially the 1994-96 models with the LT1 engine as standard equipment, but their prices are correspondingly higher.

13th Oct 2008, 18:00

With all due respect, satisfied Oldsmobile owner, if you love your wagon, say you own a wagon and are proud to. The folks who still think big wagons are mom-cars, if they ever were, are the ones who are actually behind the times.

These big, rear-drive wagons are on their way to becoming timeless classics if they aren't already. There is no need to hide your love for the Custom Cruiser you own; one day soon the folks who criticize you for driving it will be wishing they'd got one, too.

29th Jan 2011, 17:20

Best cars ever to come out of Detroit. Currently own 5 of them, and wish I had more parking at my house...

1972 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser 455 cubic inch V8 from North America

Summary:

Best value for useful vs. purchase price/maintenance costs of any vehicle I've ever owned

Faults:

Rear brake shoes and a muffler were needed immediately after purchase, another muffler was needed when the bad breaker points caused a huge backfire that split the first new muffler apart at the seams!

One flat tire on the first Wisconsin road trip.

The drivers door electric window motor died.

The heater motor was inoperative at first, due to a bad ground.

General Comments:

Literally bought out of a junkyard in North Dakota for $200 in 1988.

Car had come from Virginia so the body had no rust.

The biggest type of Olds ever made, 455 V8 with 4 barrel carb weighing in at 5260lbs EMPTY.

Eight passenger, but I removed the rear most seats for more covered storage.

Car wasn't used much for about 5 years, stored outside at a friend's farm through -35 degree winters. In 1993, I realized that I didn't have a big car to haul stuff to sell at a car show in Wisc, so I took a battery and fresh gas to the Olds and it fired right up. Did fluid changes and headed for Iola, 14 hours and @650 miles. Went all the way to Chicago and back with nothing worse than a flat. Did this for 3 years, '93-5. Drive it for @2000 miles in 2 weeks, park it for 50.

Got rather upset at the idiots at the car show that wanted to buy it for demo derbying.

Approximately 17mpg highway, city...well...

Bought a trailer hitch at the junkyard for $10 that only added to the usefulness.

7.5 liters trying to breathe through a 2" pipe makes for one LOUD hiss! Dual exhausts and headers are in the future.

Long wheelbase make for a very pleasant highway ride and the 455 makes it seem much more nimble than you'd expect for all it's gargantuan heft.

If you want to carry seven other people, pull a trailer, and not lose momentum on hills, this type of car is for you!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th April, 2006

28th Apr 2006, 14:48

"Dual exhausts and headers are in the future."

- Good idea! The 455 Olds will not run OK with a single exhaust.

28th Apr 2006, 21:31

You'll find a few other reviews on here of people who really like the 1970's station wagons. That seems to be a niche that is no longer being filled, phased out in favor of the mini-van. Those old station wagons are like a low profile Suburban, with a ton of cargo and people-hauling space, but without the "truck" ride.