Junkyard Find: 1996 Oldsmobile Silhouette

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1996 oldsmobile silhouette

Examples of the first-generation GM “Dustbuster” minivan abound at self-service wrecking yards these days, even as they disappear from the street, and every time I pass a Trans Sport or Lumina APV on my way to shoot something older and/or more interesting I say to myself, “I really need to do a Dustbuster Junkyard Find one of these days.” Well, that day has come!

These vans were startlingly weird-looking when they first showed up in 1990, but then we became jaded and the Dustbuster just looked ugly.

We keep hoping to see one of GM’s long-snouted minivans in a 24 Hours of LeMons race, but so far we’ve had just a single post-Dustbuster Montana in a race.

The dash surface of these things was deep enough that you could lose items if they rolled all the way forward to the windshield. I’ve heard that an extra-large pizza box will fit well here.

Many members of the GM V6 family (both 60° and 90° types) were installed here.


Let’s riiiiiiide!

It’s the King’s ride.

Join the conversation
2 of 77 comments
  • 1st_one 1st_one on Aug 27, 2013

    I can recall when these vans debut back in late 89 as a 90 model. As a little boy they were actually exciting to see however, my parents refused to look at them as my mother loved the Aerostar and my father was sold on Astro :(.

  • Laserwizard Laserwizard on Dec 14, 2015

    Truly dreadful. If you ever rode in one, sitting in the middle row of seats there was a droning and ear buffeting sound that was very uncomfortable - it was non-stop and grew worse the longer you rode in the garbage can. I've ridden in station wagons and other minivans and never had such an experience. I'm glad these failed.

  • Jeanbaptiste Any variant of “pizza” flavored combos. I only eat these on car trips and they are just my special gut wrenching treat.
  • Nrd515 Usually for me it's been Arby's for pretty much forever, except when the one near my house dosed me with food poisoning twice in about a year. Both times were horrible, but the second time was just so terrible it's up near the top of my medical horror stories, and I have a few of those. Obviously, I never went to that one again. I'm still pissed at Arby's for dropping Potato Cakes, and Culver's is truly better anyway. It will be Arby's fish for my "cheat day", when I eat what I want. No tartar sauce and no lettuce on mine, please. And if I get a fish and a French Dip & Swiss? Keep the Swiss, and the dip, too salty. Just the meat and the bread for me, thanks. The odds are about 25% that they will screw one or both of them up and I will have to drive through again to get replacement sandwiches. Culver's seems to get my order right many times in a row, but if I hurry and don't check my order, that's when it's screwed up and garbage to me. My best friend lives on Starbucks coffee. I don't understand coffee's appeal at all. Both my sister and I hate anything it's in. It's like green peppers, they ruin everything they touch. About the only things I hate more than coffee are most condiments, ranked from most hated to..who cares..[list=1][*]Tartar sauce. Just thinking about it makes me smell it in my head. A nod to Ranch here too. Disgusting. [/*][*]Mayo. JEEEEZUS! WTF?[/*][*]Ketchup. Sweet puke tasting sludge. On my fries? Salt. [/*][*]Mustard. Yikes. Brown, yellow, whatever, it's just awful.[/*][*]Pickles. Just ruin it from the pickle juice. No. [/*][*]Horsey, Secret, whatever sauce. Gross. [/*][*]American Cheese. American Sleeze. Any cheese, I don't want it.[/*][*]Shredded lettuce. I don't hate it, but it's warm and what's the point?[/*][*]Raw onion. Totally OK, but not something I really want. Grilled onions is a whole nother thing, I WANT those on a burger.[/*][*]Any of that "juice" that Subway and other sandwich places want to put on. NO, HELL NO! Actually, move this up to #5. [/*][/list=1]
  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.