Wagon Wednesday

Best of Show Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser

5w ago
11.8K

If in the 80’s you were looking for an upscale full-sized American wagon, and the FoMoCo offering shown last week wasn’t your thing, you basically were left with 2 choices that really weren’t a choice. The Pentastar folks had abandoned the full-sized market in 1977, which meant you were shopping at The General (no, not the insurance folks), either at Buick or Oldsmobile. The GM wagons were built on their B platform, which had been downsized in 1977. Downsize is a relative term here. Though the new B-body wagons were still fairly massive with a 116” wheelbase and about 220” in length, the previous C-body based cars were positively gargantuan with a 127” wheelbase and lengths in the 230” range. Though each of the brands featured a base and up-level sedan model, the wagons generally existed as their own model with the trim bouncing back and forth between the two sedans. For their Custom Cruiser offering, Oldsmobile used the styling of their entry level 88 sedan.

This Custom Cruiser before you appears to be a 1985 model and comes from Best of Show. The model is of sealed resin construction. One of the typical calling cards of resin is near flawless paint quality. That is not the case here as the model’s finish is more satin than gloss. Outside of that, BoS has done a great job modeling the Olds. Of note is the excellent work done on the lighting elements and the simulation wire hubcaps. The interior is the equal to the exterior. I’m used to resin interiors being something of an afterthought, but BoS did good work here. If I had to find fault with it, it would be the lack of carpet. And the fact that I can’t access it. While I’m finding faults, what’s with that luggage rack?

If I were to compare Best of Show’s effort with that of last week’s Greenlight, the BoS would get the win, even when factoring in that I paid double for it. Sadly BoS only made 504 units of the Custom Cruiser and they sold out quickly. Hopefully they’ll take that as a sign to do a recolor, or even better, another manufacturer will see it as a sign that big American iron from an era other than the 60’s can sell.

No car wash was complete without some Westley's Bleche White and a SOS pad

No car wash was complete without some Westley's Bleche White and a SOS pad

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Comments (8)

  • I spent a lot of time in one of these. My parents bought a new "demonstrator" 1987 Custom Cruiser in 1988. It was dark blue metallic with a dark blue interior, like this one. By some of the details, this one appears to be a later version, closer to the one we had than one from the early '80s. A lot of the distinct details match my memory. It was one of the very first cars I ever drove and it was the first one I drove with any regularity on my own when I first got my license.

    All that said, it wasn't a great car. It had some pretty major reliability problems early on and it was supremely slow. I never thought it was attractive and I don't think it has aged any better. I have no particular nostalgic desire to own a real one.

    But would I get one of these in the same color as ours and display it in my collection? I certainly would.

      1 month ago
  • Actually the dull paint is pretty spot on for mid 80’s GM quality. A more accurate representation would be having the paint cracking like all GM cars of this era did. That or have massive chucks of paint missing with blotches of gray primer in its place.

      1 month ago
    • LOL. My admittedly small sample size of 80's GM cars would disagree about the paint being dull, but the missing paint was definitely a thing. Fortunately we had no direct experience with that either.

        1 month ago
  • Seeing the steering wheel and dash took me back to driver's education class in high school when we used Oldsmobiles from a local dealership to do our street driving. And you're absolutely correct about the Westley's on the whitewall tires! 😄

      1 month ago
  • VERY, VERY impressive but STILL blows my mind that 1. Someone has actually bothered to make a model of this car and 2. That they have found buyers!!! WOW just shocking to me!! It's not like they had the distinctive styling of the '60's area Vista Cruisers with windows in the roof. You took some wonderful very clear and close-up pictures, I really find the detailing of this model pretty amazing. But yeah I see the roof rack and if you look at the head on shot you can see the upper right corner of the passenger side grill just doesn't fit very well....maybe this is a nod to the crappy quality of the 1:1 size of these cars when they were new.😂

    I do remember these cars from when I was growing up and still can't believe that anyone actually has fond memories of these things. I mean sure, they remember them when they were little being toted around in them but can the styling really compare to the cars from the '50's and '60's? I don't mean to come off as a snob or anything but it just shocks me. Like people that collect former Eastern Block cars from the '70's & '80's. I'm sure most people that owned those cars hated them wish they could have forgotten they owned them! I would think most would have much rather have had a Mustang or a BMW than a Lada and here are people all these years later making and buying models of them? Anyone else have any thoughts on this? To me most cars that weren't Italian or German had bad quality and or didn't look the best from around '74 to '88ish, I believe Jalop calls them the malaise area cars.

    Of course I know it takes all kinds and I've always been a man outside of my generation always into '50's and '60's area cars when I was growing up in the '80's. It may sound strange to some, but 1985 is just too new to me!😂😂😂

      1 month ago
    • As the saying goes, "to each their own." For me, most cars of the 50's and 60's are just old cars, as that is what they were to me back in the day. The 80's were my teenage years, and although I know the cars of day were turds generally speaking,...

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        1 month ago
    • Best quote from your response "those are my turds" LMFAO 🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂 That's some good stuff there!!!

      Yeah fore sure I can appreciate people liking different cars than me, that's what helps makes life and car shows more...

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        1 month ago
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