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1981 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser

1981 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser in Poltergeist, Movie, 1982 IMDB

Class: Cars, Wagon — Model origin: US

1981 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser

[*][*][*] Vehicle used by a character or in a car chase

Comments about this vehicle

AuthorMessage

carobserver MX

2006-12-21 23:54

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Also appears in te second part (1986) and for that year was so junked and many problems

customboy98 US

2007-04-24 11:16

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In the movie, as Steve pulls into the steeply banked driveway to park, there is a great sound effect of the tailpipe of the car scraping on the sidewalk.

Also, in Poltergeist 2, the producers got confused and demoted the Freeling family to owning a 77-79 custom cruiser, instead of this 80's bodystyle (which got a facelift for 1980).

IHateFreedom US

2009-03-31 00:47

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Beautiful pic.

Realestateross US

2010-12-18 23:54

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I pulled out my old sales brochures, and based on the grill this is actually a 1981

astrueblue US

2011-08-10 21:42

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1981 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser

realestateross US

2012-07-26 08:02

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Interesting side note about the special effects in the finale where the Freeling family escape in this car: The special effects coffins blast up out from below the slab of the garage and through the garage door, sending bodies and bones clattering out onto the hood. Horrified, Steve guns the engine and the car roars down the short driveway in reverse, bottoms out at the sidewalk, rebounds at full speed and smashes tailgate-first into the Ford Bronco parked at the curb behind it; this is accompanied by a meaty, crunchy metallic THUNK and a spectacular shower of tempered tailgate windowglass. Special effects magazine Cinefex reports they wanted to believeably convey the drama of this panicked family desperately trying to escape, and pull off the stunt... WITHOUT destroying both cars in the process. They decided to put the Bronco on heavy duty caster wheels, so the 5700 lb. SUV could slide sideways more easily after being struck by the 4300 lb. wagon. As this is happening, a neighbors VW Bug is flipped onto it's roof by yet another emerging coffin, partially blocking the escape route for the Freelings. Undeterred, the Oldsmobile roars by anyway, smartly clipping the fender of the overturned Bug and sending it spinning 360 degrees as the Olds careens past. The SF crew had a similar pallate-and-caster wheel set mounted to the roof of the Bug, so that when it was struck by the Custom Cruiser, it spun more or less in one place. As the closing shot widens, you can see the car strike another coffin as it careens up the street and out of the neighborhood, it's tailgate smashed and rear tailight lens broken. If you are interested in reading more, this information came from Cinefantastique, NOV/DEC 1982 VOL 13 No. 2 and VOL 13, No. 3.

-- Last edit: 2012-09-09 08:44:11

astrueblue US

2012-08-19 05:43

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That's some really cool info on the Custom Cruiser and the Bronco. I thought this was a very handsome wagon that the Freeling's chose and I think it looked nice parked in the driveway in front of the house. It's a shame that this wagon got damaged during the film. It's funny that in the second film how they had a late 70's Custom Cruiser that looks very different from the'81 model that is used in the first film.

realestateross US

2012-09-09 08:52

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Yes, astrueblue... Good eye. The Freeling's wagon was well optioned with power windows, door locks, (vinyl) wood siding, luggage rack, and sport side-view mirrors. Not sure about power seats, stereo, or other niceties. One unusual item for this particular car was the lack of the simulated wire wheel with lock wheel covers that would have normally been fitted on a car of this calibur, with the option list that this one had. The standard Oldsmobile wheel discs look handsome anyway, and perhaps lend an understated air befitting the upwardly mobile status of the Freeling Family. I have to agree, the car just "matched" the dark tudor trimwork, brick accents, and lush green lawn of the location house beautifully. A very rich look for a decidedly untilitarian people mover, but then again, that is what Oldsmobile was all about.

My own weekend car Oldsmobile is an '88 Custom Cruiser, white over burgundy with wood sides, and BOTH original simulated wire wheel covers AND a set of standard "Freeling style" Oldsmobile wheel discs that I bought off Ebay for the rainy season. :)

astrueblue US

2012-12-11 05:36

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This wagon seemed to be well optioned. And yes I do find it odd that this car came with standard wheel covers rather than the simulated wire wheel discs. One feature that I see on this car that I don't typically see on any other Custom Cruisers, are the dual sport mirrors. I think that Olds did away with them on the Cruiser later on and stayed with the chrome mirrors instead to give the wagon a more luxurious look. This is my favorite GM B-body station wagon design from 1977-1990. The 1980-1990 models are the best looking in my opinion though.

-- Last edit: 2012-12-11 05:38:25

echoboy US

2015-04-27 22:37

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I have always wanted this body style Custom Cruiser. Interestingly, I was just reading the novelization of the book and it has Steve Freeling driving a Ford Country Squire instead of the Olds wagon. I like the Custom Cruiser much better.

-- Last edit: 2015-05-23 13:55:40

Darren_VolvoS80 US

2018-07-02 04:53

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Such a beautiful wagon to go with that house!

Terra US

2019-08-09 23:54

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The scene here looks to have been enhanced. It is not this bright in the HD Version of the Film. HD Replacement
[Image: amazoncom_watchpoltergeist_primevideo-googlechrome8_9_20194_25_03pm.jpg] [Image: amazoncom_watchpoltergeist_primevideo-googlechrome8_9_20194_25_14pm.jpg] [Image: amazoncom_watchpoltergeist_primevideo-googlechrome8_9_20195_48_19pm.jpg][Image: amazoncom_watchpoltergeist_primevideo-googlechrome8_9_20192_29_11pm.jpg] [Image: amazoncom_watchpoltergeist_primevideo-googlechrome8_9_20195_37_49pm.jpg]

-- Last edit: 2019-08-10 00:02:46

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