1985 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser from North America




Nothing was wrong with the car when I first purchased it. I have owned the car for one year. Since I have had the car I have had the transmission rebuilt, the gas tank replaced (it was leaking), and I have replaced the power steering return hose.

General Comments:

The car is roomy enough to carry the kids, their belongings, and me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th December, 2005

14th Dec 2005, 12:03

My experience with these cars is that they are very very reliable. It should last you for years to come with the only operating costs being gas and routine maintenance. They're a smooth ride too. Enjoy!

1st Jan 2008, 22:42

Had one of these in the family growing up. With the plastic 'wood trim' stickers on the side and a chrome roof rack. It looked like the wagon out of National Lampoon's Family Vacation.

Like most of the GM cars of the time, the steering was totally numb and felt 'loose'. That's about the only knock on the car.

It was built up to Taxi standards. All the major parts on it were totally over engineered. Nothing major went out on the car for the entire 10 years we owned it.

I can still remember jumping the thing at like 60mph over railroad tracks. The car would get major air. The thing didn't mind at all. You could drive it over the most terrible potholed roads all day and it didn't mind, you'd get to where you were going and would get out relaxed. Try that in an Accord.

The Olds 98/88/Custom Cruiser and their other GM cousins were the last of the great American cars IMO.

16th Oct 2008, 08:12

I bought one of these from a family friend in Charlottesville, VA just the other week- a maroon 1985 Custom Cruiser with maroon velour interior. 258,602 miles on the odometer at present, but the 307 V8 was replaced, not rebuilt but *replaced* two or three years back, effectively renewing the heart of the car. She's more than 20 years old and she looks and feels more reliable than my father's 2004 Grand Cherokee by a long shot. I love this car so much I'm happy just sitting behind the wheel. Truly, a car completely worthy of having "GM/Mark of Excellence" on the keys. The Custom Cruiser is a credit to the Oldsmobile name and legacy.

Note- I'm the 17, now 18-year old who left the comment asking about running costs a while ago.

1990 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser 5.0 from North America


Won't die and won't go away


Battery died recently and cruise control just stopped working.

General Comments:

I first bought the car as a spare. Minnesota winters caused my garaged vehicles to refuse to start occasionally, but I'd just remove the mountain of snow from the cruiser, fire it up and take off. I tried to sell the car once, but the buyer wrote a stolen check and the police found it for me a week later. The next year I sold it to a friend who beat the heck out of it for a year. I couldn't stand it so I bought it back, cleaned it up and everything still works. At over 190k it still doesn't use oil. My wife is handicapped and this vehicle is a snap to get her in and out of and makes loading wheelchairs and power scooters much easier than other vehicles. I'll probably just keep it forever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th November, 2005

1989 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser Regency 5.0 307 V8 from North America


Great family hauler!!


Nothing yet, but had to refurbish it when I bought it. It only had 39,000 miles on it, but it hadn't been washed in years. 68 year-old lady owned it since new. It had been sitting in a carport for some years.

Here is what I have done so far:

-A lot of Cleaning!

-Complete tune-up. Still had original plugs in it... original everything.

-Replaced all the fluids (engine, tranny, rear axle)

-Had to compound the white paint and all the chrome, had heavy oxidation, but shines now!

-The woodgrain was scratched and peeling from the heat (Texas) and exposure. Scraped it all off! Paint under paneling was great, but took a week to get it all clean.

-Replaced the rattling wire wheels with 1990 Cruiser aluminum wheels (Thanks Ebay!)

-Replaced the rear bumper fillers, the originals were cracked and some were gone altogether.

-Installed new N.O.S. Custom Cruiser emblems (ebay!)

-Installed new rear speakers and put a CD changer in the rear side pocket.

-Replaced the rear springs and replaced all the shocks with KYB's. Ride is much better!

-Installed a new trailer hitch for my wife's bike rack.

-Various detail work.. i want it to look new!

Since getting it and driving it, it runs much better now. I talked to the mechanic that the lady used to bring it to, and he said it never was driven over 45 mph...ever.

Since I've started driving it, the engine runs MUCH better, it tended to ping when I first got it, but sure the highway has helped clean everything out.

The cruise control slowly came back to life, never was used, but now works great.

Things still to do:

-The speedo cable squeaks sometimes, it's gotten much quieter, but still makes noise sometimes

-The car shifts a little to the left when accelerating, think it has a weak suspension bushing, but can't find it.

-TRYING to find a rear tailgate weatherstrip (squeegee). Mine is cracked, and all the ones in the salvage yards are cracked.

Other than that, it's done!

General Comments:

I traded a very troublesome Ford Aerostar for my Cruiser. The car looked horrible when I bought it, but after four months it is looking great.

The 307 V8 is not a powerhouse, but it is smooth, uses no oil, and will hold 80 mph from Austin to Dallas to visit in-laws. Gets over 20 mpg too!!

The interior is like new and very comfortable. Has neat options, powere seats on both sides, fiber optic lights in the rear roof and tops of front fenders, power everything. Very comfortable car!

My wife made fun of it when I brought it home. She wanted an SUV. Well now she askes to use it and leaves me her car.

My son loves the rear-facing third seat. Plenty of room for kids, friends, and everything else.

WHY did they stop making these things???

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th May, 2004

1st Jun 2004, 10:06

The shift to the left on acceleration is probably due to a bad motor mount. With the transmission in park, see whether the engine tilts when you rev it up, if so your motor mounts need to be replaced.

12th Mar 2005, 19:06

I just got a 1989 Custom Cruiser with only 18 thousand actual miles. My husband got it at an estate auction for only $1300.00, I thought he was crazy when he bought it. The estate sale was at a funeral home and the cruiser had been converted into a hearse. We have since changed it back into a station wagon. Went to a junk yard and got the second seat for only $25.00 and had the window in the back that were covered with leather cut out and the glass was still there so I have a full leather roof. It rides great and is like a new car. The third seat is not going to be put back in so it gives us hidden storage. The back tailgate has a steel panel in it to prevent the casket from ever hitting it hard during transit and falling out accidentally. I will be working to get that out. Gas mileage is only 15 mpg freeway, so hoping that if I remove the steel panel in the tailgate that the mileage will improve. I will tell you I though my husband was nut when he got this car, but now I LOVE THAT CAR.