Junkyard Gem: 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser

1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser


GM’s Oldsmobile Division was a significant station wagon participant in the 1960s and 1970s, and car buyers in the United States could still pick from three different sizes of new Olds wagons as late as the mid-1980s. The Firenza, a Chevy Cavalier sister, was the smallest. The Custom Cruiser was the largest, constructed on the same basis as the Chevrolet Caprice. 


The Cutlass was such a smashing sales success in the mid-to-late 1970s that Oldsmobile eventually used the Cutlass moniker on a confusing array of unrelated vehicles. Today’s Junkyard Gem was the wagon version of the Cutlass Ciera, and in 1986, Oldsmobile customers could also purchase a rear-wheel-drive Cutlass Supreme with platform ancestors dating back to 1964.


The standard engine in the Cutlass Cruiser for ’86 was the crude 2.5-liter Iron Duke four-cylinder, but this car has the optional 2.8-liter V6. A three-speed automatic gearbox came standard.


This automobile is extremely beaten up now, but it was regarded as pretty calm throughout the second Reagan era and possibly for a few years into the George H.W. Bush administration.

The Cutlass Cruiser was Oldsmobile’s final station wagon, with manufacture lasting until the 1996 model year. Oldsmobile itself was phased out in 2004.

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