Michael Klyde's '71 Vista 442


Here is the car that GM never made, so for those too crazy to accept NO for an answer, we build it ourselves. I know there are other 442 and H/O Vista Cruisers out there. How many are real? I know mine is not. I bought it in 1996 from a Mr. Bandage With Ductape (photos in white).

I think he bought the car to tow with. It is a '71 nine passenger, with a 455 4V and TH400. There are not many options. It had the interior light group, A/C, radio, P/S, P/B, and that's it. The rear axle is a 2.56:1, and the guy put 15" tires with black steel wheels on it, so towing torque was not great. I think this is why he gave up, but not till he installed the wrong TH400 (no speedo drive, solid aluminum block off), gray cloth Mazda(?) front buckets, wrong radiator, edelbrock manifold, marine valve covers, and drove it with a front end that had no upper bushings. I bought this one cause it had a 455 and with what I wanted to do, I would not feel guilty about altering a nice original car. Work began....First the front end and brakes, replacing the trans with a unit that could spin a speedo cable, tune-up, install the original manifold (was in the storage bin in back), replace the radiator, etc. etc.

Then off to the body shop. Rust; now this is a California car, but it was everywhere. They rebuilt the tailgate with metal, the spare tire well, removed the vista roof and rear side glass to fix rust holes that let water inside, and cut out the lower front fender rust. On went '69 platinum (silver) with red striping. The base 442 hood was found at the local self-serve junkyard ($25). I also found the console/shifter, tilt column, sport mirrors, bucket seats, and numerous other parts the same way. I did pay big bucks for the rally pack. It now has a red interior, using '69 upholstery materials. The details are still being finished up, like the roof rack (it was mangled) and installing a rear air deflector. Look for me at local shows, and on the street in SoCal. Right now, this is a daily driver. I have extra parts too, email me.

Michael's Email: klydjukbxr@aol.com