Junkyard Find: 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser International Series
While traveling to my job as Wise and Fair Chief Justice of the 24 Hours of Lemons Supreme Court at the Minneapolis 500 race in Brainerd last week, I flew in via Fargo, North Dakota. Naturally, I visited a Fargo self-service junkyard before boarding my plane home, and that’s where I found this rusty-but-well-preserved ’88 Cutlass Cruiser International Series.
Most Detroit cars didn’t get six-digit odometers until the 1990s (though there were exceptions here and there), so this car could have 207,413 or even 507,413 miles on the clock. The nice interior suggests that 107,413 is the correct figure, though.
Sold locally, probably owned by a meticulous elderly person for most of its life, then — judging from the Moorhead High School parking permit on the windshield — handed down to a grandchild.
By Moorhead standards on a 31-year-old car, the rust isn’t so bad. I’m sure I’d have seen a real corrosion horror-show underneath, if I’d felt like getting in the cold Fargo mud and taking a look.
The Cutlass Cruiser was the wagon version of the Ciera, and this top-trim-level International Series came fully loaded with power windows, bucket seats, shag carpeting, and other goodies.
Rather than suffer with the clattery 98-horse Iron Duke engine that came as base equipment, the original buyer of this wagon opted for the 2.8-liter V6, rated at 125 horsepower. The good old Buick 231-cubic-inch V6, with 150 horses, could be had in the ’88 Cieras as well.
1988 was the final year for the first-generation Ciera, which had been around since 1982, but the “New generation of Olds” didn’t need to know that.
If you enjoyed this Junkyard Find, you’ll find links to 1,700+ more at the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.
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Cause of demise? I'm going with the padded steering wheel cover. No car can remain in use for even a year with a padded steering wheel cover.
Drove an 88 cruiser with the iron duke. Acceleration was truly awful, but the thing would ride well at a constant speed smoothly. Seats adjusted only fore and aft, but they were all day comfortable. When child #3 led us to the first of many minivans, we handed off the olds to friends. They got another decade out of it. Would it be acceptable today? No, but a comfortable cruiser in its day.