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This Is What Really Happened To The Vista Cruiser From That '70s Show

The beloved Fox sitcom That '70s Show, which ran for eight seasons between 1998 and 2006, consistently sported some of the funniest writing on TV at the time — but it wouldn't have been quite so beloved if not for the talents of its cast. The actors breathed life into characters that were, at the end of the day, largely archetypes. There was Eric Forman (Topher Grace), the quick-witted geeky kid; his literal girl-next-door love interest Donna Pinciotti (Laura Prepon), Eric's only real match in terms of wit and sarcasm; conspiracy theorist pothead Steven Hyde (Danny Masterson), who never seemed to be able to stop talking about the water-powered car the government didn't want you to know about; lovable lunkhead Michael Kelso (Ashton Kutcher), who never saw a skirt he didn't want to chase; his on-and-off girlfriend Jackie Burkhart (Mila Kunis), the spoiled rich kid with a heart of ... well, bronze, maybe; and Fez (Wilmer Valderrama), the creepy foreign exchange student with the surprisingly sharp disco dancing skills.

Almost as key to the series, though, was another character: Eric's 1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser, an absolute land yacht he received as a gift from his hard case father Red (Kurtwood Smith). 

The Vista Cruiser appeared in virtually every episode of the series, and featured prominently in the show's ever-changing opening sequence, which depicted various characters piloting it down the streets of fictional Point Place, Wisconsin, to a cover of Big Star's classic "In the Street" performed in every season but the first by '70s rock legends Cheap Trick. From the show's first episode to its last, the olive-green behemoth was a constant presence — and in a turn of events befitting such an iconic vehicle, it found a post-fame home in the garage of one of That '70s Show's stars. 

However, it's not the one you probably think. Since 2006, Wilmer Valderrama has owned the Vista Cruiser, which he bought for a mere 500 bucks after the series wrapped.

Wilmer Valderrama hilariously promised to keep the Vista Cruiser in his family

Valderrama stopped by The Kelly Clarkson Show in January 2021, and he filled the much-loved singer, actress, and inaugural American Idol winner in on the details of his Vista Cruiser purchase.

"It was towards the end of the show. We were in the last season of '70s Show, and I went straight to the props department and I go, 'Listen, how much for the Vista Cruiser?'" the actor remembered. "[The prop master] 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."

Valderrama then proceeded to crack wise about how he'd always wanted to become a big celebrity so that he could one day own a car "that just sits in the garage with the battery dead." At first, he deadpanned, "Honestly, it's the best thing I've ever acquired [in] my whole career." But then Valderrama turned a bit wistful, saying, "When I look at that car, it reminds me of when I was 17, 18 years old, booking That '70s Show and doing that opening sequence where we're just driving."

It's kind of comforting to know that the stars of That '70s Show have fond memories of their time on the series because it has certainly provided lots of warm, fuzzy memories for its fans. Hilariously, Valderrama told Clarkson that he fully intends to pass those memories down to his own family. "It's gonna be in my family forever," he said. "I'm gonna put it in my will to make sure that my kids have the burden of keeping that car in the garage."

In the garage? Heck no. Wilmer, you'd better teach those kids to drive the Vista Cruiser. They'll be the coolest kids on the block when they're hanging out down the street — the same old thing they did last week.