Most movie cars are pretty cool, but they aren’t always what they seem and sometimes they’re even rented or faked. Heck, some are cobbled together just to make it through production and definitely aren’t the sort of cars you want to own. However, sometimes it’s the complete opposite, like the 1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser from That ’70s Show.
The lager-than-life station wagon was a bone-stock Oldsmobile used mostly as a prop in the background or for static driving shots. Eventually, as filming for the show was nearing its end, actor Wilmer Valderrama—who played foreign exchange student “Fez”—decided to buy it from the props department.
In an interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Valderrama recounted how the conversation with the props department went, and how much he paid for it.
“I go, ‘Listen, how much for the Vista Cruiser?’ He goes, ‘What? You don’t want that thing.’ I go, ‘Yes I do. I need the Vista Cruiser.’ They said $500 bucks, so I bought the Vista Cruiser for 500 bucks from our props department.”
Now, $500 is a good deal for any car, but it’s an especially good deal for something like an Olds Vista Cruiser. Available with a choice of three V8s—it’s not clear which is installed in Valderrama’s car—the Vista Cruiser was the family SUV before the SUV was really even a thing. With unique roof glass and seating for as many as eight passengers (officially), the Vista Cruiser was a family hauling machine. Not many were optioned with the 455 Rocket V8 and a four-speed Hurst floor shifter, but even those that weren’t are still cool today. They weren’t cool back then, but they are now.
Valderrama says he plans to keep the car forever, saying he wants it to become “that car that just sits in the garage with the battery dead.” He goes as far as to say that he’s left it in his will for his children, which is a funny thought. Saddling them with a car like that, four flat tires, slowly rusting away in the corner, certainly a funny way to remember your father by, and a cool opportunity if they ever want to fix it up.
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